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happy international women’s day (on march 8)!

March 4th, 2008     by Thea Lim     Comments

Update: Whoops, I made a mistake! The Ryerson fair starts at 1:30 pm, not 3 pm. This weekend is International Women’s Day (IWD), huzzah! According to Wikipedia, International Women’s Day in some countries has been slightly depoliticised and turned into a day for men to show their love for women (free cuddles everyone!). But in Canada its primary purpose is still as “a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women.” Damn right! Though I guess we can still cuddle.

There are a gazillion events going on later on this week and into the weekend. This page here has events for Canada, you can visit the page for IWD Toronto here, and after the jump you can view all sorts of Toronto events. If ya got any, please (please please!) post info about any IWD events you know of, happening anywhere, in the comments section!

(Btw thanks to Nicole for compiling the Toronto events for us!)


TIME: 11 a.m. (March leaves at 1 p.m.) PLACE: OISE, 252 Bloor Street West INFO: Theme: The Rising of the Women is the Rising of us All! This year, IWD Toronto will be marking the 100th anniversary of the 1908 demonstration by immigrant women garment workers in New York City, where over 15,000 women marched through downtown New York demanding higher pay, shorter work hours, women’s voting rights and the end to child labour. This was during a time that women had little rights and marked an ongoing protest of a lack of gender equity across the globe.

Don’t forget to bring your banners and signs for the march! We’ll be marching to… IWD FAIR (END OF MARCH ROUTE), MARCH 8

TIME: 1:30 p.m. PLACE: Ryerson University Student Centre, 55 Gould Street INFO: COST: Free

The IWD Rally and March concludes with the IWD 2008 Fair hosted by Ryerson University’s Student Centre, featuring 50 exhibitors. Thousands are expected to attend the free Fair and workshops in this new student space, cafe and pub. (See link for list of Fair exhibitors and workshops.)


TIME: 2-4 p.m. PLACE: Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Room LIB 72 (Gould/Victoria)

Many women using shelter services and working in shelters are unhappy and critical about their structure. Assaulted women report feeling infantilized, patronized and revictimized. There are also criticisms of some shelters for being rigid and punitive. Is there an anti-oppressive model for “protecting” assaulted women that might be better? Are there ways or structures to ensure anti-oppressive practice in shelters? Are there ways to include assaulted women in defining their own services?

Performance: The Voices of Women Organizing Project, VOW, New York, NY

Moderator: Judy Rebick, CAW-Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, Ryerson University

Speakers: Akua Benjamin, Director of the School of Social Work, Ryerson University Amanda Dale, YWCA Toronto Beyond Shelter Walls


INFO: or 416-908-8826

Canadians for Choice Toronto Action Committee will be marching in the abovementioned IWD parade, and hosting a table at the information fair afterwards. This year marks the 20th anniversary of abortion legalization and we are proud to be marching not only in celebration of this momentous occasion, but in redefining and diversifying the movement today!

We need your support in the march! If you are interested in marching with us, please contact Jessica Yee, Chair of the Toronto Action Committee (info above). Or feel free to find us at the march itself - we’ll be carrying many visible signs and “PROUDLY PRO-CHOICE” buttons.


TIME: 12:30 pm PLACE: In front of Tim Horton’s at Bloor and Bedford

On Saturday, March 8, Migrante Ontario*, Justicia for Migrant Workers, No One is Illegal, the Workers Action Centre, the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid and other groups will march together in the International Women’s Day march, a yearly event highlighting the achievements and continuing struggles of women.

This year, Migrante Ontario has taken the initiative of coming together with other migrant worker groups and allies to organize a more visible migrant women’s and anti-imperialist contingent at this year’s International Women’s Day events. As migrant workers, we are faced in particular with racism, insecurity in our work and precarious temporary status in Canada as many of the members of our organization work as live-in caregivers. On March 8th we take to the streets to protest racialized gender-based violence experienced through poverty, deportations and detentions, precarious work status, police brutality, racial profiling, racist and sexist immigration policies, war and occupation.

On International Women’s Day, we march in solidarity with people’s movements resisting the expansion of global capitalism, war and occupation - the root causes of people’s migration and displacement around the world. In this spirit, we march in solidarity with resistance movements in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Palestine and around the world, with people struggling against colonialism, patriarchy, racism and imperialism abroad and here on occupied indigenous land.

We will assemble in front of Tim Horton’s at the corner of Bloor Street West and Bedford Rd. (St. George subway station has an exit on Bedford Rd.) at 12:30 p.m. Please join us with your banners! We will then march with the larger group to Ryerson University, where the International Women’s Day fair is being held. We will have a display table with informational materials.


TIME: 6 p.m. PLACE: United Steelworkers’ Hall, 25 Cecil Street INFO:,, 416-497-5951

Tamara Columbie - Cuban Federation of Women International Relations Department Rafeef Ziadah - Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid Moraima Rincon - Louis Riel Bolivarian Circle Doreen Silversmith - Six Nations Confederacy

Opening Ceremony by Indigenous Women of Our Continent

Faith Nolan, “SPIN”, Paulina “La Revolucionaria” O’Keefe, Ruben “Bennie” Esguerra, “Nizam”, Rose from “LAL”, “Testament”, and Art Exhibition of works from Middle East by Dr. Ibrahim Shalabi

6:00 - 6:30 p.m.- Dinner and Refreshments 7:00 p.m. - Political and Cultural Program

Any donations collected will go toward Cuban Five Family Visitation Rights Campaign; Symbolic donation for repairing the damages caused by Storm Noel; Helping youth planning to participate in the Festival of Culture in Holguin-Cuba


TIME: 12 pm - 15 pm, March 9 (SUNDAY) PLACE: Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union (OPSEU) Region 5 office at 31 Wellesley Street East INFO: For more information: please call Cynthia Palmaria at (647) 204-5908 or Sol Pajadura at (647) 448-7030, or e-mail

Raise Our Fists: Migrant Women Fight Back! A potluck lunch and forum on migrant women’s issues

On Sunday, March 9, we are hosting a potluck and forum on migrant women’s issues with main speaker, Ms. Connie Bragas-Regalado, chairperson of Migrante International, an international alliance of over 100 Filipino migrants’ organizations in 22 different countries. Other speakers include representatives from No One Is Illegal, Justicia for Migrant Workers and Migrante-Ontario. PATAC (Philippine Advocacy Through the Arts) will perform.

Concepcion “Connie” Bragas-Regalado is the current Chairperson of Migrante International, a global alliance of 130 Filipino migrant organizations in 22 countries. As a former migrant worker/domestic worker for 13 years and 2 years in Hong Kong, she became active in different migrant organization including Mission for Migrant Workers in Hong Kong, the Asian Migrant Coordinating Body (AMCB)-Hong Kong, an alliance of Asian migrant organizations from Nepal, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Philippines.

The forum will provide an opportunity for us to speak and educate ourselves on our issues and to continue the discussion about building an anti-imperialist migrant women’s coalition in Toronto across our various communities, workplaces and worker-organizations.

Raise Our Fists: Migrant Women Fight Back! will be held at the Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union (OPSEU) Region 5 office at 31 Wellesley Street East (steps from Wellesley subway station), from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

Tags: event listings

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