Celebrating women on International Women’s Day

    Women’s support workers Kelsey Clyke (left) and Jessica Simms-Barss demonstrated balancing books on their heads and doing the International Women’s Day ‘balance pose’ during an event they organized at the Strait Area Women’s Place.

    PORT HAWKESBURY: Clients and supporters of the Strait Area Women’s Place gathered on March 7 to celebrate International Women’s Day.

    With the 2019 theme of “Balance for Better” groups around the world celebrated the achievements of women and sought to raise awareness of gender inequality.

    In Port Hawkesbury, the Strait Area Women’s Place hosted a fun event for clients and supporters, including snacks and on-theme balancing games that elicited many laughs.

    “We’re here to celebrate women and be supportive of other women,” said women’s support worker Jessica Simms-Barss.

    “It’s about striving for equality, asking people to recognize that women are capable, women are intelligent, women are powerful. Whether that’s in the workforce or in just day-to-day personal lives, we are equal and we’re asking people to see us that way,” she added.

    Photos by Dana MacPhail Touesnard
    Clients, supporters and staff of the Strait Area Women’s Place held the balance pose at an event last Thursday to celebrate the 2019 theme of International Women’s Day, “Balance for Better.”

    Indeed, that effort towards gender equality takes place every day at the Strait Area Women’s Place (SAWP), which has been in operation since 2011 under the umbrella of the Leeside Society.

    “Leeside Society offers a 24-hour crisis shelter for women living with violence and we offer the transition period for women who are getting back on their feet after Leeside. We offer services for women in the community as well,” said women’s support worker Kelsey Clyke.

    “We are very unique in the province in terms of how we operate because most women’s centers are separate, but we operate under the umbrella of our transition house,” added Simms-Barss.

    Jacqueline Stevens performed some traditional healing songs during the Strait Area Women’s Place event on March 7 in honour of International Women’s Day.

    In addition to counselling services and a monthly calendar with events devoted to thriving after trauma, self-esteem, computer support and other learning opportunities, the SAWP helps support women in financial need with an on-site food pantry (in association with the Food 4 Children Society) and clothing.

    Through a relationship with Worth the Wait Consignments, supporters can bring clothing donations to Worth the Wait and indicate their support for SAWP and Leeside. In turn, the organization distributes Worth the Wait gift cards to women in need so they can shop for the items they require.

    For more information on the Strait Area Women’s Place, visit: www.Facebook.com/straitareawomensplace or call 902-625-1614, (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) to discuss services and programs with a support worker.