International Women’s Week events planned

ANTIGONISH: International Women’s Week events are being planned for the Antigonish area.

Women will mark the successes and aspirations of the women’s movement, as they have done since the 1980s when an organized feminist presence began to grow in the Antigonish area.

In 2013, what had been a one-day affair to mark March 8 as International Women’s Day (IWD) expanded into a week (IWW) of women organizing, learning, honouring, imagining, and celebrating.

The tradition of celebrating IWD in Nova Scotia goes back to pre-WWII years when women in Cape Breton and other parts of the province organized events. IWD was born out of working-class women’s struggles for good jobs, a living wage, and political rights. In 1975, the United Nations declared March 8 International Women’s Day.

To get people warmed up leading into IWW, there are some related events taking place next week, including the “IWW Family Singalong” on Tuesday, March 3 at People’s Place Library from 10–11 a.m. This is described as a IWW-themed, woman-positive, family-friendly singalong led by Elizabeth Glinz.

“Solidarity as a Verb” (hosted by the Antigonish Youth Activism Conference) will be taking place on Friday, March 6. At the event, Masuma Khan and Ajay Parasam speak about living and working on stolen territory. The workshop in Dennis Hall starts at 3 p.m. and the keynote address is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

The week officially kicks off with the Annual Women’s Breakfast on Sunday, March 8 at the Antigonish Legion. In the afternoon, poster-making, an art display, and yoga dance at L’Arche Antigonish (4 West Street) will prepare participants for the “Waves of Resistance March,” beginning at 1 p.m. on Monday in front of the Coady International Institute. Also on Monday, many local restaurants will offer women a free cup of coffee to appreciate their contributions to the community.

On Tuesday, Faye Fraser and her activist girls will host a “Pop-up Period Party” in the library at St. Andrew Junior School from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The aim of this event is to re-claim menstruation and provide support to their peers.

The annual “IWD Coffeehouse” is scheduled for Wednesday, March 11 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Bloomfield Centre at StFX. This event is organized by X-Project.

On Thursday, March 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Dennis Hall (Coady), Dr. Janet Conway, Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount St. Vincent University, will lead the presentation “Women Land and Water Defenders in Mi’kma’ki,” followed by a discussion.

On Friday, March 13, the presentation and discussion “Generation Equality: Celebrating the Sheroes of the World” will take place at the People’s Place Library Community Room from 4 to 7 p.m. Women and girls – some immigrant, some local – will share their inspiring stories and insights.

The annual “Feminist Cabaret and Dance” is scheduled for Saturday, March 14 at the Legion from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. (doors open at 7:30 p.m.). This is always an entertaining variety show and dance that draws a large crowd every year. Jenn Priddle will host with special co-host Michelle Langille. Funds raised from the $15 admission fee ($10 under aged or student) will benefit the Women’s Centre.

For more information, and for assistance, call the Women’s Centre at 902-863-6221 or e-mail: katherine@awrcsasa.ca. Also, visit Facebook or Instagram to view IWW events pages.