#FeministRecovery ~ International Women’s week 2021 in Canada begins today.

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March 8 is International Women’s Day, a global day of recognition celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and girls, and raising awareness of the work left to be done. In Canada, the theme for 2021 is #FeministRecovery

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on the progress made towards achieving gender equality and celebrate the acts of courage and determination by individuals who have played an extraordinary role in advancing gender equality in their communities. The beginnings of International Women’s Day (IWD) trace back to the early twentieth century, emerging from the activities of labour movements in North America and Europe and reflecting a growing call for women to participate equally in society.

In Canada, International Women’s Day includes several virtual activities, including a Women’s Summit, March 8th and 9th, 1-4 pm each day. It’s free to register and filled with inspirational guest speakers. Use the hashtag, #Feminist Recovery and #IWD2021 to interact and engage with people on social media.

Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, Chrystia Freeland said, “Today, let’s reaffirm our commitment to empowering women and girls because when they are allowed their rightful and equal place, everyone is stronger. As we build back from #COVID19, an inclusive #FeministRecovery will create a more resilient Canada. #IWD2021”

The first International Women’s Day was observed on March 19, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. That day, more than one million women and men showed their support by participating in public events. In the years that followed, other countries began to observe and celebrate this day.

The United Nations recognized 1975 as International Women’s Year and began celebrating IWD on March 8, later adopting a resolution designating March 8 as International Women’s Day.

Today, International Women’s Day, a day of unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action, is celebrated in countries around the world.

 

Impacts of COVID-19 on women has underscored the fundamental gaps in our society and disproportionately impacted those who were already marginalized, vulnerable or struggling. On every front, the COVID-19 pandemic has eroded hard-fought gains to gender equality. From layoffs to lack of child care to increased unpaid work to the rise of domestic violence, women have been most deeply impacted by the health and economic crisis.

The Government of Canada is working to create an Action Plan for Women in the Economy to help women get back into the workforce and ensure a feminist, intersectional response to this pandemic and recovery. This Plan will be led by a diverse task force of experts and guide a whole-of-government approach.

COVID-19 is the most serious public health crisis Canada has ever faced. It has laid bare fundamental gaps in our society and disproportionately impacted those who were already marginalized, vulnerable or struggling. Women have been on the front lines of this crisis, facing steep job losses and taking on more unpaid work. Women also represent the majority of essential workers on the front lines of the fight against COVID.

56% of women workers are concentrated in occupations known as the 5Cs: caring, cashiering, catering, cleaning and clerical functions. Many of them are the essential workers folks call heroes, but neglect to provide protection or benefits.

Women have also borne the brunt of the economic losses. Within Canada, in March 2020, women represented 70% of all job losses in the core demographic aged 25 to 54 years. 1 in 5 women workers lost their jobs or the majority of their hours in February and March.

The Canada’s Feminist Response and Recovery Summit begins today, and is virtually bringing together politicians, experts, feminist leaders and those with lived experience to examine how COVID-19 is impacting the lives of women in Canada. It will focus on the steps that governments, civil society and all Canadians can take to ensure an inclusive recovery by advancing gender equality. Starting at 1pm EST on Monday, March 8 and Tuesday, March 9, 2021, individuals can register online.

Over two days, participants will learn about key issues facing women impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including Black and racialized women, Indigenous women; women with disabilities; LGBTQ2 individuals; senior women; women in rural and remote areas; immigrant and newcomer women; and young women. The online summit will look at issues faced by women’s and equality-seeking organizations.

Through presentations and interactive sessions, the Summit will explore issues related to COVID-19 and how related public health measures are impacting women and the women’s and equality-seeking sectors.The Summit will further focus on the steps that governments, civil society and all Canadians can take to ensure an inclusive recovery by advancing gender equality.

Participants will be able to share in discussions on the role of child care, good jobs, and other initiatives in Canada’s recovery post-Covid19.

Superior Media will be sharing inspirational stories about women all week long. Use the hashtag #FeministRecovery and #IWD2021 to engage with people from across the globe. Follow @SaultOnline on twitter.