March 8 is International Women’s Day, and how timely to introduce a contest on the days leading up to the provincial election as well as the 100th anniversary of some women’s right to vote in Canada. On March 14, 1916, Saskatchewan followed Manitoba and became the second province in Canada to grant women the right to vote. Yet it wasn’t until the 1940s-1960s when all women were able to cast their ballots; First Nations women and women of colour were restricted for many years. The inequality that is demonstrated with this right rings true around the world.
On International Women’s Day, it is important to celebrate women’s achievements – this includes the activism that took place in the years before 1916 as their efforts contribute to the path towards equality. Yet International Women’s Day is also about building awareness and action on important issues that continue to persist today. For example, just last year – 2015 – was the first year where women were able to vote and run for office in Saudi Arabia’s elections. In many countries where women have the legal right to vote, they still do not have the equal opportunities for education that is needed for understanding the voting processes and their rights. Malala Yousafzai encompasses the goal of International Women’s Day – she celebrates women’s accomplishments while continuing to fight for equality on a global scale.
Malala Yousafzai is known for her courage and brilliance – early in life, she confronted the Taliban in Pakistan and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education. For her activism, she was shot in 2012, but survived. Since her incredible survival, she continues to speak out and inspire millions. In October 2014, Malala received the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi; she became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Her actions for promoting girls’ education is unparalleled – Malala says it best: “Let us remember: one book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world. Let us stand up for our rights, and let us fight.”
In celebration of International Women’s Day, we ask that you submit a picture and a quote and/or memory about a woman who has inspired you. They could be famous, but they don’t have to be. We simply want members to share their stories of powerful women who may have changed the world, or who may have changed the world for you.
Here’s how to enter:
- Submit the picture of the woman who has inspired you alongside a quote/memory that means something to you.
- You can send this information to Catherine.Gendron@seiuwest.ca or you can post it on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/seiuwest.
- All entries will be eligible to win one of ten shirts of Rosie the Riveter!!
Deadline: the day after International Women’s Day, March 9.