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Friday, March 6, 2009

International Women's Day

FEMINISM - Sunday March 8th is International Women's Day (in Canada and several other countries IWD is celebrated on March 7th). Around the world women will be gathering together to promote equality, better pay and an end to discrimination against women.

International Women's Day did not come about by chance but evolved under pressure. This pressure was brought to bear as women reacted to hardship experienced by female needle trade workers in New York City in 1908. Due to poor working conditions, several female workers in that trade perished in a fire. The tragic event led women in the needle trade to demand better working conditions, the right to be unionized and the right to vote. Their ideas gained momentum with wide acceptance of IWD on a global scale, in both developed and developing countries, since 1910.


Female Genital Mutilation

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), between 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide are living with the consequences of female genital mutilation. In Africa, about 92 million girls age 10 years and above are estimated to have undergone the procedure - the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, the partial or complete closure of the vaginal opening, or other injury to the female genital organs as part of cultural, religious and social reasons. The procedures are mostly carried out on young girls, sometime between infancy and age 15.

Violence against Women & Femicide

The WHO reports that about 5,000 women are murdered by family members in the name of honour each year worldwide. See The Ten Worst Countries for Women.

Also, in a 10-country study on women's health and domestic violence conducted by WHO, between 15 per cent and 71 per cent of women reported physical or sexual violence by a husband or partner. See Femicide in Guatemala & Canada or Gender Violence in Mexico.

Stonings of Women

In countries like Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia the stoning of women is still highly practised. In one case in Nigeria, Safiya Hussaini Tungar-Tudu, a 30-year-old woman was ordered stoned to death for having sex outside marriage after asking a court to force a man that she alleged had raped her, to pay for her newborn daughter's naming ceremony.


If you live in a major city, check out the local events that feminists are doing tomorrow in your local city newspaper.

In Toronto Canada, Feminists are having a three part event on March 7th:

11 AM - Rally at OISE auditorium.

1 PM - March down Bloor Street and Yonge Street. See map.

1:30 PM onwards - Fair at Ryerson University, 55 Gould St.

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