International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day {IWD}. A day where the world can celebrate the achievements of women, inspire other women and reflect on the progress women have made over the past few years.

In honour of IWD, 189 events are taking place in Canada this week. Everything from conferences to networking events to speaker series and more. The conversation continues on social media through the hashtag #IWD2012. Women and men are talking about who inspires them, what they are doing to make changes in their community and what the biggest milestones have been over the last few decades.

In 2007, I enrolled in Introduction to Women Studies at the University of Lethbridge. To be honest, I had to take an options course and that is the only one I could get into. The Instructor was Brittney Price; an incredible young woman {maybe late 20’s} who had completed graduate education in Political Science, worked by day in oil & gas and was extremely committed to changing the way young women define feminism. I was expecting the class to be loaded with women and Brittney would provide an old school look at women in business and politics. Instead… this class was mixed with men and women — and the content was current and refreshing. We learned a lot about 1st wave, 2nd wave and 3rd wave feminism. We used real life examples from media on how our opinions were being skewed and how women were being portrayed. We talked about the political scene and what was working and {clearly} not working. We would read articles, paying close attention to tone and stance.

I learned so much from Brittney that semester. She taught me that everyone should be a feminist. Yes, every single man and woman in the world. That, feminism means equality.

That single point hit my heart and my head. I immediately thought… “Yes… that’s the kind of movement I can stand behind.”

All the time I go to local events targeted towards young women. Often the mentality in the room is “rah rah I’m a woman hear me roar.” These young women bash men, bash past history and commit to taking over the planet. They want to be given opportunities because they are a woman. They want to be treated differently because they are a woman. They think that if they are continually given chances… ratios, statistics and the ongoing uneven representation of women in the world will correct itself.

To me, feminism isn’t about privilege or elitism.

You shouldn’t be given something without working hard for it.

What the world needs is for women {and communities} to stop putting up with bullshit.

Yep, bullshit. Case in point:

  • If you are told you will not get the job because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you will not get a pay raise because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you will not get a promotion because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you cannot run for office because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you cannot purse education because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you cannot leave the home because you are a woman — that is a problem
  • If you are told you will be beaten and raped because you are a woman — that is a problem

These situations happen every day all over the world. The good thing is that many people and organizations are working hard to correct the Gender Gap and create global equality. We still have a long way to go, but if we {as a world} start paying attention, creating awareness and offering solutions, I believe we can make the changes that are required to reach equality.

Regardless of your race or gender, you deserve respect. That’s what we must fight for.

“My idea of feminism is self-determination, and it’s very open-ended: every woman has the right to become herself, and do whatever she needs to do.” – Ani Difranco

On this International Women’s Day, I am working out of a hotel room in Toronto. Tonight I have dinner plans with one of my favourite me in the world. Yep, a man. Crazy! ;) I have no plans to high five women in the street or follow a forum preaching how fabulous I am to the world. Instead, I plan to reflect and give thanks.

Reflect on how I live a blessed life.

Appreciate all those that have shaped my life and expanded my mind.

I have access to everything I would ever need. I have clean water, healthcare and a safe home. Every day I have the privilege of working with outstanding individuals. I work with women — and men who I truly respect and look up to. I have opportunities to travel and learn about the world. I am involved in the community and continually give back to causes I believe in. I have friends, family and a network of colleagues I admire.

Blessed.

Over the past few years, I’ve have had the privilege of learning about these organizations. They do a whole lot of good in growing girls and providing awareness on equality:

Happy International Women’s Day babes. Always expand your mind and strive high.

PS – Years ago on Twitter I made 2 lists. The first one being ‘Women to Watch‘ and the second, ‘Men on a Mission.’ Check them out for some movers and shakers in the global community!

PPS – I really super love these women. They may not know it, but these women push me to be better — every single day: Chantelle Alberts, Corrinne Austin, Judy Brooks, Chantelle Buffie, Reagan Burwash, Jessica Cartwright, Lisa Charleyboy, Ashley Dasent, Izabela Domachowski, Christine Donohoe, Cassandra Dux, Jill Earthy, Bridgette Engler-Newbury, Melissa Godsoe, Alida Hagemeyer, Amanda Hamilton, Amy Harder, Tara Hunt, Brenda Ikenouye, Cadi Jordan, Katie Jeanes, Haley Lonsdale, Claire Masikewich, Kymme Paul, Jessica Pauletig, Ashley Petryshen, Brittney Price, Kittima Raksarat, Julia Rosien, Fannie Roy Smith, Sabaina Saif, Jen Schaeffers, Katie Schaeffers, Dawn Smytaniuk, Heather Stang, Arpen Thandi, Elena Verlee, Natalie Viselli, Bethany Wall, Doris Wilson, Fiona Walsh, Shannon Ward, Tasha Westerman, Stephanie Wiriahardja and Melissa Wusaty. {… the male version will be published on International Man’s Day. :)}

0 Comments

  1. Kittima Raksarat March 13, 2012

    Thank you for the mention Jill! YOU inspire me to be better! :) Still looking forward to that hug.

    Reply
  2. […] International Women’s Day took place on March 8th. I was honoured to be included in Networking in Van’s “Women Making a Difference” campaign. On IWD, people all over the world celebrate the achievements of women, inspire other women and reflect on the progress women have made in our communities. There were a number of events that took place in Vancouver and I had the privilege to learn from a few. I’m thankful to have met a ton of female entrepreneurs in Vancouver — and around the world (including Judy, Jill, Heather, Zoe, Christine, Katherine, Erin and more). Positive role models who are movin’, shakin’ and making a difference in the community. […]

    Reply

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