February 15, 2010

For immediate release

Rally and Conference Celebrates International Women’s Day

“Women’s Voices at the Table” events take place Saturday, March 6, 2010

WHO: IWD Organizing Committee

WHAT: “Women’s Voices at the Table” Rally and Conference to celebrate

International Women’s Day

WHEN: Saturday, March 6, 2010. Rally from 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Conference from 1:30 – 5:00 pm

WHERE: Rally at Vancouver Art Gallery, North Plaza (West Georgia)

Conference at Vancouver Public Library, Alice McKay Room, 350 West Georgia

DETAILS: These events are free and open to the public.

Members of a variety of organizations including Oxfam Canada, Amnesty International, the We Can Coalition, unions, and local women’s organizations have teamed up to celebrate International Women’s Day with a rally and conference called, Women’s Voices at the Table.” The “at the table” concept is part of a broadly-based Canadian and global civil society campaign to mobilize women to be heard and to declare our right to be “at the table” with leaders at the G8/20 meetings taking place in Canada this June.

The half-day kicks off with a noon rally at the Vancouver Art Gallery where participants will be treated to live musical performances and messages of solidarity from both local and international women speakers. The Women’s Voices at the Tableconference follows at 1:30 pm in the Alice McKay Room of the Vancouver Public Library. Conference attendees will discuss a wide variety of issues related to women’s rights and gender equality, culminating in proposals that local women want heeded when Canadian leaders meet with their world counterparts at the G/8 and G/20. “We have made great strides towards gender equality here in Canada,” say conference organizers, “but there are needs yet to be met, so women want our voices heard at the table when important issues that impact us are discussed.”

Topics to be addressed at the Women’s Voices at the Table” conference include: access to justice, labour rights, indigenous women, and climate change & food security, among others. There will be refreshments and live music at the conference.

Women’s Voices at the Table
International Women’s Day Program

12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Rally at Vancouver Art Gallery

Welcome: Kat Norris, Coast Salish, Lyackson Nation

Guest speakers: Laura Holland and Semhal Getechew

1:30 pm to 2:10 pm Conference at VPL – Central Branch

Doors open / networking / music / opening remarks

2:10 pm to 4:15 pm Table Discussion — Round 1 and 2

4:15 pm to 4:30 pm Musical Break

4:30 pm to 5:00 pm Presentation of Resolutions / Concluding Remarks

Laura Holland is an active member of Aboriginal Women’s Action Network, an organization that is an independent voice against injustice to Aboriginal women. She works also with the BC CEDAW group. This group recently released a report titled “Nothing to Report” addressing the lack of action on the part of the provincial and federal government in addressing key concerns of the CEDAW committee.

For a copy of “Nothing to Report” go to:
www.westcoastleaf.org/userfiles/file/BC CEDAW Group Shadow Report 2010.pdf

Semhal Getachew is with We Can and is a lawyer and pioneer in the field of femicide research and advocacy in Ethiopia. She worked for the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association, the leading NGO in Ethiopia involved in legal reform and advocacy, legal aid public education and operator of one of only a few shelters for Ethiopia’s 40 million women.

Rally and conference sponsored by:

Amnesty International, BC Federation of Labour, BC Government and Service Employees’ Union, BC Teacher’s Federation, Justice Education Society, Oxfam Canada, Vancouver Friends Meeting (Quakers), We Can End All Violence Against Women, Working Group to End Poverty.

Rally and conference organized by:

International Women’s Day Planning Committee; Amnesty International, Battered Women’s Support Services, BC Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC), BC Federation of Labour, BC Government and Service Employees’ Union, BC Teacher’s Federation, Canadian Cross Road International, Indigenous Action Movement, Justice Education Society, North Shore Women’s Centre, Oxfam Canada, SFU Radio CJSF, WE*ACT (Women Elders in Action), Greater Van GOGOs Advocacy, We Can End All Violence Against Women, West Coast LEAF, and others.