On March 8th Ottawa-Gatineau to celebrate local feminists who are working to ensure that the Future IS Feminist

Ottawa, March 3, 2016 – Ottawa-Gatineau’s largest International Women’s Day event will seize this moment in time to mobilize and create a Future that is indeed Feminist.

We cannot look towards the future without paying attention to what is happening now. Now, feminists are mobilizing in great numbers, standing up to fear, hatred, misogyny and racism south of the border and here at home. On March 8th we celebrate this mobilization – we celebrate by laughing together, dancing together, and recognizing the incredible, intersectional work of local feminists.

Jackie Hansen of Amnesty International Canada said: “We can’t assume the future will be feminist. It’s feminists like this year’s Femmy Award winners, working tirelessly over many years to smash the patriarchy, whose incredible efforts are shaping a feminist future!”

Planned Parenthood Ottawa said: “We’ve seen a global surge in the need for resistance around reproductive rights and bodily autonomy. Intersectional feminism connects us to global movements that celebrate the diversity and experiences of women and trans people. We understand that gender equality is impossible without reckoning the multiple identities and experiences that constitute gender identity. Our Feminist Future includes a world where reproductive rights and bodily autonomy are a reality for all bodies.”

Rebecca Boyce from Cuso International said: “IWD is a day each year that reminds us that the feminist struggle is far from over; it’s a day to reflect and take stock but also to celebrate gains.”

The March 8th event, held at Library and Archives Canada, will feature the annual Femmy Awards ceremony honouring local feminist change-makers, an activist fair, feminist comedy, free food, and a dance party.

This year’s Femmy Award winners are:

  • Elaine Kicknosway, a life-long activist and survivor of the sixties scoop, is awarded the Frontline Service award for her work with Miinwaashin Lodge, an Ottawa-based organization serving First Nations, Métis and Inuit women and their children.
  • Jess Tomlin, Executive Director of the MATCH International Women’s Fund, receives the Advocacy award for her tireless work since assuming her role in 2012 toward growing the organization into a cutting-edge fund offering vitally-needed support to women’s movements around the world.
  • Jessica Ruano, Ottawa-based theatre director, receives the Femmy award for Media. Ruano is creator and director of The Ghomeshi Effect, a dance-theatre performance based on more than 40 anonymous interviews with survivors of sexual violence that examines sexual violence and the challenges confronted in the justice system.
  • Charlie Lowthian-Rickert, who at eleven years of age has already spoken in Parliament, served as Grand Marshall in the Capital Pride Parade and skillfully handled media scrums and TV interviews, wins a Youth Femmy award for her advocacy on transgender rights.
  • Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah, an anti-racism and gender equality advocate and graduate student at Carleton University, wins a Youth Femmy award for her grassroots community activism. Owusu-Akyeeah offers sex education at Venus Envy Ottawa, organized Black HERstory Month on campus, and organized a self-care week for graduate students focusing on black women and healing from sexual violence, amongst her many other activist endeavors.
  • Natasha Bakht, whose scholarly work as associate professor of law at the University of Ottawa examines discrimination confronted by Muslim women in Canada, wins the Thought Leader award for her cutting-edge research.

Where: Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa.

When: Wednesday March 8, 2017. Doors open at 6pm, show starts at 7pm.

Details: Free admission, free on-site childcare, cash bar, activist info and action fair.

“The Future Is Feminist” is organized by group of individuals and organizations including Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, Amnesty International, Canadian Federation of University Women, CUSO International, Human Rights Research and Education Centre, Inter Pares, OCTEVAW, Oxfam Canada, Planned Parenthood Ottawa, and Women’s Shelters Canada.

For more information: https://iwdottawa.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IWDOttawa/

To schedule an interview with event organizers or Femmy Award winners please contact Stacey Mirowski, at tel. 613-558-7650, samirowski@gmail.com

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