AN OPEN LETTER AND CALLS TO ACTION IN ADVANCE OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

 

AN OPEN LETTER AND CALLS TO ACTION IN ADVANCE OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

AN OPEN LETTER AND CALLS TO ACTION IN ADVANCE OF 

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

LET’S MAKE IT PERFECTLY CLEAR THAT IN 2022 THERE ARE NO REASONS, EXCUSES, EXPLANATIONS, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO SAY, TO JUSTIFY AN EVENT FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY THAT DOES NOT FEATURE WOMEN.

SO HERE IS WHAT WOMEN NEED AND WANT TO KNOW FROM YOU BEFORE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY TOMORROW AND WHAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER BEFORE CELEBRATING WOMEN WITHOUT DOING THE WORK:

IF YOU ARE HOLDING AN EVENT TOMORROW, ARE THE SPEAKERS FEMALE AND ARE THE PANELISTS INTERSECTIONAL? WHILE THIS SHOULD BE UNDERSTOOD BY NOW, EVENTS FOR INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY AND ANY EVENT ABOUT WOMEN ON ANY DAY SHOULD NOT BE A MAN OR ONLY MEN TALKING ABOUT WOMEN OR WOMEN'S ISSUES.

WHEN IS YOUR EVENT BEING HELD AND IS THE SPACE CHILD FRIENDLY? WOMEN ALREADY JUGGLE THE DEMANDS OF WORK AND HOME, BEING THE PRIMARY MANAGERS OF CHILDREN, CHILD CARE AND A MAJORITY OF UNPAID LABOUR . CONSIDER WHEN AND WHERE YOUR EVENT IS BEING HELD AND IF SOMEONE NEEDS TO BRING THEIR CHILD, THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE ANSWER IS YES AND OF COURSE THERE IS A CHANGING TABLE.

WHO ORGANIZED YOUR EVENT? HAVE YOU INCLUDED, LISTENED TO AND CONSIDERED THE INPUT OF BLACK WOMEN, INDIGENOUS WOMEN, LGBTQS+ WOMEN, WOMEN OF COLOUR IN THE PLANNING AND EXECUTION OF YOUR EVENT? IF NO, HIT PAUSE, SAY YOU NEED TIME TO DO BETTER BEFORE HOLDING IT AND THEN RESCHEDULE IT FOR A LATER DATE. PEOPLE, WOMEN, WON’T HOLD THIS AGAINST YOU BECAUSE WE WANT AND NEED YOU TO DO BETTER STARTING NOW.

IF YOU ARE PAYING WOMEN IN YOUR COMPANY LESS THAN WHAT MEN ARE BEING PAID TODAY, STOP IT. WOMEN IN CANADA, ON AVERAGE, MAKE 76.8 CENTS TO EVERY DOLLAR MADE BY MEN ACCORDING TO THE CANADIAN WOMEN’S FOUNDATION IN UPDATED DATA RELEASED IN JANUARY OF THIS YEAR. SO HOW MUCH ARE YOU PAYING FEMALE EMPLOYEES AND IF IT’S NOT THE SAME AS MEN, WHY AND WHEN WILL THAT CHANGE? INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY IS THE PERFECT DAY TO ANNOUNCE EQUAL PAY FOR ALL EMPLOYEES EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.

IF YOUR EVENT IS ABOUT ADVANCES IN THE WORKPLACE FOR WOMEN, CREATING EQUITABLE POLICIES FOR FAMILY LEAVE, GENDER REPRESENTATION IN MANAGEMENT, SUPPORTING WOMEN OF COLOUR, INDIGENOUS, BLACK WOMEN AND LGBTQS+ WOMEN, BOARD COMPOSITION OR TOPICS ON WELLNESS, MENTAL HEALTH OR ANYTHING ELSE CENTRED AROUND WOMEN, IT CAN’T BE ABOUT THE IDEAL WITHOUT BACKING IT UP WITH REAL ACTIONS AND POLICIES. ANNOUNCE THOSE CHANGES TOMORROW.

RESEARCH RELEASED BY IPOSOS CANADA LAST WEEK SHOWS ONE IN FIVE CANADIAN MEN BELIEVE FEMINISM DOES MORE HARM THAN GOOD AND ONE IN THREE MEN IN CANADA BELIEVE TRADITIONAL MASCULINITY IS UNDER THREAT. IT IS ABSOLUTELY MISGUIDED FOR MEN TO BELIEVE FEMINISM DOESN’T ALSO BENEFIT THEM - FEMINISM BENEFITS EVERYONE. WHILE IT MAY BE A CHALLENGE FOR THOSE THAT HAVE BENEFITED FROM THE INEQUITABLE TREATMENT OF WOMEN THEIR ENTIRE LIVES, IT'S AN ADJUSTMENT THAT MUST BE MADE AND MADE NOW. IF YOUR UNDERSTANDING AND FEELING OF MASCULINITY IS SO WEAK THAT THAT WOMEN WORKING OUT OF THE HOME, EARNING EQUAL PAY AND HAVING EQUAL RIGHTS IS SO DIFFICULT AS AN INDIVIDUAL, WHAT ARE CORPORATIONS, GOVERNMENTS AND SOCIETY DOING TO EDUCATE MEN SO THEY BECOME ALLIES TO WOMEN AND NOT OUR ACTIVE OPPOSITION? 

IF YOU ARE PLANNING AN EVENT FOR TOMORROW AND YOU NOW RECOGNIZE THAT AN ASPECT OF IT IS PROBLEMATIC, HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON NOW. NOT AN HOUR FROM NOW, BUT NOW. WE, THE WOMEN OF YOUR LIVES, YOUR EMPLOYEES, BOARD MEMBERS, SHAREHOLDERS, DAUGHTERS, SISTERS, FRIENDS, PARTNERS AND MORE WANT YOU TO SUCCESSFULLY CELEBRATE US ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY BUT IN WAYS THAT TRULY HONOUR AND RECOGNIZE US AND BACK IT UP WITH EQUITABLE POLICIES AND ACTIONS.

IT IS NO LONGER ENOUGH TO SAY YOU ARE A FEMINIST. SHOW US. SHOW US WITH YOUR ACTIONS AND NOT JUST YOUR WORDS. WOMEN ARE WAITING. OUR CHILDREN ARE WAITING. WAITING FOR YOU TO DO WHAT’S RIGHT. DO IT NOW.

SARAH ELDER-CHAMANARA

MADAME PREMIER

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