Education and Awareness

 


 DAUGHTER'S DAY 

 The Daughters Day initiative is a result of ICWA’s project titled, “Elimination of Harmful Cultural Practices.”  For the project community consultations were conducted with prominent male community leaders from the South Asian community.  We invited them to discuss what steps they can take to publically acknowledge the importance of women’s rights and to address to issue of violence against immigrant women through education and awareness. They were willing to assist and were very supportive of our project. Shortly after our initial meeting, the Daughters Day public awareness campaign took off.

 Honorable City Mayor, Stephen Mandel has proclaimed the day as Daughter’s Day. A meeting of 47 representatives from various community services organizations was held on September 21, 2011 at City Hall to plan the event. It was decided to have an annual celebration of Daughter's Day on a Saturday in the first week of September. The inaugural Daughter's Day was celebrated on September 1, 2012 at Churchill Square.

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There was consensus that any initiative to reduce violence against women must involve supportive men as many harmful cultural practices are sustained by traditional definitions of manhood connected with dominance and male honor. Furthermore, some traditional gender roles imply that women are property of men and therefore men have a duty “to keep their women in line”. As researcher Micheal Floods states that, practices such as honor killing of wives, dowry related violence and forced marriage are often perpetuated directly by men, while other practices such as sex selective abortion and early marriage of girl children are perpetuated with men’s involvement and complicity.

 In 2012, over 400 Edmontonians gathered in Churchill Square to promote gender equality and recognize the important contributions that women make to Canadian society. The mayor of Slave Lake, Karina Pillay-Kinnee, was the keynote speaker and representatives from all levels of government were present to show their support. Awards were presented for  “Daughter’s of the Year to Romuna Monzur, Renee Vaugeois, Faye Dewar.  Recipients of the award all displayed courage and are strong advocates and role model of women and girls everywhere. There were also other speakers, music and performances celebrating women.

 The mission of Daughter's Day is elimination of gender inequality, violence, and discrimination against girls and women at home, at school, in the workplace, and on the street. We will also be celebrating achievements and successes of girls and women on Daughter's Day. We also observe that the issues of gender inequality, as well as violence against girls, have drawn the attention of United Nations and most recently the governments representing G20 countries.

We are pleased that our project could launch this community led awareness campaign.

To learn more about the Daughters Day Initiative please visit the following:

Website: http://www.daughters-day.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daughtersday?sk=info

 

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY 

 Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Across the world, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the achievements of women. Over the last 20 years, ICWA celebrates IWD and have had the honour of hosting women leaders, from different walks of life, to address our members and guests at our IWD banquet to mark the achievements of women and to face the emerging challenges that confront women throughout the globe. In past years, key note presenters have included: Honourable Ann McLellan, Honourable Flora McDonald, Honourable Rachel Notley, author, Nelofer Pazira, Senator Mobina Jaffer and Minister Christina Gray.

 
Those women who have participated in our past IWD events have played the dual role of educating and inspiring our members, which include primarily Alberta based immigrant and also non-immigrant women as well as the advocates, activists, professionals and academics who support them and are engaged in struggles to promote gender justice and end violence against women at all levels, Our record of activities speaks to the seriousness with which ICWA has involved itself in community based struggles to respond to the needs of women in our Edmonton community (and beyond) facing violence, discrimination or other structural barriers that many new immigrant women to Canada experience on a daily basis.