Naomi’s takes annual celebration online

·2 min read

Naomi’s Family Resource Centre (NFRC) found a new way to celebrate International Women’s Day this year. With COVID-19 restrictions making large in-person events impossible, NFRC staff chose to focus on eight days of raising awareness through social media platforms Facebook and Twitter. Each day, from March 1 until International Women’s Day on March 8, the local women’s shelter shared posts acknowledging the accomplishments of several Canadian women. In order of appearance, NFRC celebrated Jeanne Mance, Grace Annie Lockhart, Agnes Campbell Macphail, Doris Anderson, Thérèse Casgrain, Rosemary Brown, and Alberta’s Famous Five: Emily Murphy, Nellie McClung, Louise McKinney, Irene Parlby, and Henrietta Muir Edwards. Macphail was the first woman elected to the House of Commons, one of the first two women elected to the Ontario Legislature, the first female member of a Canadian delegation to the League of Nations, a founding member of what is now the New Democratic Party (NDP), a pacifist, an advocate for prison reform, and the champion of the first equal pay legislation in 1951. Anderson was a journalist, editor, and author focused on advancing the rights and concerns of women. She tackled issues such as abortion, divorce, sexuality, and women’s work-life during her time as the editor of Chatelaine. She served as president of the Canadian Advisory Committee on the Status of Women and of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. She received the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case. Casgrain was an activist, radio host, and political leader who helped found the Provincial Franchise Committee for Women’s Suffrage in 1921. She hosted a prominent radio program called Fémina for Radio-Canada. She was the first woman to be elected leader of a political party in Canada. She fought for social, economic, and political justice for all. Brown was the first black woman elected to public office in Canada. She entered politics via the NDP in 1972. She fought to remove sexism from textbooks used in British Columbia schools and she pushed for legislation to end discrimination based on sex or marital status. On March 8, local women were invited to visit Winchester’s The Planted Arrow Flowers and Gifts or Main Street Clothing to collect a free rose in celebration of International Women’s Day. “What I wanted more than anything was to be able to look after myself and make sure that every other woman in the world could do the same.” This is an excerpt from Anderson’s book, Rebel Daughter. Anderson was spotlighted by NFRC on March 4.

Sandy Casselman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chesterville Record