Tag Archives: International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day!

8 Mar

Happy International Women’s Day!  I hope that you take some time today to honour and celebrate the women in your lives.

At Nellie’s it is humbling and empowering to work with women everyday who show strength and courage when faced with the very difficult decision to leave an abusive situation and come to our shelter.  Today I would like to honour these women as well as the caring and dedicated staff who support them through their journey towards a new life.

On behalf of everyone at Nellie’s, I would like to wish you a joyful, exciting, and empowering International Women’s Day!

– Margarita Mendez, Executive Director

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International Women’s Day Around Toronto

2 Mar

As a global celebration, International Women’s Day provides us with the opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the status of women both at home and around the world.  At home in Toronto and here at Nellie’s one of the ways we acknowledge International Women’s Day as a day of solidarity with our allies and friends working to end Violence and all forms of oppression against Women.  This is why:

In 2011 at Nellie’s…
– 137 women and 24 children accessed shelter services
– 260 women sought support through our Housing Access Programs
– 249 women joined us at Nellie’s events
– 2025 women called our 24-hour crisis line

Tomorrow, Saturday March 3rd Nellie’s is participating in International Women’s Day Toronto.  This event will begin at 11:00am with a rally at OISE (252 Bloor Street W). At 1:00pm  participants will march to Ryerson University and at 2:00pm there will be a celebration and fair at the Ryerson Student Centre (55 Gould St).  The theme for this year’s event is “Reclaim our City: Good Jobs, Services, Dignity.  Together we are Stronger.”

Nellie’s is proud to participate in this event with many other women’s organizations around the city including: The Ryerson Women’s CentreThe North York Women’s Shelter, and YWCA Toronto.   If you’re at the fair on Saturday, please make sure to come by the Nellie’s booth to say hi!

In addition, here are some other great events happening in the city to Celebrate IWD!

– Exposed: The Female  Perspective & Voices – Art Show celebrating IWD at Steam Whistle Brewery.  Show runs all of March.  Details here.

– The Centre for Women’s Studies in Education presents The F Word. Performances March 8th-11th at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.  Details here.

– Screening of Miss Representation film followed by panel discussion at U of T Hart House, March 8th.  Details here.

– Gender at the Crossroads: Women and Culture at the Centre of a Changing Southeast Asia exhibit and talk at Art Square Gallery, March 8th.  Details here.

However you choose to celebrate, we hope your International Women’s Day is a great one!

International Women’s Day Blog Series Begins

1 Mar

Today marks the one-week countdown to International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day is  important at Nellie’s because it offers us an opportunity to pause, reflect, and celebrate the great strides and achievements made by women, while renewing our efforts to continue to work for women’s equality, justice and peace.

The idea of having a Women’s Day began in the early 1900’s as a response to the rapid changes and deteriorating conditions that were occuring in women’s lives as a result of industrialization. The United States first recognized International Women’s Day in 1909, with Europe following a few years later. The United Nations officially marked the day in 1975, with Canada following shortly afterwards to recognize March 8th as International Women’s Day.

Here are some reasons why International Women’s Day remains important today:

1) Around the world a woman dies in childbirth or complications from childbirth every 90 seconds.
2) Of the world’s 1.3 billion poor people, it is estimated that nearly 70% are women.
3) Of the world’s nearly one billion illiterate adults, two-thirds are women
4) In most countries (including Canada) women work approximately twice the unpaid time (ie: childcare and housework) that men do.
5) An estimated 20 million unsafe abortions are performed worldwide every year, resulting in the deaths of 70,000 women.
6) Each year an estimated two million girls suffer the practice of female genital mutilation.
7) Worldwide, 20-50% of women experience violence during marriage.
(Source: Women at a Glace, United Nations Report.)

Whether it’s speaking out about violence against women, demanding better access to pre and post-natal healthcare, encouraging more women to enter the political sphere and leadership roles, or educating young girls and boys about sexism, heterosexism, racism and other discriminatory behaviour, International Women’s Day presents an opportunity to start and continue the conversation about gender roles and gender equality.

Over the next 7 days we look forward to celebrating the achievements of women and joining with other women’s organizations in a committment to a future where everyone has a chance to thrive and prosper in peace and equality.  Stay tuned tomorrow for information on International Women’s Day celebrations in the GTA.

Introducing Nellie’s Social Justice Series

26 Jan

Nellie’s mission reflects our vision for social change through education and advocacy, to achieve social justice for all women and children. This year we’re very excited to launch a new blog series that will focus on  this work  through the action and accomplishments of Nellie’s Social Justice Committee.

The Social Justice Committee is comprised of staff and community volunteers who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in areas such as feminism, anti-oppression training, counselling, education, advocacy, business, law, program management, and journalism.  Members meet every month to: discuss relevant issues; conduct research; develop Nellie’s position papers; plan and attend social justice community events and action; work with various community partners to build coalitions; engage in public policy consultations; and raise awareness on racism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, colonialism, and sexism and how these issues impact women and children.

In 2011, some key committee accomplishments of the committee included:

– Attendance at Community Events including Take Back the Night, International Women’s Day March and Fair, Dyke March, and Toronto Pride Week

Community Election Forum and Poverty Reduction Forum for women at the shelter and in the community

– Presentation of Nellie’s Women and Mental Health Position Paper at the Psych Out Conference in New York

-Research and writing of Nellie’s Women & Accessibility Paper that is scheduled to be released in April 2012

All the work done by the committee is rooted in the community and informed by the experiences of the women and children we work with.  The events we participate in and plan seek to engage and empower residents and clients of Nellie’s to use their voice to speak out and participate in change, all while moving towards our goal of economic and political equality for all women and children.

This year Nellie’s Social Justice Committee will be providing a formal blog update once a month on Thursdays.  Our first blog series will be out in February for Black History Month.

Stay tuned!  If you want to make sure you don’t miss any of our posts, you can subscribe to our blog by clicking the link on the right.