Full house in Salmon Arm celebrates International Women’s Day

People packed the Shuswap Pie Company Friday evening where they heard stories of injustice, stories of hope and success, along with encouragement for change.

The SAFE Society once again marked International Women’s Day with an event well-attended by both men and women, featuring refreshments and music interspersed with speakers.

During her welcome, Paige Hilland spoke about the theme, Balance for Better, and how men’s involvement in advancing parity for women is essential for change.

Read more: Women strike on International Women’s Day

Colleen Making talked about the heartbreaking stories she continues to hear about how society treats women and thinks of women, and how advertising portrays women.

“I think it takes all of us in the community to change that.”

She pointed out that girls and young women are encouraged to be safe, not to park their cars in dark areas, to always be sure they’re aware of their surroundings.

To applause, she asked why it is that we teach girls not to be a victim, instead of teaching boys, don’t rape.

Read more: Secwépemc youth singers read for the stage during International Women’s Day

Cindy Derkaz spoke about her early years as a lawyer in Salmon Arm, when she was not permitted to attend social gatherings of lawyers or join organizations her male colleagues were, nor was she taken seriously by male clients.

She said one of the most blatant experiences was when a one-month exchange to France was circulated by the Rotary Club so, realizing she qualified, she wrote a letter of application. The application was returned to her, unopened, with a handwritten note attached stating it was only for men. When the French contingent arrived in the Shuswap, it contained both men and women.

Read more: International Women’s Day celebrated around the world

Derkaz said she relates these situations to explain they have made her a stronger feminist and a stronger advocate for social justice. One of the ways she did that was to make a decision when she was practising law that if a woman in Salmon Arm needed her legal help but couldn’t afford her bill, she would help anyway. She also decided she would always support women’s organizations and she would encourage young women to achieve their goals. She said she would always be supportive of her female friends, to listen, to be non-judgmental and to be kind.

Derkaz also encouraged her audience to call out bullying whenever they witness it.

“And most importantly,” she said, “whenever we have a choice, we can make the choice that’s going to empower women. Maybe it will put ourselves out, maybe we won’t look quite as good, but why don’t we help women get ahead.”

Music throughout the evening was provided by Making Do, and several people in attendance took time out to have their photos taken with signs about empowering women which were then posted on the SAFE Society’s Facebook page.


@SalmonArm
marthawickett@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Rock slide forces rural Keremeos residents to leave their homes

Witness describes boulders bigger than her car

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: goodbye sun, hello rain

Environement Canada forcasts clouds and rain for the weekend and beyond

Okanagan College to develop wellness strategy for drug use

The Kelowna campus has 28 employees trained in the use of naloxone.

Ranch’s plan to use processed human waste fertilizer prompts concern in Turtle Valley

Turtle Valley residents invited to hear facts around biosolids

Downed powerline delaying Highway 1 traffic

Traffic heading west from Salmon Arm slowed at Squilax-Anglemont bridge

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

UPDATE: Destructive blaze in West Kelowna

A unit of a condo complex is on fire in West Kelowna

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Pet Planet picks up Okanagan’s cannabis for pets

True Leaf Medicine International expands retail distribution to 3,500 stores worldwide

AquaVan comes to Okanagan Science Centre

200-litre mobile touch tank allows you to get up-close with marine invertebrates

Army of support behind Black Press saleswoman battling cancer

GoFundMe helps empower Sue Folliott’s fight

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Most Read