International Women's Day

International Women’s Day rally brings calls for gender equality

Activists get loud at International Women’s Day in Halifax

A large crowed gathered in Grand Parade Square, downtown Halifax, in solidarity on International Women's Day
A large crowed gathered at Grand Parade Square in downtown Halifax to show solidarity on International Women’s Day.   Danielle Cameron

Women in Halifax called out for equal rights and opportunities at a rally on International Women’s Day.

Politicians, labour leaders, student leaders and others stood in Grand Parade Square Tuesday and talked about the numerous systemic barriers that women face.

“Women have always been workers in so many different ways, because women have always been workers but most never got any pay,” sang a chorus of women who took the stage.

According to Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report from Statistics Canada, in the mid-2000s women under 30 working full time earned just 85 cents for each dollar earned by men.

About 67 per cent of women continue to be employed in fields that have traditionally been seen as “female” positions, including nursing, teaching, clerical and administrative roles, and health-related careers.

Michaela Sam, chairwoman for the Canadian Federation of Students in Nova Scotia, was there fighting for Bill 114, proposed legislation to make campuses safer for women.

Many in the crowd urged Kelly Regan, minister of labour and advanced education, to sign Bill 114.
Many in the crowd urge Kelly Regan, minister of labour and advanced education, to pass Bill 114.   Danielle Cameron

“Violence against women is the most widespread and persistent human rights violation in the world,” she said. “In Canada, around 50 per cent of women will experience violence at some point in their lives – most before the age of 25.”

New Democrat MLA Lenore Zann said women have come a long way, but there’s still much work to be done. “Today, I’m going to try and change the world,” she sang.

Lenore Zann sings to the crowd.
Lenore Zann sings to the crowd.   Danielle Cameron