Moving Mountains Blog
March 8th marks International Women’s Day, a day to give the floor to women and the issues they face every day, share their experiences and generate conversation and change.
This year’s theme is Press For Progress, pushing the importance of continuing to move forward in gender parity.
While many women have undoubtedly made their mark in history in many ways, as inventors, teachers, engineers and advocates amongst others, we still face a glaring divide in how we’re viewed and treated worldwide. This is no new plight, as International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900s.
It’s vital to remember when we talk about women’s rights in 2018 that many of the rights and freedoms that we have today are still very much in their infancy. In Canada, women did not gain the right to vote until 1916, and even then, some provinces were much slower than others (Quebec, for example, took until 1940). That was just over 100 years ago and that’s in Canada, a country well known for its progressive and liberal nature.
So how did International Women’s Day come to be?
When 15,000 garment workers marched in New York City in 1908 in what is now known as the first International Women’s Day march, they did so because they were overworked, underpaid, and were not seen as equal given that they had no say in government (it wasn't until 1920 that the United States would grant them the right to vote). The march was a remarkable display of the power of people and the strength of their voices that benefit all generations that followed.
In 1910, spearheaded by Clara Zetkin, the Leader of the 'Women's Office' for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, a proposal was made to observe International Women’s Day annually and globally in order to drive attention and change to women’s rights.
Without women like her, it’s difficult to say how many years might have passed until International Women’s Day became the recognized movement it is today, as the United Nations did not officially proclaim March 8th as International Women’s Day until 1975.
What kind of change have women’s advocates aided since the first march?
In 1918, Margaret Sanger, a nurse known best for being the first woman to open a clinic advocating for birth control, won a case against the state of New York which then allowed doctors to begin advising their patients about the health benefits of using birth control. Sanger’s clinic would later become what we know today as Planned Parenthood.
In 1930, after advocating for women to be considered “persons” as described in the British North America Act, Cairine Reay Wilson became the first woman appointed to the Canadian Senate (as of January 2017 however; only 18.3% of government ministers are women, proving we still have a ways to go in giving women the opportunity to represent us in government).
1951 saw the enactment of the Fair Employment Practices Act and the Female Employees Fair Remuneration Act in Ontario which aimed to eliminate discrimination in the workforce and ultimately led to the passing of three vital acts:
1) The Canada Fair Employment Practices Act (1953)
2) The Female Employees Equal Pay Act (1956) which made wage discrimination based on sex against the law; and
3) The Employment Equity Act (1986) which requires federally regulated employers to identify and eliminate unnecessary barriers that limit employment opportunities
While we can all agree these have been great strides for women, (and I’d argue, humanity as a whole), we still have a long ways to go until we see true gender parity in Canada and globally.
What are some of the issues affecting Canadian women today?
Today, child care costs in Canada are some of the highest in the world, with Canadian women often bearing the brunt of the cost and often having to put their own careers on hold in order to care for their children and home.
Despite being more likely to graduate from post-secondary institutions, women are still being left out of the boardroom and away from key leadership positions in all facets of business and government.
On average, women still put in twice as many hours of unpaid work compared to men.
Violence against women affects almost half of all Canadians with minority groups at an even greater risk as seen with the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Notably, change is slow in government, but that’s all the more reason to stand up in support of women’s rights this March 8th and in all the days that follow; women’s rights are human rights, and simply, we all benefit from the equality women are fighting for.
If you’re looking for an event near you to participate in IWD, you can check out a comprehensive list of events here: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Events
We are getting into the Holiday spirt here at Moving Mountains and are thrilled to announce where our donations are currently going! For every piece sold we will be putting $5 towards purchasing from the Plan Canada Gifts of Hope Program. Specifically we have chosen to contribute to "The Moms Shop" which supports female entrepreneurship.
What will you see when you enter the mom shop? You’ll see entrepreneurial women carving out their own path and designing their own future. You’ll see mothers who are able to look after their families and keep their children nourished, healthy and in school.
The mom shop is in full swing in Peru and Pakistan, where mothers are carving out their own paths to a better future and better lives for their families. In Peru, the project is helping dozens of mothers weave their way to change. Fifty mothers received business training covering everything from artisan skills, self-esteem, teamwork, and communication to financial literacy, helping the women learn how to better market and sell their products.
The Mom Shop is one of Plan Canada's matched gifts! This means our donation will be matched with a donation by a government, foundation or organizational partner, giving more women the gift of hope, helping more families live better lives, and transforming more communities. This gift is matched 4:1, so each $75 contribution will be turned into $375!
This gift includes vocational training courses coupled with numeracy and financial literacy. It offers Village Savings and Loans programs that help women work together to create small business opportunities like making honey, peanut butter, clothing or soap – initiatives that are feeding families and providing an income.
Plan Canada believes that when girls are educated, healthy and empowered, they can lift themselves and everyone around them out of poverty.
Moving Mountains is excited to announce that we have partnered with Canadian Jewellery designer, Sarah Walsh, to create an exclusive collection of limited-time gemstone pieces in our Any Woman Can Collection. Sarah Walsh designs and hand crafts exquisite pieces incorporating gemstones and precious metals in her Ottawa studio.
Like us, Sarah recognizes the value of giving back to others and the impact that supporting women can have in our communities and globally. This joint belief has fueled this exclusive collection and mission to give back even more! With every purchase from the Any Woman Can Collection, we will be donating 100% of the profits to organizations supporting women and girls. We are honored that Sarah has created this limited collection to help us inspire, encourage, and support women to dream big, empower other women, and make the world a better place.
We really wanted these gemstone earrings to be special, so we have chosen to only offer 5 pairs of each style. Once they are gone, then they are gone!
All Moving Mountains pieces are meant to be tokens of love and encouragement, and the Any Woman Can collection is no different. Each gemstone has been sourced and selected for it postive properties and meanings in order to light up your heart and inspire your soul.
Any Woman can....
make a difference
love and be loved
create a new path
challenge the status quo
change the world.
We are so excited to announce the newest organizations we will be supporting!
Starting September 1st until November 30th, $5 from every Moving Mountains piece sold will be donated to Voicefound.
Founded in 2011, Voice Found is a national, survivor-led, charitable organization committed to the prevention of child sex abuse and commercial sexual exploitation. Over 90% of youth who are sex trafficked have a history of child sex abuse and they are committed to fighting both threats.
Voicefound envisions a Canada where children and youth grow into healthy adults and where those who’ve been sexually exploited get the support and care they deserve.
In May 2016, Voice Found launched The Hope Found Project serving Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. This project provides support for persons who have been sex trafficked or wish to exit the sex trade. Since the launch they have provided (and continue to provide) support to over 70 women and girls as they navigate their path to a life free from slavery.
Voice Found also delivers training and education across Canada to both individuals and organizations. As professionals with lived experience, they are often called upon to speak to a variety of audiences such as law enforcement, health care professionals and youth serving organizations.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED WITH VOICEFOUND?
They are always looking for additional support – whether hosting a third party fundraiser, volunteering or making a financial donation – each gift is greatly appreciated and helps them provide programs and services to victims of the most heinous of crimes.
To learn more about Voicefound, visit voicefound.ca
We are so excited to announce our next charity....
For the next few months, five dollars from every purchase will be donated to Canadian Women's Foundation!
The Canadian Women’s Foundation is Canada’s public foundation for women and girls.
They empower women and girls in Canada to move out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership. Thanks to the support of their donors, they have funded over 1,400 community programs across Canada and have become one of the 10 largest women’s foundations in the world.
The Canadian Women’s Foundation’s work:
Helping women move out of violence
The Foundation supports programs that help women and their children rebuild their lives after experiencing violence, and that teach youth how to develop healthy relationships.
Helping women move out of poverty
Women can get the support they need to move out of poverty through programs that help them start a small business, get work experience, or enter the skilled trades. They are also offered other essential supports like childcare, interest-free loans, mentorships, and financial literacy workshops.
Helping women move into leadership
Many of the programs the Foundation supports offer opportunities for women and girls to take on leadership. The Canadian Women’s Foundation Leadership Institute offers professional leadership training for women who work in the non-profit sector.
Helping girls move into confidence
The Canadian Women’s Foundation helps girls in Canada move into confidence by funding dynamic programs that engage their bodies, minds, and spirits. In these programs, girls can explore science and technology, play sports, learn to think critically, or take on leadership, in a supportive all-girl environment.
We at Moving Mountains are so grateful for the work that the Canadian Women's Foundation does and we are so excited to be supporting their work through our inspirational and empowering pieces for the coming months!