International Women’s Day 2018

 

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the globe every March 8th. International Women’s Day is a celebration of the contributions of women to society, especially in politics, culture, economics and other areas traditionally closed to women or where the achievements of women were ignored. IWD is also a chance to focus on the continuing battle for gender equality.

The inequality of opportunity for women, and of course outcome, is unacceptable in modern democracies, and worse in other parts of the world. According to the United Nations, “Today, gender inequality is rife: 1 in 3 women experience violence in their lifetime; 830 women die every day from preventable pregnancy-related causes; and only 1 in 4 parliamentarians worldwide are women. It will be 2086 before we close the gender pay gap if present trends continue with no action.” Those are just a fraction of the statistics which demonstrate the continuing need to stand up against inequality.

The struggle for women’s rights is a struggle for human rights. All people, men as well as women, should stand together and demand change.

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Freedom to Read Week

Freedom to Read Week 2018

It is Freedom to Read Week in Canada.  We take time this week to celebrate some of our fundamental rights and freedoms, including the freedom to read whatever we choose to read. As citizens of a liberal democracy, we require access to information and ideas, free from state interference or censorship. Take some time this week to reflect on your Freedom to Read.

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Freedom to Read Week

Women’s March

Women’s Marches took place this past weekend around the country and around the world. Hundreds of thousands of women joined in solidarity in cities like Vancouver and others around Canada, the United States and across the globe. The Women’s March of 2018 was the first anniversary of the Women’s March that took place last year, with much of the impetus coming from protests against the policies of the new U.S. President.  In the year that followed the news has been dominated by  issues related to the equality and rights of women, making this year’s march as important as ever.

source: CBC
source: CBC

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Human Rights Day

source: United Nations

On this day in 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.

Article 1.

  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood

Article 2.

  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty

Article 3.

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Click here for the full text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Click here for the history of, and other information about, the UDHR. And click here for more information about Human Rights Day.

Banned Books Week

In the United States the American Library Association presents Banned Books Week, September 24 to 30. 

From the ALA: Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, will be held the week of September 24th in 2017. For this year’s celebration, the coalition of organizations that sponsors Banned Books Week will emphasize the importance of the First Amendment, which guarantees our inherent right to read.

People in Canada and around the world stand with Americans who are celebrating and standing up for their right to read. As Canadians we can also celebrate our rights, and learn more about what we need to do to protect those rights.

Freedom to Read Week

Freedom To Read Week 2017
Freedom To Read Week 2017

Canada’s Freedom to Read Week is February 26 to March 4, 2017.

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects your freedom to read and many other hard fought liberties that sometimes we take for granted as Canadians. Know your rights and freedoms. Cherish them. Protect them. Exercise them.

Find out more: freedomtoreadweek.ca

Human Rights Day

source: United Nations

On this day in 1948 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.

Article 1.

  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood

Article 2.

  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty

Article 3.

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Click here for the full text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Click here for the history of, and other information about, the UDHR. And click here for more information about Human Rights Day.

source: United Nations

International Day of the Girl

source: UNICEF

The United Nations has declared October 11 to be the International Day of the Girl Child. The day was first celebrated in 2012, as an opportunity to recognize the rights of girls, to raise awareness about the challenges that they face around the world, and to celebrate our daughters, sisters, friends and students. Sadly, girls around the world daily face discrimination, violence and the violation of their human rights.

The theme for 2015 is:  The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030.

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Freedom to Read Week

What do the following titles have in common?

harry mock rye tale bibl orig


munroAll of these are titles which have been challenged.  Somewhere in Canada in the past 30 years, individuals or groups have tried to have these books removed from schools, libraries and bookstores.  The list of challenged authors includes Canadian Alice Munro, the 2013 Nobel Laureate for Literature.

International Day of the Girl Child

The United Nations has declared October 11 to be the International Day of the Girl Child. The day was first celebrated in 2012, as an opportunity to recognize the rights of girls, to raise awareness about the challenges that they face around the world, and to celebrate our daughters, sisters, friends and students. Sadly, girls around the world daily face discrimination, violence and the violation of their human rights.

The theme for 2014 is “Empowering adolescent girls: Ending the cycle of violence” – See more at the United Nations page on International Day of the Girl Child.

reasonsforgirlsday
A Dozen Reasons for International Day of the Girl. Click the image for more info. (source: dayofthegirl.org)

We can be thankful that Canada is amongst the leaders of the world in protecting the rights of girls.Yet even here there is more work to be done, and certainly we must continue to fight for the rights of girls around the world.


Empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights”

-United Nations Resolution 66/170