International Women’s Day

March 8, 2018

Today, March 8, we’re celebrating International Women’s Day.


The first International Women’s Day took place on March 19, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland, but it wasn’t until 1975 that the United Nations recognized it as an official day.


Over the years, there have been many Canadian women in history who have made profound impacts on our culture and society. Here are just a few of the women we’re honouring this International Women’s Day:


  • Doris Anderson, a long-time editor for Chatelaine who was responsible for women getting equality rights included in the Charter of Rights and Freedom.

  • Thérèse Casgrain, an activist who helped found the Provincial Franchise Committee for Women’s Suffrage in 1921 and later hosted Fémina Radio-Canada. She was also the first female leader of a political party in Canada.

  • Ga’axstal’as, Jane Constance Cook, who lobbied for First Nations people to retain rights of access to land and resources. She was the only woman on the executive of the Allied Indian Tribes of British Columbia in 1922.

  • Viola Desmond, who took a stand against racial segregation in Halifax in 1946. She was in a movie theatre and refused to move to the part of the theatre set aside for Black patrons. She was dragged out of the theatre and jailed, but her stand inspired Nova Scotia’s Black population to fight for change. In 1954, segregation was legally ended in Nova Scotia.

  • Hannah (Annie) Gale, who was the first alderwoman in the British Empire and the first woman elected to municipal office in the British Empire. She also helped establish the Women’s Ratepayers’ Association.


Of course, this is just a handful of the women in history who have greatly influenced the feminist movement in Canada over the past century. Many more have fought for women’s equality and continue to do so. Today on International Women’s Day, and every day, we honour them.


How can you celebrate International Women’s Day in Canada?

  • Honour a woman in your life and take time to recognize just how far the women’s rights movement has come!

  • Check out these events happening across the country or look for local action near you.

  • Share your support on social media — #MyFeminism is the hashtag for the Canadian International Women’s Day and #PressforProgress is the hashtag for the global event.

  • Wear a purple — purple is the colour of gender equality and women’s empowerment. You may be able to find a purple ribbon to wear on your lapel.



Share with us on social media how you’re celebrating — we’re @KerrsCandy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.