International Women’s Day March Happening This Sunday

Intersectionality at the Forefront

Women representing different feminist organizations join hands in unity. Photo Kaity Brady

The committee Women of Diverse Origins gathered on March 5 to announce the annual demonstration for International Women’s Rights Day in Montreal. The march will begin at 1 p.m. this Sunday, March 8, at Cabot Square.

Organizers met at the Immigrant Worker’s Centre in Côte-Des-Neiges to discuss the many faces of violence against women in Quebec and around the world.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented number of popular movements with women at the forefront,” the group said in a statement, referencing fights against systemic violence led by women in Chile, Palestine, Haiti, Iran, the Philippines, and India.

“The demonstration is being held to raise awareness and mobilize support for on-going resistances against patriarchy, colonialism, capitalism, imperialism and racism,” they said.

Thelma Castro, of PINAY, a Filipino women’s organization, and Women of Diverse Origins, wants to raise awareness about women fighting the Duterte regime in the Philippines. “The defenders of human rights, women activists, lawyers, and anyone who is working with the people, are either jailed, disappeared or harassed and nobody knows about it,” she said.

Castro draws a link between injustice abroad and here in Quebec. When people flee violence in their home countries and come here to work, they face racism and oppression, pointing to the exploitation of immigrant workers.

The group cites what they say is “institutionalized bigotry” in the form of legislation like Law 21, and points out four women have been murdered by men in Quebec in recent months.

WDO also stands with Indigenous peoples and matriarchs of Turtle Island as they resist centuries of colonialism and environmental destruction at the hands of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Marlene Hale of the Wet’suwet’en nation spoke about the power of women coming together.

“As women, we all face many obstacles in our lives from nation to nation, worldwide. We have seen exactly what action can be taken when all people stand together in solidarity,” she said.

Sunday’s demonstration will begin with speakers, songs, and dances before the march.