International Women’s Day about inspiring change

Community celebration on March 7 at Amherst Liosn Club

Darrell Cole
Published on February 24, 2014
International Women’s Day committee members (front, from left) Terri Cove, Ruthie Patriquin, Michelle Landry, Const. Tom Wood, Wallie Simieritsch, Karen LeBlanc and Barb Baxter look over plans for the community celebration on March 7 at the Amherst Lions Club. The noon luncheon runs from 12 to 1:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to wear a hat from the past to enter a draw for a prize.
Darrell Cole -

International Women' Day will celebrate inspiring change on March 7.

AMHERST – From the first time it was observed, International Women’s Day has seen many changes in how women are viewed and treated. But organizers of local festivities say there’s still much work to be done.

The Amherst International Women’s Day luncheon will take place on Friday, March 7 at the Amherst Lions Community Centre from noon to 1:30 p.m.

There will be chili, soup and cake, raffle tickets, door prizes and a 50/50 draw. There’s no admission fee, but a free will donation to Autumn House will be appreciated.

“It’s important to continue to raise awareness of the accomplishments and struggles that women have had over the years,” Terri Cove, executive director of Autumn House, said. “We need to continue to reinforce the value of women in society and the contributions they have made and continue to make to our community.”

Clare Christie will be the guest speaker, appearing in period custom as writer Grace McLeod Rogers. Christie wrote a 20-minute play depicting Grace in 1938 at age 75.

Born in Queen’s County, Rogers lived in Amherst from around 1891 to 1911, where she penned several books, magazine articles and historical booklets.

She was Nova Scotia’s first woman candidate to stand in a provincial election.

Cove said the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day festivities, Inspiring Change, is very telling of how attitudes have changed. But it’s also a reminder that the road to true equality is still a long run that will be at times bumpy and filled with potholes.

“It’s important that we talk about all the changes that our predecessors brought about and all the improvements that have been made in lives of women and we must celebrate those accomplishments,” Wallie Simieritsch said.

Simieritsch said there are many things Canadians take for granted, such as access to health care and education, that many women around the globe can only dream about achieving.

Ruthie Patriquin, who runs the Sexual Health Centre for Cumberland, said it’s important to continue celebrating the gains women have had while maintaining the pressure for change – especially when it comes to sexual violence and bullying.

While the women’s day event will be all about celebrating the gains that have been made, she said past struggles as well as those in the future will be key.

Patriquin said the celebration is about celebrating women, but stressed it’s actually a community event for both women and men.

“It’s women’s day, but it’s not just for women,” Patriquin said. “It’s all about community and what we can do to improve our homes for everyone and inspire change in our community.”

Twitter: @ADNdarrell