International Women’s Day: Honoring the Diverse Struggles and Experiences of All Women!
On Saturday March 10 from 11am-4pm at Westlake Park in downtown Seattle, Occupy Seattle Gender Equality Caucus will host a day in solidarity with International Women’s Day. Organizer Teah O’Neill says, “there is no single ‘woman experience’. This gathering is for the community to honor the diverse struggles and contributions of women around the world who are taking on leadership roles in unprecedented numbers.”
O’Neill believes that women continually find themselves at the bottom of every system including economic, health, education, and social/humanitarian services. Those entrenched to the lowest parts of these systems are disproportionally women who are of color, transgendered, immigrant, and/or disabled. According to O’Neill, the institutionalization of women is present everywhere and takes the form of attacks on abortion and birth control, increasing violence against women, and the trafficking of millions of women and girls as literal chattel in the international sex and garment industries. Additionally, transgendered and transsexual people as well as others who do not conform to traditional patriarchal gender and sexual norms are demonized and threatened on a regular basis. Organizer Rose Harriot asserts, “with this event we will unite and rise up because it is long overdue to eliminate the divide and conquer tactics that have kept women from all walks of life apart.”
The all day event blends music, art, poetry, speakers and speak-outs, creating a space for the different experiences actually lived by women. Speakers include Choctaw-Navajo Patricia Ann Davis on having an indigenous lens over gender relations, medical provider Deb Oyer on comprehensive reproductive health/justice, immigrant rights activist María Guillén Valdovinos on immigration and detention, Dorli Rainey on her work with the Equal Rights Amendment, and COYOTE founder Margo St. James on sex-worker rights. Amber Flame is on the line up of poets, and local musical talents include Gravey Grime Girls and Baron DeKalb.
For those who question if women and gender issues are a part of the Occupy movement, organizer Kristin Moon answers, “Occupy is concerned with the liberation of all people in every community across the globe. Over and over again women are shoved to the side, but a compassionate understanding of our individual and collective experiences unites us all to join hands and harness the power to fight back against the tides of all oppression!”
Occupy Seattle Gender Equality Caucus invites you to join this international celebration of women in the spirit of unity that is everyone together honoring women and their unique experiences. For more information about the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
From: Gender Equality Caucus of Occupy Seattle