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International Women’s Day event in Charlottetown focuses on #MeToo



(In the photos above, we asked Islanders to reflect on what International Women’s Day means to them. Photos by Emily Acorn and Grace Gormley) 

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - It’s a historic time for women around the world, said the MC at Thursday’s International Women’s Day event in Charlottetown.

Bollywood dancers Garima Mishra, left, and Rinku Upadhyaya strike a pose prior to the International Women’s Day event held at Trinity United Church in Charlottetown on Thursday. Their performance certainly jazzed up the crowd because everyone joined in.
Bollywood dancers Garima Mishra, left, and Rinku Upadhyaya strike a pose prior to the International Women’s Day event held at Trinity United Church in Charlottetown on Thursday. Their performance certainly jazzed up the crowd because everyone joined in.

“This year, International Women’s Day comes on the heels of an unprecedented movement for women’s rights,’’ said Farahnaz Rezaci.

“Equality and justice, sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women has captured headlines and there is a public demand for change.’’

Anyone who has been following the news, especially the entertainment news in the United States, is all too aware of those headlines. Multiple celebrities have been accused of sexual harassment. Accusations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein helped create the powerful #MeToo movement.

“People around the world are mobilizing for a future that is more equal,’’ Rezaci said.

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Jillian Kilfoil, executive director of Women’s Network P.E.I., echoed Rezaci’s comments.

“We’re in the midst of a cultural shift,’’ Kilfoil said, noting that much more needs to be done to protect women in the home and at the workplace. “We can see and feel the change.’’

Thursday’s event included Bollywood dancing by Garima Mishra and Rinku Upadhyaya, which featured audience participation, and a Bboyizm demonstration by 10-year-old Jordan Legere. The gender neutral version of O Canada! was also played, as was a touching screening of the Canada Heritage Minute vignette featuring Lucy Maud Montgomery talking about her passion for the Island and battle with depression.

The International Women’s Day event in Charlottetown on Thursday included many fun activities. Here, 10-year-old Jordan Legere gives a Bboyizm demonstration.
The International Women’s Day event in Charlottetown on Thursday included many fun activities. Here, 10-year-old Jordan Legere gives a Bboyizm demonstration.

Yvonne Deagle, chairwoman of the Advistory Council on the Status of Women, said the event was titled Time to Make Waves because it’s time for women to stand up for their rights.

“I think women really have to make the effort to put it out there,’’ Deagle said. “We need to get together and support one another and be strong for each other, not only here but all around the world.’’

While women have made and continue to make strides, Deagle said there is plenty left to do. She pointed to poverty and equality as two of the bigger issues.

“I think my main concern would be to make sure that the movement keeps going.

“I think the #MeToo movement has brought a lot of (issues) out that people weren’t aware of (with) all of the scandals that are going on. I think that has helped. Unfortunately, it shouldn’t have come to this but it’s here and it’s creating a lot of publicity. It shows that we are done (accepting this behaviour).’’

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It appears that Bollywood dancing is infectious. Everyone attending the International Women’s Day event in Charlottetown got in on the fun when Bollywood dancers Garima Mishra and Rinku Upadhyaya, not pictured, got up to perform.
It appears that Bollywood dancing is infectious. Everyone attending the International Women’s Day event in Charlottetown got in on the fun when Bollywood dancers Garima Mishra and Rinku Upadhyaya, not pictured, got up to perform.

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