Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Women's Day: 100 Years of Activism and Celebration

2011 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day!! March 8th has always held a special place in my heart, and no matter where I am or what I am doing I try to always find a way to acknowledge it. Whether it was my uber activism days selling candles by donation for a local women's shelter at my community college, organizing a campus wide protest at my University in response to a string of sexual harassment reports, or simply baking women's symbol cookies for my co-workers and educating them on the history of this very special day...March 8th has always been, and always will be very dear to my heart.

Some of you may ask why do we still need to celebrate it? Haven't we come so far? Achieved so much? Well lets start with the positives...YES much has changed for women, and THANK GOD!
  • Women are entering new and exciting positions in the work force
  • Women are becoming more and more active in politics
  • Female musicians are proving they can rock as hard as the boys (and not have to be half naked to do it, thanks Karen O!)
  • Various NGO's are working hard to improve the literacy and education rates of young girls in developing countries
  • Mandatory training is being put in place for our police forces to train them to deal with sexual and domestic violence in productive, healing and constructive ways
  • Gay, lesbian, and transgender rights are (slowly) emerging as a strong sub-culture of the women's movement, with gay marriage rights being won and rightfully celebrated
  • Women centred AIDS/HIV education and awareness programs are being developed to empower girls and young women around the world
  • Numerous programs such as Shanti Uganda have been created to foster the development of unique employment/education/empowerment programs for young women and girls


Yet sadly there is still SO much work that needs to be done. Overseas and right here in our very own countries as well. DO NOT BE DELUDED! All is not well, all of our rights have not been won, do NOT be complacent. Educate yourself, educate your children.  Look out at the world around you and ask yourself "Is this the world I want my daughters to inherit? How can we work to make it better?" Yes, many steps forward have been made but put on your critical thinking caps for a moment with me...
I like facts. Cold, hard, concrete, statistical FACTS that I can sink my teeth into. Show me that women are equal. PROVE IT TO ME, because the below FACTS don't point in the direction of equality:
In a 2010 speech by President Barak Obama:
  • working women in the USA made 0.77 cents to every dollar a man made 
  • 1 in 4 American women would become a victim of violence in her lifetime
  • women make up more then 50% of the American population but comprise less then 17% of congress and less then 3% of Fortune 500 CEO's
And in more recent SHOCKING news, there are those in government who feel American women should be SENTENCED TO DEATH for having a miscarriage:

And our Canadian sisters don't have it any better:
  • Men with the same degrees as women are more then TWICE as likely to obtain a higher paying job
  • funding to women's shelters and rape crisis centres has been SLASHED across the country
  • national childcare programs have been SLASHED making it harder for women to equally compete in the work force
  • as of a 2010 Canadian census, we too also make a measly 0.77 cents on average to every dollar a man makes
  • Domestic violence rates continue at a staggering rate. Between 1994 and 2008 alone, 178 Canadian women were killed EACH YEAR! That's over 3,000 women's lives, taken because of violence against women
And it is not just Women in North American that continue to suffer:
  • rates of HIV/AIDS around the world continue to rise as funding to sexual education classes for girls is cut
  • rape continues to be a systematic part of uncontrolled political war fare
  • boy children continue to receive better access to education then girls
  • and sadly the list just goes on
BUT there are STRONG women out there. Women who are fighting every day, women who inspire, encourage and empower. We should learn from these women, support these women, emulate these women:

Not everyone is meant to be a selfless champion for women's rights. Not everyone can be a full time activist, giving themselves fully to the cause. I know I can't. I tried, and admittedly failed. BUT in that trying I reached out to and empowered SO many other women. And I learned that it doesn't always have to be HUGE grandiose, life changing steps that we take. Sometimes the smallest action can create long lasting ripples....that affect us all. So I still do my part, in smaller ways, but I still do what I can. I educate myself, and those round me. I am aware. I speak up. I DEMAND better. I VOTE!

What can you do? How can you positively affect the life of a young girl today? Or of a women in need? Who will your ripples touch?

To celebrate International Women's Day today I am offering the first ten commenter's a FREE copy of an awesome zine I made back in the day called "Sextacular: A Feminist Guide to Sexual Empowerment and Satisfaction!" Everything you ever wanted to know about your girly parts, but were too afraid to ask your mother is in this handcrafted zine! This bad boy used to sell out in MINUTES back when I was actively printing it, and I am releasing a limited time run of ten copies. So grab yours now! Here is an excerpt:

"...for all of the progress we women have made, we still have problems talking about our vagina's and our sexual appetites. Our culture encourages women to look sexy but is scared of women that are sexy, sexy for themselves that is. Learn how to be sexy for YOURSELF first! Self awareness is the best teacher you will ever have. Empower yourself, pleasure yourself, educate yourself, and NEVER take any crap from any partner: male or female..."

Peace, love, pickles and happy vulva's


  1. Great blog today! Its amazing what we can do!

  2. Beautifully and thoughtfully composed my friend! kuddos to you for honoring women today.

  3. Hooray for women! I am very lucky to have amazing men in my life but I am unfortunately all too aware of the still very real violence toward women. Having been assaulted twice by strangers, one of which was an attempted rape and the other was physical assault by a man who was arrested and confessed that he was attacking women simply because he hated them. I may be "quiet" due to neurological impairments, but I am never shy about speaking up when I feel that someones comment or action is sexist. Best blog post of the month! :) <3


    I'm not so much a feminist, or into feeling empowered by my gender, because this is just the way I was born. But I take pride in the fact that I am a girl. :)

    xoxo Haley

    p.s. the zine sounds GREAT!

  5. Happy International Women's Day

    This was a great read - as always.

    Usually I swing by and read up without posting but I couldn't help wanting a copy of your work :)


  6. @Jess thank you so much for sharing your story with us!!!! Keep on fighting the good fight girl

    @Amy I am glad you enjoyed the read, and even happier that you chose to comment! I love getting to know my readers

    xoxo to you all! Happy Womens Day!

  7. Happpy International Womens Day.. we have come along way but still have far to go. thank you for the info very informative. Rock on Women :)

  8. This is not for winning, this is big time kudos to you babe. So many issues that people don't see, don't notice, that just pass us by. Myself included. Such basic human rights - so much to celebrate, but also so many things that need to move forward. This post just reminded me of so many things to never forget, and hope that the world keeps moving in a better direction to make things better for everyone. Sounds cheesy I'm sure, but it touched my to that cheesy part inside that I'm sure you know well enough :)

  9. @ Amy please email your mailing adress to kamika.kraftz@gmail.com so I can send you a zine copy

  10. This is a great post. I saw on google that it was IWD, but didn't spread the message. I can't wait to watch the videos when I have a moment.

    Thank you for the comment on my blog. I'm now following yours.

    And... CONGRATULATIONS on being the first woman in your family to graduate from college. That is an awesome achievement. My mom was the first in her family and I am so proud to have followed in her footsteps.

  11. I've been following your blog for a few weeks now and this post inspired me to come out of hiding! :) This was a wonderful post celebrating women but also highlighting so many of the places that we have SO FAR to go. Loved it!

  12. Good for you Kamika. It has been a long time since I went to these marches. I am more of a quiet protester these days! I am raising my kids in a way that I hope will ensure that they see women and men as equals. Love, respect. Thanks for Rewinding x

    PS The pay discrepancy really shits me!