International Women’s Day is a day dedicated to celebrating the political, social, economic, and cultural achievements of women. It is also a day to call for accelerated action and commit to change.
The British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) recognizes and commits to advancing women’s rights and gender equity in all spheres and calls on everyone to join this movement. This year’s international theme is “Break the Bias”. The government of Canada’s theme is “Women Inspiring Women”.
Regional Chief Terry Teegee issued the following statement:
“Today we celebrate and honour the accomplishments and contributions of women, and commit ourselves to positive change. While one day provides a crucial opportunity for reflection and solidarity, we must remember to do this each and every day. The fight for equity, healing, and justice for First Nations women in Canada will take sustainable and markedly expanded commitments. The implementation of the Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual (2SLGBTQQIA) people are a top priority. An Indigenous-led response, well-supported by all levels of government and sectors of society is crucial.”
According to the BCAFN, First Nations women continue to experience disproportionate rates of violence and incarceration. Transformational action is required, and a pathway for change has been articulated in the Calls for Justice, and a number of BC region-specific reports and recommendations.