News release

International Women's Day 2000

More and more people are taking time this year to celebrate International Women's Day.

The Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women says each year it receives more and more inquiries about activities and events relating to the celebrations. Groups around the province have events planned through the week.

Today, March 8, is the 25th anniversary of the first International Women's Day designated by the United Nations. However, the origins of the day can be traced to the early 20th century.

It was first suggested in 1910 that March 8 be designated International Women's Day, a day to recognize women's struggles around the world. The date is traced to labour strikes on March 8 in the years 1857 and 1908 in New York city. Workers protested dangerous working conditions and exploitative wages paid to women textile workers. The first International Women's Day was celebrated in 1911 to mark the achievements of those workers.

In 1975, the United Nations designated March 8 as International Women's Day worldwide. Since then celebrations of the day and, in fact, the week have continued to grow.

"This is a day to celebrate the accomplishments of women over the past century," said Jane Purves, Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women. "We also remember those who have not been given equal opportunities and make a commitment on this day to work together to bring about positive change."

"Each year there are more and varied events in the province," said Patricia Doyle-Bedwell, chair of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women. "As an example, several girl guide companies have special events planned this week, today in Halifax there's a march and rally and tomorrow night at the community college in Truro there a Women's Spirit Celebration."

A complete list of events for International Women's Week is available on the advisory council's webpage at www.gov.ns.ca/staw/ .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Today is International Women's Day, a celebration that actually goes back to 1911.

That's when March 8th was set as a day to recognize women's struggles around the world.

It wasn't until 1975 that the United Nations designated March 8th as International Women's Day worldwide.

The Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women says the event is becoming more and more popular.

This year in Nova Scotia there are marches, rallies, speeches, fun days and even a Women's Spirit Celebration.

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Contact:

Angela Campbell
Communications Nova Scotia 902-424-1720 E-mail:
kjd                      March 8, 2000     9:13 a.m.