At WUSC, we believe that women play a pivotal role in the economic, political, and social development of their communities, and that education is a powerful tool for empowering women and enabling them to achieve their full potential.
On March 8, we join the world in commemorating the International Women’s Day (IWD); a day where we celebrate the achievements of women past, present and future, and reflect upon the barriers that still need to be overcome in order to achieve greater gender equality. In celebration of this day, we invite WUSC Local Committees - and our broader WUSC network - to highlight the achievements of women and girls around the world, recognize the challenges they continue to face, and mobilize your campuses and communities to make a difference.
Here’s how YOU can take action:
- Raise awareness on your campus and/or in your community: Plan an activity that engages your campus and/or community on women’s rights! Some ideas include planning a spontaneous action (e.g. in the library, in your class, or in the cafeteria), organizing a conference or a panel, and/or holding an info-booth or display that will get people’s attention (such as a photo exhibit).
Remember: A successful awareness raising activity not only informs the public, but challenges them and prompts them to reflect on their own behavior and agency.
- Raise funds for women and girls’ initiatives: Sell local or homemade products, hold a zumba or a yoga in the dark, and/or create partnerships with existing events to raise funds for a cause you are passionate about (such as girls' education through the Shine a Light Campaign).
Committees who raise more than $250 for the Shine a Light campaign before March 25th will have their committee entered in the draw to send an extra person to the Leadership Meeting in Ottawa this August!
- Review the admissibility criteria for female SRP candidates at your institution, and educate your admissions office about the barriers that refugee girls face to obtaining post-secondary education. Explaining the context from which young women in refugee camps are coming from may help with the flexibility they afford you when the time comes to place SRP students.
- Spark(le) a conversation about refugee girl’s access to education on social media: In the upcoming days, each of our Local Committees will receive a package containing resources that will allow them to use their creativity and innovation to participate in an online activity that aims to “spark(le)” a conversation about women’s equality and shine a light on the barriers girls face to accessing education. To participate, Local Committees must integrate sparklers in one of the previously mentioned activities and post photos via social media using the hashtags indicated below.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
With an education, girls can balance inequalities and transform their community #educationisempowerment #IWD2016 #ShineALight @wusccampus
With an education, girls are able to make informed decisions about their lives and their choices #educationisempowerment #IWD2016 #ShineALight @wusccampus
With an education, girls can secure better jobs that provide benefits to the entire family #educationisempowerment #IWD2016 #ShineALight @wusccampus
Educating girls leads to higher incomes, lower birth rates, reduced infant mortality and increased public health #IWD2016 #ShineALight @wusccampus
With education, girls can ignite their potential & be leaders of tomorrow & today #educationisempowerment #IWD2016 #Shinealight @wusccampus
For more reasons on why education is a positive force for gender equality, check out our Shine a Light page: http://wusc.ca/en/campaign/shine-light.
Additional resources to help you with your activities: