2 min

International Women’s Day celebrations in Ottawa

I'm still Not a Feminist, But... is a fun, funny feminist event honouring women

A coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have joined forces to celebrate International Women’s Day on Mar 8 with the event I’m Still Not a Feminist, But…

Lindsay Mossman, the women’s human rights campaigner at Amnesty International is one of the event’s organizers.

“The coalition of NGOs came up with the event idea that would allow us to address a full range of rights and gender equality issues,” says Mossman. “We wanted to create an event that was engaging, inspiring, fun, funny and feminist.”

In its first year, the event was named I’m Not a Feminist, But…, partly as a tongue-in-cheek response to the phrase often used by many women and to attract young women who don’t necessarily identify with the negative perceptions and stereotypes that surrounds feminism.

This year I’m Still Not a Feminist, But… follows the same theme and is open to everyone interested in equality. The event is a forum to encourage public discussion of the various issues pertaining to women’s rights.

“There are so many different understandings of women’s rights and gender equality issues,” says Mossman.  “We thought it was really important to put that out on the table and say we don’t all have to agree,but we do need a space in which to have those conversations.”

This year’s event will include two improv groups presenting women’s issues (with active input from the audience), a film parodying the event — International Men’s Day’ — as well as the second annual Femmy Awards. The awards recognize the contributions of women activists in the National Capital Region.

“So often in the work on women’s rights and gender equality, there’s a real lack of formal recognition in the public sphere,” says Mossman. “This work is so important, and we wanted to recognize that, formally, publicly and celebrate it.”

This year the Femmy award winners are Awatef Rasheed, diplomatic relations liaison at Canadian Council of the Blind; Anna Besch, founder of Women Against Slavery, Andrée Côté; women’s human rights officer for the Public Service Alliance of Canada; Erin Lux, co-founder of Jer’s Vison; and Jane Stinson, past president and board member of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women.

I’m Still Not a Feminist, But… is part of International Women’s Day, a global event that celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women.

I’m Still Not a Feminist, But… will be held at the National Archives, 395 Wellington St on  Mar 8. Doors open 6pm. Event is from 6–10pm. Entry is free.