The table at the International Womens Day event on March 8 in Terrace. (Photo Brittany Gervais)

International Women’s Day celebration in Terrace

The event heard from several strong, inspiring women in the community on March 8.

As the issue of gender inequality remains a major issue in B.C., International Women’s Day is an annual reminder to celebrate strong, progressive women not just on one day, but every day.

This year on March 8, the Terrace Women’s Resource Centre has made their focus on successful, inspiration women who #pressforprogress in their careers. The evening of music from Jim Ljungh, food and local art started at 6 p.m. at the Art Gallery, and was led by a blessing from elder Isabelle McKee.

Around 56 women and men sat in rows of chairs and listened to several female speakers including artist Cara Purita, RCMP Cst. Crystal Evelyn, advocate Gladys Radek and Debbie Letawski from the George Little House.

“If there are walls, climb them or break them down,” Cst. Evelyn said during her presentation. “We can do both.”

According to a recent report by Vancity Credit Union, B.C. women worry more than their male counterparts when it comes to their financial health. B.C. women earn $3,044 less in annual income than women in other provinces and territories, with 52 per cent of the 5,200 women surveyed saying they experience “extreme emotional stress” about their financial situation.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Simon Fraser University, Cara Purita said she felt selfish about pursuing her own dreams of making a career out of her art. She then pursued a degree in education, became an early primary educator, and had three daughters.

It was during her last pregnancy that she decided teaching was not the life she wanted for herself. Instead, she pursued what she loved most by participating in an art project by curator Nancy Pratt called Celebrate Your Breasts. The art project encourages women to accept themselves in a more positive light.

Now, her work aims to celebrate the lives of real women through various oil on canvas paintings.

“I needed to live my own life,” Purita said in her presentation. “While it’s a lot of work for little money, it is uniquely my own.”

Despite years of gradual improvements and movement towards gender equality, women across Canada typically earn less, have fewer career opportunities and occupy more jobs at the lower end of the pay scale than men. They are also more likely than men to find themselves living on a low income, especially in their senior years.

READ MORE: Our view: March 8 is International Women’s Day

Kristine Ewald, co-founder of Transcend Fitness, created the women’s only fitness group to encourage women in Terrace to come together and inspire each other to live healthier happier lives. The gym grew from 40 to 400 members within its first year of operation.

“Often we’re told just to focus on whatever our bodies look like. Instead, we want to be strong in terms of health and support,” Ewald said. “We are always growing in our work and reaching out to the community to find ways to support women.

Sarah Phangura, 40, came to the event to show support for her friend and evening speaker Annette Rolleman, the city’s only music therapist. A wellness coach and mother to four children, Phangura said she feels hopeful about conversations surrounding gender equality.

“We seem to be at a crossroads of change,” Phangura said. “There seems to be more intention with the #MeToo movement, but unfortunately [the movement] comes through struggle. There’s still a lot to learn.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Gladys Radek spoke to over 50 women gathered at the Terrace Art Gallery and presented a written tribute to her missing niece, Tamara on March 8. (Photo Brittany Gervais)

Just Posted

The plan to build a staircase to the Bench includes a channel to more easily transport bicycles up and down. (Photo courtesy City of Terrace)
Staircase to Bench subject of City grant application

Would connect lower Eby St. to upper Eby St.

The car was trapped, with its driver inside, in a ditch off Hirsch Creek Main near Onion Lake overnight Monday (Oct. 19). Oct. 20, 2020. Kitimat RCMP photo.
Man found after spending overnight stuck in car in a ditch near Onion Lake

Kitimat RCMP said the man was stuck there overnight for about 10 hours

FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More calls come in for Cullen’s removal as NDP candidate

Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs demand Cullen’s removal. Ellis says, There’s no place in B.C. for racism

Martin Holzbauer, independent, Nicole Halbauer, BC NDP, and Ellis Ross, BC Liberal Party, are the candidates for the Skeena riding in the upcoming provincial election. (Terrace Standard/BC NDP)
Skeena candidates talk northwest education

Online learning access and early childhood education were common themes

Stikine provincial election candidates (clockwise from top left): Nathan Cullen, NDP; Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party; Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage; and Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals.
‘Where is Annita McPhee?’: Cullen under fire from opening salvo of all-candidates forum

Four Stikine candidates spar during online debate from Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge in Smithers

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Jordan Naterer, an electrical engineer from Vancouver, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. (Facebook photo)
Search efforts to resume for missing Manning Park hiker; Trudeau speaks on case

PM says he’ll do what he can to ‘nudge’ efforts to find Jordan Naterer, yet has little leverage locally

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

École de L’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
B.C. records first COVID-19 outbreak at school, six weeks after students return to class

Three cases of the virus have been identified at École de L’Anse-au-sable

Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau is seen as she leaves media event during a campaign stop in West Vancouver, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green leader hopes voters see value in minority government

The Greens received nearly 17 per cent of the popular vote in 2017 yet received just three seats

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Local candidates Pam Alexis, Abbotsford-Mission, and Preet Rai, Abbotsford-West, look on as NDP Leader John Horgan main streets in Abbotsford, B.C., Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. NDP takes snap election risk during pandemic in quest for majority government

Green Leader Sonia Furstenau said the election was unnecessary and irresponsible during the pandemic

Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, B.C., on October 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. Liberal Leader maintains confidence as campaign tests party identity

Liberal campaign has been disrupted by controversy

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Most Read