This post is part of Blog for International Women’s Day
Happy International Women’s Day!
My name is Amanda Reaume and I am the Executive Director of The Antigone Foundation. We believe it’s time for Canada’s feminists and women’s organizations to work together to leverage the power of social networking to connect around common causes and concerns across the country, both online and in person.
That is why we are launching Antigone Connect , an online site working to engage women’s organizations and feminists across the country to work collaboratively for women’s rights and equality in Canada and around the world.
We are hoping to create a powerful online network that will be able to help lead the Canadian women’s movement forward in the coming years. As we approach Canada’s 150th Anniversary, we are all aware that there is a great deal more to be done in Canada to ensure women’s equality. More women in politics and managerial positions, accessible child care, changes to the Indian Act, equal pay, and equal pensions are just a few of the things that the Royal Commission on the Status of Women identified as necessary for equality nearly fifty years ago. They have still not been fully realized and this is going to take cooperation and coordination to accomplish.
Canadian Women’s History
This past fall, Antigone Magazine put together an issue about Canadian Women’s History and we spoke to Marilou McPhedran. She talked about how women organized around constitutional issues in the 1980s to ensure that women were included within the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As McPhedran mentions, they did this without even a fax machine. With phone trees, letters to MPs and a lot of conviction, these women changed our country. We can too. Many of us now have access to e-mail, the internet, social networking, maybe even Blackberries and Smartphones. Some also have well paying jobs and contacts with women and men in power who support work for women’s equality. We owe it to our foremothers to leverage all the technologies and privileges that we have to connect and make sure that their legacies are not forgotten.
But this network is not going to happen overnight. We need your help in the days and weeks ahead to expand it and bring to the table the voices of women from all backgrounds, from groups that might not readily identify as feminists, or those who might have difficulties accessing the internet, and the voices of women and men that are allies to the work that we do. We need you to tell people about it. To e-mail your contacts about it. To post it on Facebook or Twitter. To contact your friends who might have worked for feminist causes in the past but who have gone off in other directions. To help the technically unsavvy negotiate the technology! We need to come together to create this network across Canada.
Canadian Women’s Future!
Inspired by the next issue of our magazine (to be released in March 2010) entitled The Future of Feminism, we will be offering individuals and organizations opportunities to write about their visions for Canadian feminism. In blog entries, on Antigone Connect forums, on Dreams for Women postcards, and by leading online chats, we invite people to contribute to imagining the future of feminism. Email us at antigonemagazine at hotmail.com if you are interested in helping out.
We launched this campaign this week and we are moved and excited by the response so far. It would be great to see you at Antigone Connect.
Thanks in advance for giving this a few minutes of your time, and for sharing this message with anyone you know who would like the women of Canada to unite together to transform our country.
Amanda Reaume and the Antigone Team
photo credit: wikimedia commons