Time to reflect on women’s progress

International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world.

It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to differences, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion to remember past struggles and achieved those accomplishments.

Although National Women’s Day was first observed in the United States in 1909, it was not until 1977 that the United Nations’ general assembly adopted a resolution calling on member states to proclaim a day for women’s rights and international peace.

In adopting its resolution, the general assembly recognized the role of women in peace efforts and development, and urged an end to discrimination and an increase of support for women’s full and equal participation. Following the United Nations’ lead, Canada chose March 8 as International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Week 2011 begins on Sunday, March 6, and wraps up on Saturday, March 12. This week is intended to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women. As well, it is an opportunity to encourage women to fully participate, to recognize that they have choices and learn to value themselves.

For Canadians, equality means women and men sharing in the responsibilities and obligations, as well as in the opportunities and rewards, of life and work.

The goal is that all people, regardless of sex, origin, generation or background can participate fully in our country’s economic, social and democratic life, and ultimately, in improving the state of the world.

It is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their communities.

This year, the Outstanding Women of the Boundary Awards celebration will take place on Tuesday, March 8 at the Grand Forks Senior Centre, from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Refreshments will be served during the awards presentation.