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LETTER - Lack of International Women’s Day events in the Comox Valley

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Dear editor,

I was surprised by the lack of community events to celebrate International Women’s Day in the Comox Valley.

My wish for IWD 2025 is that an event will be planned and organized for the women (and girls) of this beautiful Valley… by men!

Imagine if on IWD 2025, men planned an event for women.

Or perhaps, every man in the Valley cooks a meal for a woman that day, bakes a cake, cleans the house, or makes an extra effort to support the women in their lives. Men who are employers could perhaps consider pay increases, particularly for the women working for minimum wage.

Why not? After all, Orange Shirt Day seemed like a far-fetched idea, until it wasn’t!

As one woman said, “Concrete actions by men can bring us closer to the day where all men and women live in harmony with equal dignity and respect.”

I grew up with six siblings and in the mid-1960s it seemed “acceptable” that we four girls stayed home on Saturdays to clean house while our three brothers could go play ball, ride a bike or hang out with friends.

When I asked my Dad why my brothers could have a bike and not the girls, he smiled and replied, “Because they are boys and boys need bikes.”

Even at eight years old, I recognized that as a poor excuse coming from my dad.

I just smiled back and said: “Girls would like to have a bike and have fun too.”

Today, more than 50 years later, it still seems more “fair” for woman to expect and to have a bike, equal pay for work of equal value, a hand with house chores, emotional support, or generally getting more help around the house, and yet women still put up with a lack of equality.

IWD is not only a day to celebrate women’s achievements, but also a day to reflect upon how we, as a society, can improve.

Joceline Dupuis,