Women's History Month
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Until all of us have made it, none of us have made it”
– Rosemary Brown
Women’s History Month has been observed in Canada throughout the month of October since 1992. This is recognized as a time to celebrate the achievements of Canadian Women and Girls by honoring their contributions to society. We are reminded of their desire to make a difference in society by reflecting on their lasting impact on socio political movements throughout Canadian history. October also contains the International Day of the Girl (October 11th) and Person’s Day (October 18th).
International Day of the Girl has been observed on October 11th since 2012. This day is celebrated to highlight the challenges girls face around the world while empowering their resiliency and uplifting their voices. International Day of the Girl strives to highlight issues related to reproductive rights and right to education and self-sustainability. Today the movement has increased its reach and awareness by expanding on issues such as: gender-based violence, climate change, self-esteem, and girl’s rights to enter businesses and places of worship while menstruating.
Persons Day is observed on October 18th each year as it marks the day in which women were considered “persons” under Canada’s British North American Act in 1929 that had been in use since 1867. Up until 1929, the “persons” title was only reserved for men, but it was this amendment that gave women, predominant white women at the time, increased rights to participate in both public and political affairs. Persons Day is celebrated in Canada to honour the women who worked towards inclusion and equality, while fighting against sexism and discrimination. Although this declaration initially left out women of colour, it is celebrated as the first step in allowing women the right to represent themselves equally in Canada.
Celebrations like these are times to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political action, address global problems, and to honour and reinforce achievements of humanity. We celebrate Women’s History Month to honour the incredible women who have blazed trails throughout the world. From art to scientific discoveries to politics and more, women have been innovators and have made an impact. Too often the achievements of women and the stories that go along with them are lost in history or are unfortunately dismissed. This is a month to learn the truth about women, both through their resiliency and their work, while honouring their generous contributions to society.
Anyone who wishes to learn more about influential women in Canadian history can and should celebrate Women’s History Month. The unfortunate truth is that throughout history women have not been treated with the same respect as their male counterparts. From equal work for equal pay, suffragette advocacy, and body autonomy, women have worked tirelessly to be treated equally in society.
You can celebrate Women’s History Month at home, at work, on the street, or Trickster’s FAVOURITE place, in school!
To celebrate Women’s History Month, you can start by researching influential women throughout history, in Canada and in other parts of the World! Try your best to stand in solidarity with causes in our society that strive to uplift and empower women and girls. We also recommend planning an Event Day using our activities to theatrically learn about and honour women in Canada.
Event Days give you the ability to not only explore Women’s History Month, but also an opportunity to broaden that learning into experiential projects which can be shared. You can share them throughout your school, with other classes, and even more broadly if you choose. The ability for your students to not only have a project of their own, but to be able to see what other students were able to come up with, broadens the viewpoints and creates more dialogue surrounding the issues.
One size does not fit all
How you and your school decide to use the suggested activities, performances, and resources will depend completely on what you and your peers are comfortable with, and the time you have available to designate to the project(s). Trickster is also available to consult with if you would like extra help, resource connections, and/or coordination. You can go big, involving every class with different projects, performances and events throughout the school, or, you can go as small as just doing an activity listed in the materials for your own class which you believe will help them connect to the subject matter.
Due to the circumstances of COVID19, not everything suggested will be possible, and many will need to be adjusted to suit your needs and comfort level. As we hope to carry this forward, and know that schools are looking to future projects much further down the road, we do want to plant the seeds for what those event days might look like too. There will be suggestions throughout on how you can modify activities for social distancing, but you are also able at any point to choose and modify activities and projects to achieve the level of safety your school is comfortable with.
Why Teachers Love It
Our residency was a unifying and motivating experience that we used as a way to begin our year long inquiry about children’s rights.
— Lisa McConnell, Teacher, North Haven School, Calgary