International Women’s Day (IWD) has several facets of celebration, and fighting against adversity is a main theme. Having a strong female voice is one of the ways women and men can both learn about the difficulties women face in today’s society.
The University of the Fraser Valley has partnered with supporters throughout Abbotsford to make their own event a unique and successful appreciation of women on March 8. Lisa Morry (the Faculty and Staff Association’s representative for the Status of Women) has planned afternoon celebrations, including Bif Naked speaking about body image and the media.
The event starts at 3 pm in B101 with a free screening of the documentary Miss Representation. The documentary focuses on how women are portrayed in the media and challenges mainstream media’s limited view on women.
“This is a powerful message that I think is important for young people,” Morry says. “In Canada there are fewer women business leaders and government representatives in key positions than there are men. It’s vital to get a feminine perspective in decision-making.”
The documentary will be followed by refreshments and the guest lecture from Bif Naked.
A breast cancer survivor and punk rocker, Bif Naked has experience in the spotlight, and knows the pros and cons of media coverage. Her lecture will touch on this subject, specifically in the way it relates to women and body image.
Although she has never met the rocker, Morry is excited to bring Bif Naked to campus.
“She inspires me because of her positive attitude in battling cancer and dealing with a marriage break-up, while still pursuing her love affair with music,” Morry explains. “Bif Naked presents the image of a very strong woman who has faced some significant setbacks, but keeps getting up again and carrying on. I think that’s a scenario that’s familiar to many women as we move through our lives. It’s the getting back up again that makes the difference.”
As the documentary notes, there are not as many women who hold positions of power, and this should give people something to think about. Morry points out that the female perspective is currently lacking, but could be a game-changer for society.
“Viewpoints shift when women help decide where we are going to spend our money and our energy as a society,” she notes. “Are we going to invest in daycare, education and eliminating child poverty or are we going to buy some F-35 fighter jets?”
The event is free to students, and for faculty and community members there is a $10 entrance fee and tickets can be bought and the Abbotsford or Chilliwack UFV libraries.
Partners for the event include University President Mark Evered, University Advancement Office, Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Faculty of Professional Studies, Fraser Valley’s Women’s Coalition, Abbotsford Police Department and Canadian Federation of University Women.