Women’s March organizer Patti MacAhonic seen here speaking to students at Mt. Slesse Middle School during the last provincial election. (Progress file)

Women’s March organizer Patti MacAhonic seen here speaking to students at Mt. Slesse Middle School during the last provincial election. (Progress file)

Women’s March Canada coming to Chilliwack

The idea for an event in the Fraser Valley came from the Women’s March on Washington last year

Women’s March Canada is coming to Chilliwack on Jan. 20.

“I attended the Women’s March last year in Vancouver and I just found it very empowering and meaningful,” said organizer Patti MacAhonic, executive director of Ann Davis Transition Society. “There was a strong sense of sisterhood created.”

ADTS partnered with University of the Fraser Valley to organize the Women’s March Fraser Valley for those interested in women’s issues from the communities east of Vancouver.

The plight of women in Chilliwack is “not enough” of a going concern of the community, she said. So to raise some visibility about pressing issues, they started organizing Women’s March Canada – Fraser Valley.

“Women who are at risk of being homeless, or fleeing an abusive situation for example, are especially vulnerable,” said MacAhonic. “They have distinct issues.”

The last homeless count showed 37 per cent of those who self-identified as homeless in Chilliwack were women. That is the highest female homelessness rate in the Fraser Valley.

“We need to address that,” she said. “I sit at a lot of different tables in Chilliwack, and I can tell you for the most part women’s issues are not on the radar.”

The idea grew out of the Women’s March on Washington held in the U.S. last year.

“The theme of the march nationally is ‘Reflect and Resist’ and raising the level of education about these issues could go a long way toward that,” MacAhonic said.

“It’s a way of resisting the social norms that have kept women stuck in the dark ages. I think we’ve gone backwards rather than moving forward on this in recent years.”

READ MORE: Word of the Year: Feminism

Everyone is invited to take part in the 2018 Women’s March in Chilliwack, she added.

READ MORE: Women’s shelter location denied

The Women’s March Canada – Fraser Valley will head out from the Ann Davis Transition Society offices at 9046 Young Rd. They will start gathering outside ADTS starting at 11 a.m. on Jan. 20, and march to Chilliwack City Hall at 8550 Young Rd by about 11:30 a.m. There will be some short speeches, drumming, and info available following the march.


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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