Women of Penticton march for past and future

Two marches took place in Penticton March 8 to celebrate the past and pave a way to the future

Marching for women’s rights, wage parity and more, people across the gender spectrum marched to celebrate how far women have come and acknowledge the long road still ahead.

Two marches took place in Penticton for International Women’s Day on March 8.

“When we do a march like this it makes everybody stop and think a little bit about what’s going on in their office or in the lives of their female relatives and friends,” said Grandmother for Africa Norma Lippa.

She hopes the work done today will pave a brighter path for the future generations of women to come.

The Grandmothers for Africa, who do fundraising work supporting the rights of African women and grandmothers, held the first march of the day starting at the Shatford Centre. Fellow Grandmother for Africa Rita Taenzer said with the political climate of the day it’s more important than ever to get out and march, noting the thousands who hit the streets in January in the U.S.

“I think International Women’s Day this year is going to be bigger and more powerful than in my lifetime,” Taenzer said.

Another march was held later in the day by the South Okanagan Victim’s Assistance Society (SOVAS) and the South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS) starting at Gyro Park.

Amberlee Erdmann, resource development co-ordinator for SOVAS, spoke to the crowd about this year’s theme, “be bold for change.”

She marched to recognize the hardworking women and those who have fought for women’s freedom and rights in the past.

“As well it gives us an opportunity to have conversations about inequalities in society as it is and how much further we still need to go,” Erdmann said.

She encouraged those in attendance to be bold, be leaders in their world and community for all people.

“Take a stand and fight for equality of all people, not just women, all people,” Erdmann said.

Mare McHale, a local blogger and entrepreneur, said she felt empowered to be a women and the support of all genders coming out to march.

“I think it’s not just today, it’s yesterday, it’s tomorrow, it’s the day after that. It’s just nice to gather and support each other. I’m a big advocate of girl love as opposed to girl-on-girl hate,” McHale said.

Penticton joined hundreds of thousands across the globe, with Canada’s House of Commons filled with 338 young women on March 8, with one woman from each federal riding taking the place of their local MP.