On March 8, the City of Vaughan, in partnership with CIBC, held an inspiring International Women’s Day (IWD) event at Vaughan City Hall to commemorate this globally celebrated occasion. Ratified by the United Nations (UN) in 1975, IWD has grown to become a worldwide day of recognition and acknowledgement. International Women’s Day has grown into a global day of recognition and acknowledgement, celebrated across developed and developing countries, and reflects upon women’s struggles, both past and present, as well as their achievements by optimistically looking towards a future of inspired change and opportunity.
The 2019 theme for International Women’s Day is “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change.”
The event, emceed by Chief Deryn Rizzi of the Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service, included motivating female guest speakers who are leaders and support the advancement of women across all industries. Keynote speaker, Commander Kelly Williamson, Director of Public Affairs for the Royal Canadian Navy, discussed the process of gender integration in the Canadian Armed Forces and the value of diverse perspectives in disaster relief situations. Cmdr. Williamson was recently named to the Top 100 list of Canada’s most powerful women. Guests also heard from Suzanne Craig, the City’s Integrity Commissioner and Lobbyist Registrar, and Nadine Williams, a poet, author and entrepreneur, and were treated to a live performance from singer and songwriter DIA.
The event celebrates women who have made changes in their communities on a local, national and international level as well as being a vehicle to promote the values of equality and leadership. In Vaughan, we are committed to celebrating these important achievements and the strong leadership of remarkable women here at home and in communities around the world. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive city where everyone is valued, respected and encouraged to realize and pursue their full potential.
I believe that when women receive support and equal opportunities, they can truly inspire, change, drive positive outcomes and continue charting the path for future females. International Women’s Day is very important to me, as I have been inspired by many strong women in my lifetime. I also hope to continue to inspire others, including my daughter’s, so that they celebrate their achievements and the successes of all women worldwide.