Spring 2013 – International Women’s Day at UBC!

by Elaine Lin

This year on March 8 in Irving K. Barber, the UBC Equity Ambassadors put together another International Women’s (IWD) Day event once again to raise awareness of this important day and to celebrate women. We focused our event this year on positive body image to celebrate real and natural beauties, regardless of shape, size, gender, ethnicity, race, sexuality, age, class, ability, economic background, or religious belief. We have seen, time and time again, mainstream media featuring bodies, particularly women’s bodies, that have been severely Photoshopped and embellished upon.

We have seen the ways in which bodies, especially women’s bodies, have been sexually objectified in mainstream media. We hoped that by organizing this IWD event, we can encourage people to love themselves and their bodies and to deconstruct the media’s image of women as sexual objects. We also hoped to empower women and people in general, so that they can be confident of who they are instead of judging themselves according to societal expectations.

Our event booth featured:

  • A fun IWD-themed photo booth for taking cool and memorable photos
  • Inspirational take-away bookmarks with quotes
  • Real-life stories of women
  • A recycle box to throw away insecurities and things people dislike about their bodies or themselves in general
  • Free treats

The takeaway bookmarks with body positive quotes were empowering and meaningful. The display board with colourful photos depicting diverse forms of women raised awareness and started conversations. Further, the photobooth questions and quotes got people thinking and engaged with the event theme. Having our friends who were willing to write their own personal stories and posting their photos was inspiring for people to see. It made the whole idea of feminism and gender equality seem more relatable. Lastly, we raised awareness amongst males as well.

One of the popular bookmark quotes featured:

“Call me smart; call me sassy; call me bold; call me strong. Don’t call me hot; don’t call me sexy; don’tcall me baby. Call me by what I am, don’t call me by the narrow expectations that society has placed upon me.” – Selena Zhong

We hope that another IWD event will be hosted by Equity Ambassadors and other organizations and clubs on campus in the years to come.

For photos and more info of the IWD event, check out our Facebook event page. Be sure to “like” our  International Women’s Day @ UBC Facebook page to stay up to date about IWD- and feminism-related info.

 

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