Dozens stomped through the snow to participate in the second annual Red Deer Women’s March.
The event began and ended at the Red Deer Public Library’s downtown branch Saturday morning, which was the day before International Women’s Day.
“The purpose of the march is to draw the political power of diverse women in our community to create social change,” said Sadia Khan, one of the organizers.
“This march and every march is really committed to dismantling systems of oppression through non-violent resistance and building inclusive structures where everyone is feeling comfortable.”
Khan, who works at the Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre and is a past co-chair of the Welcoming and Inclusive Communities of Red Deer, said the focus of the event is to “talk about the issues that exist” in central Alberta.
“We touched base on barriers to health and social services. We really want to ignite conversations on how systems have failed girls, women and non-binary communities. We want to talk about the things we need to do to make everyone aware of these social changes and to come up with action items and thoughts,” she said.
Representatives from groups, such as the Trans and Non-Binary Aid Society and the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter, and other individuals, including Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood MLA Janis Irwin, were guest speakers in the library’s Snell Auditorium following the march.
International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Khan said it’s important to keep the momentum going.
“We will continue to do this, not just for one day, but throughout the whole year.”
About 70 people participated in the event – many were holding signs and chanting while marching through the downtown. Several vehicles honked their horns in support as the crowd marched.
A similar number of people attended the inaugural event.
“This is my community and it’s important to bring this to my community,” said Khan.
“The people that marched today went out in this weather because this is important. This is what we need to do, we need to bring awareness in this community we live in.”