March 3, 2018 7:35 pm
Updated: March 3, 2018 7:42 pm

London celebrates International Women’s Day early with march, educational events

International Women's Day March gets underway at Victoria Park. March 3, 2018.

Christian D'Avino/980 CFPL

Londoners rallied at Victoria Park on Saturday to celebrate the rights of women around the world.

Organizers of the event decided to celebrate International Women’s Day early, though March 8 is the officially recognized date.

Many women banded around their own causes to tackle the greater concern for equality for all.

READ MORE: Poet Najwa Zebian to speak at 18th annual International Women’s Day Breakfast

“Many of those women express the same issues we are here today, like gender equality, recognition of work as caregivers, and educational rights for their children,” said Margaret Bucci, Chairperson for London Grands, an organization dedicated to supporting grandmothers in African countries.

“If you look at what those grandmothers are doing, they are uniting to demand government policies from governments that are less than hospitable to women. We should really learn from them to implement our policies over here,” she said.

Several speakers took to the stage, including Storm French, an Anishnaabekwe activist from Chippewa of the Thames First Nation reserve, and rising local poet Najwa Zebian.

Additional chants of solidarity were heard throughout the northwest corner of Victoria Park, including those of the Positive Women’s drummers, to close out the morning rally.

READ MORE: Activists take to the streets for women’s march in London

But after the rally at Victoria Park ended, the day was only getting started. Men, women, and children all marched down Richmond St. towards the London Public Library, which hosted information booths and sessions to learn more about women’s issues.

Roberta Cory, co-chair of the London chapter of the Council of Canadians, said more action is needed for true gender equality.

“We need to keep it front and centre — keep pushing for ‘$15 and Fairness,’ keep pushing for childcare and respect for women — because we are on a roll,” Cory said.

Additional events were held across the city on Saturday, including Western University’s Go Code Girl event that aims to facilitate change in engineering by teaching youth about coding.

“It’s a really beautiful thing to see all fields becoming available to our young girls,” Cory said.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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