Thousands march in Toronto for International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day in Toronto
WATCH: International Women's Day aims to celebrate how far women have come and draw attention to what more needs to be done. That was the spirit of the procession that made its way through downtown Toronto streets on Sunday. Albert Delitala reports.

Thousands of women and their allies took to the streets of downtown Toronto for International Women’s Day on Sunday.

“We still have a lot of work ahead of us but today is about celebrating sisterhood, celebrating our power,” said Firoozeh Radjai, who marched with her fellow members of YWCA Toronto.

The annual rally and march is put on by community groups, trade unions and students.

Kahnawake celebrates International Women’s Day
Kahnawake celebrates International Women’s Day

“We’re here to remember our history and our struggles but more importantly how we continue to resist and fight for equality for women and girls,” said Jenny Ahn, who helped organize the event.

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Tara Wannamaker brought her young daughter to the march, a placard reading “More Girl Boses” in hand.

“I think it’s important for her to learn about injustices in the world and to stand up for herself and to stand up for others who need protecting,” she said.

READ MORE: How International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world

Nearby, Karen Castillo walked around with an aim to call attention to the “crisis of femicide” in her native Mexico.

“Nine women are killed every day, so today’s just a day of remembering the women who are not here anymore,” Castillo said.

As in past years, Indigenous justice continues to play a big role at the event, said Anishinaabe activist Catherine Brooks, who also spoke at a prior rally.

International Women’s Day 2020: 8-year-old girls share their visions for the future
International Women’s Day 2020: 8-year-old girls share their visions for the future

“The issues that are affecting Indigenous women and girls and our nations have come to the forefront because we now have young people who can speak out and we also have allies right across the country because the real history of this country is just beginning to get known,” she said.

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With the ongoing teachers’ job action, one group more in the spotlight this year is teachers, many of whom are women.

Retired teacher Margaret McPhail, who also marched, told Global News proposed changes by the provincial government has brought public education into focus, something she said is vital to equality.

READ MORE: Canadian women are on track to reach gender equality in 164 years, experts say

“If you look around the world, public education and women is the primary determining factor in nations where women gain more power and rights,” she said.