by Hani Yassine
The Lance – Arts Editor
Creative Writing student and featured poet Joan Gabriel usually isn’t much for topic poetry, but the importance of International Women’s Day is something not lost with her.
“It’s more so a celebration of bringing acknowledgement into women’s achievements, and we have a really good spirit on campus in terms of getting women’s voices out there,” Gabriel said.
Her voice, as well as the voices of several others were heard during the Poetry for Parity event on the evening of Mar. 8. With the day marking International Women’s Day, the CAW Centre commons set the stage for those wishing to radiate and share a sense of pride among the many students who attended. The event was co-hosted by Victoria Pedri and Admira Konjic. Pedri said the event was inspired by the interactive poetry show “Speak Like a Girl,” tying the title with this year’s pledge for wage parity.
“I do hope we get a little better and closer to parity, but we’re not there yet, and that’s the truth,” Pedri said. “It’s something a lot of people don’t want to admit and they don’t want to face, but it’s a reality.
Pedri highlighted the thematic importance of the day upon considering the infamous Return of Kings rally, which almost occurred in the city, noting how there are still local advocates for violence against women. Another aspect she wants people to keep in mind is the international aspect of the annual day, as there are other parts of the world where women are contending with having the most basic of human rights.
“Here in North America, even though I do not think we’re at parity, we are closer to it than in other countries,” Pedri said. “There are other girls around the world who are not getting an education because they’re girls.”
For Konjic, the day falls entirely within the realm of empowerment, hoping any female attending the event leaves feeling just a little bit stronger.
“Not just today, but every day is International Women’s Day,” Konjic said. “Women are empowered, women are worth it, a woman can do anything that you can do.”