Rhythms of Resistance will be drumming, marching and dancing in the streets in solidarity with women workers still struggling for justice! Come to dance and shake with us in the streets this May Day. Dress in fun carnival-esque costumes or wear your favourite purple, pink or silver wear! Bring your friends, energy, and visions for a just world.
When: Wednesday May 1st, 5:15pm
Where: Meet us on the steps of Old City Hall on the North East Corner of Bay and Queen Street
Let us know you are joining us or if you have any questions by emailing:firstname.lastname@example.org
[If you are a dance troop and want to work with us more often to support social movements- please let us know!]
Why: This year Rhythms of Resistance has decided to march in solidarity with women workers around the world who are still struggling in our workplaces, our homes, the streets, against the law, and for control over our bodies.
In Ontario, for every dollar earned by a man, a woman earns 72 cents. Immigrant and refugee women, mail order brides, and domestic live-in workers are especially vulnerable because they are often forced to take work where jobs are unregulated, they experience unfair wages and are vulnerable to violence.
In the home…
In Canada, women spend between 2-5 hours daily preforming unpaid work at home, such as child-care, elder-care, cooking, cleaning and other activities. The most likely place for a women to experience violence is in her own home, and each year in Canada, violence and abuse drives over 100, 000 women and children out of their homes and into shelters.
On our streets….
Income inequities and cuts to benefits put women at risk. Homelessness has a life threatening impact on women’s health, and of approximately 2,500 single adult shelter beds in Toronto, only about 725 are for women. There is also a huge gender imbalance in the use of Canada’s sex work laws. Section 213, prohibits communicating in public for the purposes of prostitution, and over 90% of all prostitution arrest fall under this section. The arrest rate for men (primarily clients) and women (primarily sex workers) is fairly even, however, 90% of those sentenced to prison for communicating offences are female. This especially affects street based workers who are racialized, Indigenous, drug users, mothers, youth, trans, migrant and poor who are targeted by the police for who they are, and because of the marginalized environment in which they live, often face harsher penalties than their clients.
Against the law…
Only 8% of sexual assaults are reported to the police and conviction rates for sexual assault are estimated somewhere between 1% and 4%. We live in a rape culture, where women are too ashamed to report sexual violence and where sexual offences are less likely than other violent crime types to result in a finding of guilt.
In radical spaces…
Despite a commitment to feminism and to building a world without patriarchy, women still struggle against sexism in radical spaces. Often we find our spaces dominated by male voices and by the sense of entitlement that comes from patriarchy, while women’s voices are dismissed or marginalized. We find that women in radical spaces are doing the invisible work of organizing, planning, and supporting – work that gets less recognition and value than the work dominated by men such as representing campaigns and speaking in public – work that puts them at the forefront of the movement where they are visible.
For our bodies…
Women still struggle for control over their own bodies, 25 years after Canada’s anti-abortion laws were struck down. Since 2000, 18 anti-choice private member bills and motions have been introduced, and in 2012 many government officials, including the Minister for Status of Women, voted in favour of anti-abortion motion 312. Women living in the Maritimes, northern Canada, and rural areas often don’t have access to abortion and other sexual and reproductive health services. In 2010 Stephen Harper announced that Canadian funding for maternal health and family planning in developing countries will not include any money for abortions despite evidence that 70, 000 women die due to unsafe abortion a year.