IWD Toronto issues united call to "Stop the hate, Unite the fight"

TORONTO, March 11, 2017 /CNW/ - Thousands took part in the annual International Women's Day rally and march in downtown Toronto calling for an end to all forms of bigotry, racism and violence against women.

"Our message this year is to unite the fight. Together we are sending a powerful message that as women we say no to Islamophobia, anti-Black racism and all forms of oppression," said Jenny Ahn from the IWD Committee. "We call for gender justice and an end to all forms of violence against women and that includes economic violence. Good jobs with a living wage are vital for all women to have economic independence and to help us provide for our families."

A highlight of today's events was an indoor rally with speaker Shaila Kibria-Carter who has actively supported the families of the six men murdered in the Quebec City mosque attack. "The attack on the Quebec mosque is a tragic reminder that racism and bigotry exists in today's society and in Canada. It is important that people of all genders and backgrounds come together to show loudly and clearly there will be no tolerance for hate, and this is why I am marching today," said Kibria-Carter.

Viktoria Belle spoke about the efforts of hundreds of grassroots women who joined together to stop sexual assault. Belle said, "Survivors of sexual assault and our allies have reached a breaking point. We no longer accept complacency about rape culture and the systems of inequality. We are organizing, mobilizing and demanding change and we remain united and resistant."

The rally ended with an appeal for solidarity from Kiké Roach who told the crowd, "Today we remember the struggles of the women who came before us, who marched and worked and sacrificed to make life better for all of us. We come together to celebrate and defend the gains of the women's movement, but we must remain vigilant to speak out against misogyny and all forms of oppression, knowing that when we stand united we are powerful."

Toronto's International Women's Day March has been an annual event since 1978 bringing together women's groups, community organizations, trade unions, students and women's rights advocates of all genders to celebrate and work for change. For more information on the International Women's Day 2017 visit www.iwdtoronto.ca  or follow @IWD_TO.

SOURCE International Women's Day Toronto (IWD Toronto)

For further information: For media interviews contact: Andrea Calver, 416-434-8031; Jenny Ahn, 416-271-3489

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International Women's Day Toronto (IWD Toronto)

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