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Former Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd will be one of many women honoured at the International Women’s Day celebration, March 9, 5:30-9:30 p.m., at the Laurel Packinghouse in downtown Kelowna.
Shepherd will receive the Gert Beadle Award at the free, family-friendly event, which will feature a panel of speakers moderated by CBC’s Alya Ramadan, as well as performers, food and wine, and children’s activities.
Organized by the Okanagan College Women’s Resource Centre (OCWRC), the event coincides with International Women’s Day (IWD). Observed since the early 1900s and now an official holiday in many countries, IWD celebrates the accomplishments and contribution of women everywhere.
Locally, this year’s theme is Women In/And Politics and is meant to highlight the ambivalence many women feel toward political involvement and toward politics generally. “Not all women want to be involved in politics and not all women are able, given the circumstances of their everyday lives,” says Ann McKinnon, Chair of Women’s Studies at Okanagan College. “But just being a woman is political, in itself. Women bring particular concerns to the political process—for their families, themselves, and their communities. This event celebrates that.”
The Gert Beadle Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated commitment to women’s equality and social justice. The award will be presented to Shepherd by the Central Okanagan Women's Resource and Education Foundation (COWREF), a sister organization to the Kelowna Women’s Resource Centre which closed in 2011 due to a lack of funding.
The Okanagan College Women’s Resource Centre is run by a collective of women—faculty, students, and community members—and has been open in room A149 at the Kelowna campus since 2009. The OCWRC can also be found on Facebook.