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March 11, 2011

Celebrating 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day

Disability Action Hall Members joined in solidarity for the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. We read out a speech, read 'I am a person' poem. Featured below are links to the poem, media coverage and photos...

Our statement for International Women's Day (read out by Ian Gordon and Brad Robertson)

Members of the Disability Action Hall stand in solidarity for the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. Our message is a ray of hope. Hope for all Albertans to live without poverty...

$1188 a month is not enough money to live on; the rates need to go up to the cost living, so people with disabilities can live a good life like everyone else. 
-People with disabilities are more than likely to be abused and live in poverty; Many of us live on AISH and people in poverty should not be abused. 
-People should have a choice on where to live and not live in a place to be abused. 

We encourage you to learn about these numbers:

39        39% of adult Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of sexual assault since the age of sixteen.
42        42% of women with disabilities have been or are in abusive intimate partner relationships.
58        58%  Alberta had the second highest rate of violence against women in Canada
1188     $ 1188 is what many of us try to live on month to month. Some of us don’t make it.
41,000  Is the number of Albertans living on AISH.
347      $ 347 dollars a month more is what it will take to help Albertans living on AISH to be above the poverty line.
1          Is all it takes... You to help raise awareness...violence and poverty no more for people with disabilities.  Learn about the 1188 challenge and fill out a postcard today. Without you. Without us. There is no hope. Hope for life above the poverty line. Happy International Women’s Day everyone! 

I AM A PERSON (read by Sue Bente, written by Mary Salvani)

 I am a person, who happens to have a disability,
A lot of people see me as one who has no capability.

I am a person, who has got good caring heart,
Who has remained unseen right from the start.

I am a person who has finished school,
where I learned that teachers and peers see me as a fool.

I am a person who feels hurt every day,
Because people say mean things and smack me out of the way.

I am a person who deserves to be fed.
Not sent away every night hungry and off to bed.

I am a person whose sexual boundaries have been broken leaving a void inside me,
That has kept me as a prisoner instead letting me be free.

I am a person who deserves to be treated with dignity, honor, and respect, Instead I feel like I am a reject.

I am a person who feels broken into pieces like is a puzzle,
because the words inside me had been muzzled.

I am a person who deserves to be treated well,
Instead I am living inside a jail cell.

I am a person who needs to be heard.
Yet no one has stopped and cared enough to listen to any of my words. 

Media Coverage

Photos of International Women's Day rally at Harry Hays by Colleen Huston

Calgary Journal on rally by Laura Wershler 

CBC (scroll to minute 16) News Coverage

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