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REPORTING · 15th April 2012
Walter McFarlane
Tamitik Status of Women (TSW) celebrated their 35 anniversary on March 8th, International Women’s Day. A large crowd gathered at Mount Elizabeth Theatre for a presentation by Susan Aglukark, a renowned Canadian singer / songwriter and inspiration speaker.

Linda Slanina, Executive Director of TSW, spoke about how the organization began.

“Tamitik Status of Women was incorporated as a Non Profit Society on December 3rd, 1976. It started out with a small group of women gathered at one of their homes, to share their common needs, thoughts and concerns in Kitimat. It was comforting for them to learn they shared the same or similar experiences and concerns such as isolation, lack of transportation, shopping, schools, childcare, issues with limited employment opportunities for women, healthcare and no safe place in town or in Kitamaat Village for women and children,” said Slanina.

She explained TSW has been successful in hosting several conferences on women’s gatherings and building safer communities. They have established Dunmore Place, a safe haven for women and children in the community of Kitimat. They have introduced out reach programs, crisis intervention programs, counselling for children and several antipoverty programs.

She also explained why they chose International Woman’s Day as the day to celebrate their anniversary. International Woman’s Day was first celebrated in 1911 after women received important rights, the right to vote, hold public office and access to permanent employment. The day is used to celebrate further advancement of women and reminds people that change is still needed to achieve equality.

“Although we have made progress on many issues there is still much more to do,” said Slanina. “Despite the progress over the past century challenges still exist around the world and many women continue to face gender discrimination, violence, lower pay, lack of education and healthcare.”

Other speakers included Colleen Nyce from Rio Tinto Alcan and Mayor Joanne Monaghan. Monaghan shared her international experiences in empowering women to become leaders in third world nations with the audience.

Aglukark told her story how she became a singer and songwriter and several of the stories behind the songs she had written. She also sang several pieces.

Afterwards, everyone was invited to share a dessert and conversation at the Mount Elizabeth Cafeteria.