"Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women." - Maya Angelou.
Gender inequality is a prevalent issue in society today, as many women encounter discrimination, such as domestic and sexual violence, lower pay, lack of access to education, and inadequate healthcare, solely based on their sex and gender. For this reason, Women's rights is a decades-long continuous movement to achieve universal gender equality. However, gender equality is only possible if women stand as a collective.
To promote this initiative, a group of accomplished female professionals co-founded Tamil Women Rising in 2017. Tamil Women Rising is a not-for-profit organization based in Toronto, Canada, to establish a professional network of empowered Tamil women to advance in their respective careers.
After six years of operations, Tamil Women Rising has become a thriving organization that offers a platform for Tamil women of all ages to boldly assert themselves and embrace their careers, voices, and identities while relentlessly working toward creating a world where gender equality is the norm.
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In honour of their initiative, Tamil Women Rising conducts an annual conference to commemorate International Women's Day. This year, the event is held in person on March 2nd, 2023, at Netwyn Place, giving attendees the space to interact with each other face-to-face. The theme of this year's conference is #hearHERspeak, which aims to provide women with a platform to openly discuss issues related to gender inequality while networking with a community of strong, powerful, and influential women.
The #hearHERspeak conference will feature three distinguished keynote speakers: Mohini Datta-Ray, Archana Ravichandradeva, and Saeideh Fard.
Mohini Datta-Ray serves as the executive director of Planned Parenthood Toronto, a community health center focused on promoting reproductive justice, health, and well-being for young individuals through a culturally-responsive approach. Mohini will be participating in the conference to address the issue of reproductive justice, specifically the impact of the repeal of Roe v. Wade in the United States concerning reproductive rights in Canada.
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Reproductive justice is a human rights framework encompassing the right to have children, not to have children, and to parent children in safe and healthy environments. It recognizes that reproductive decisions are interconnected with other social, economic, and political issues and that individuals should be able to make their own decisions about their bodies and families without coercion, discrimination, or violence.
As the Executive Director of People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL), Archana Ravichandradeva leads an organization established in 2005 by a group of volunteers who had witnessed the human rights violations and hardships endured by Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka. Archana will share insights on the Tamil Mothers of the Disappeared and their contributions towards the pursuit of justice in Sri Lanka.
Tamil Mothers of the Disappeared and their contributions towards the pursuit of justice in Sri Lanka are vital because they shed light on the human rights abuses that have occurred, amplify the voices of victims and survivors, and contribute to the ongoing struggle for justice and accountability.
Saeideh Fard is the Senior Vice President of Finance at PointClickCare, the primary technology partner for Electronic Health Record systems within North America's senior care industry. Her ability to provide operational insights has resulted in her being consistently acknowledged for her contribution to facilitating financial decision-making processes in fast-paced, evolving organizations. Saeideh will lead the conversation about Iran's Woman Life Freedom movement and why it requires global attention.
The movement highlights the persistent gender inequalities and discrimination that women face in Iran, particularly in employment, education, and legal rights. Understanding women's challenges and obstacles in Iran can help raise awareness and promote gender equality globally.
Along with the prominent keynote speakers, the #hearHERspeak conference will host several other speakers who will facilitate meaningful discussions on the collective effort to advance women's equality in honour of International Women's Day. Be a part of significant change and take a stand for all women by joining the conversation on March 2nd at Netwyn Place.
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