International Women’s Day Statement

Happy International Women’s Day! 


Today and every day, the UVSS seeks to serve students from an intersectional, feminist, and decolonial lens. We recognize that people continue to be marginalized on the basis of gender, and this impacts people differently depending on their identity and experiences.


We also acknowledge that to be a “woman” is not a singular or universal experience. We recognize and stand in solidarity with the diversity of experiences of womanhood — and how these experiences intersect with racialization, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and colonization.

We believe that none of us are free until all of us are free. The liberation of women from patriarchy is at once the liberation of racialized women from white supremacy, the liberation of queer women from homophobia and transphobia, the liberation of working-class women from the vicious cycle of poverty, and so forth. These systems of oppression reinforce each other — we cannot combat one by reproducing the others. The groups pushing abortion bans are the same ones criminalizing queer visibility, dumping funding into policing Black and Indigenous communities, privatizing our healthcare, rolling back workers’ protections, and destroying the global ecosystem. There is no world where we can achieve liberation by allying ourselves with reactionaries — any threat made to one group of women is a threat made against all of us.

We exist in a world where the most dangerous place to be a woman is in the home with a man that you know; where violence on the basis of sex and gender — femicide — is incredibly prevalent, though it is hardly ever recognized as such. We see this in the EQHR Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response policy, which includes zero mentions of intimate partner violence, something the UVSS has been pounding the table about for months. Women exist as distinct individuals and yet so often they are deprived of life and autonomy because it is believed that men should have ownership of their bodies and livelihoods.


We recognize how gender inequity shows up on our own campus, one prominent example being enrollment discrepancies across faculties — for example, only 19% of the engineering and computer science faculty are female students. So we pose the question: What are our responsibilities in the fight to achieve gender liberation? 


We are once again urging the UVic Administration to implement mandatory EDI training across all curricula, especially those where there are such great gender gaps.   


We’d like to highlight a women-led group on campus: UVic Women in Science! This club works to create an inclusive and empowering environment that welcomes people of all gender identities to engage in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Their mission is to foster connections and provide unwavering support for women and misogyny-affected STEM students to learn, grow, and shape a future where everyone can thrive in STEM together. Watch our story to see a short video with more information about UVic Women in Science, hosted by two of the group’s student leaders! 

We’d also like to highlight the important work done by the Gender Empowerment Centre, @uvicgem, an advocacy group focused on the needs of self-identified women, non-binary, trans, and gender nonconforming people, and the UVSS Anti-Violence Project, @anti.violence.project, which works to end gender-based & sexualized violence.

Once again, Happy International Women’s Day! 


UVSS Executive Team