Recognizing International Women’s Day 2023

On Wednesday, March 8, the University of Toronto celebrates International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is one of the United Nations’ more longstanding international observances, originating from a resolution passed by the General Assembly in 1977. In 2023, marking International Women’s Day is an opportunity to amplify the achievements of women while recognizing that gender parity is still a distant goal.

2022 brought many challenges to this goal. Among them, the harassment of Iranian women by morality police, so fatally experienced by Mahsa Amini; the suspension of post-secondary education for Afghan women, which deepened the educational disenfranchisement of both women and girls; the persistence, in provinces across Canada, of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQ+ people despite a national action plan that commits to ending it.

These difficult facts—compounded by others locally and globally—confirm that fighting for gender equity cannot be a one-time effort. Nor is it something we can ever consider to be “done.” It is crucial to engage in ongoing conversations about how to protect human rights for everyone, everywhere: the right to live without violence and harassment. The right to participate in leadership and decision-making at all levels of society. The right to be educated, to make choices freely, and to pursue one’s own dreams.

The University of Toronto is committed to holding space for these conversations. We are expanding representation in academic and leadership roles and creating policies, services, and practices that are more inclusive for all members of our tri-campus community. We recognize, too, that intersecting identities can exacerbate an individual’s experience of oppression.

On International Women’s Day, let’s renew our resolve to continue these efforts. Let’s do so not at the exclusion of others, but to ensure that diverse needs and perspectives are equally considered. In this way, we can work together to create a more equitable institution—and a more equitable world.

Related Programming

Our Stories: International Women’s Day Student Panel Discussion

Hosted by: International Education Centre, International Student Centre, and the Centre for International Experience

Date: March 8, 12:00 – 1:30 pm

Location: Virtual Event (Zoom)

Join us and listen to the lived experiences of three U of T students as they share their unique stories as part of International Women’s Day. Participants will be entered to win a raffle prize.


     Learn more and register

Women in Hip-Hop: Refusal, Resistance, and Interruption

Co-presented by Hart House, Fresh, Bold, and So Def at the Universal Hip-Hop Museum, and the Hip-Hop Education Center

Date: March 8, 3:00 – 4:30 pm

Location: Virtual Event (Zoom)

In celebration of Hip-Hop’s 50th year, we continue to shine an unapologetic light on the myriad contributions of women to the art, culture, and impact of Hip-Hop.

How can we retrace the origin story of the culture and art from Cindy Campbell’s idea to throw the first “jam,” and how many mold-breakers, interrupters, and disruptors need to be known more widely during this monumental anniversary for the culture and art form? What are the major accomplishments by women that have been ignored by media? Who are the cultural custodians keeping the culture alive on their shoulders?

Join us to unpack these and more questions in what is sure to be an enriching and celebratory conversation with giants in the origin story of Hip-Hop.


     Learn more and register

Pitch with a Twist – Celebrating International Women’s Day

Date: March 8, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Location: Innovation Complex Rotunda, University of Toronto Mississauga

In support of International Women’s Day, UTM is hosting the Pitch with a Twist event.

In addition to start-up finalists competing for cash and in-kind prizes, Lesley Hampton—Anishinaabe artist and fashion designer—will be this year’s keynote speaker. Lesley has been featured in the Globe and Mail, and VOGUE has declared her as having the “#1 Canadian Brand to keep an eye on.”

Be ready to enjoy the night by supporting some great ideas, amplifying underrepresented voices, and enjoying some delicious food.


     Learn more and register

More IWD Events

U of T is hosting events across the three campuses featuring inspirational leaders and student groups. Visit the U of T News website to learn more.

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