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Marchers for women's rights

By Patrick Burgess, GazetteNET News, Monday 13 March 2000

Bermuda, March 8, 2000 - Women and men may join a march about Hamilton today to show support for eliminating poverty and ending discrimination and violence towards women.

Sponsored by the large white collar union, the Bermuda Public Services Association, it is being held in conjunction with marches around the world for International Women's Day.

To begin at noon at the union's headquarters at the junction of Angle Street and Cedar Avenue, its theme is "2000 Good Reasons to March".

The march will continue along Cedar Avenue, onto Wesley Street, around the City Hall parking lot and onto Church Street.

Marchers will continue eastward to Court Street, then onto Victoria Street and back on Cedar Avenue to the union headquarters for a speech by director of counselling services at the Women's Resource Centre, Sharon Apopa.

Mrs. Apopa will speak on "Conjugal Terrorism (Families held Hostage in Domestic Violence)".

International Women's Day was started in 1910 to honour the efforts of female workers, particularly those who were in the "Bread and Roses" march in New York City in March 1909.

The demonstrators demanded bread be the symbol of economic security and roses for a better life.

The worldwide march began in 1995 after Quebec women held a "Bread and Roses" march, continued later that year at the international women's conference in Beijing, China.

The BPSA joins the march in support of the eradication of all forms of discrimination and violence against women in Bermuda and around the world and the elimination of poverty.

Member of Parliament Kim Young said last night: "Most people feel all is right on the women's front in Bermuda because our political parties are headed by women and our Attorney General is a woman.

"Many of our women have reached great heights and they deserve the highest accolades, but there are still women suffering," she added.

Ms Young highlighted the number of complaints to the Human Rights Commission about pregnancy issues, the amount of violence perpetrated against women and children, and the need for a gender sensitive judicial system.

She added: "On March 8th, men and women should take a look around them and examine whether women are being treated equally, and receiving social justice."

Copyright by The Royal Gazette Ltd