Women’s Arts Gala against violence

By Naomi Sturtridge

It happens to many, but is talked about by few. Around the world at least one out of every three women have been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime. On Sunday, Apr. 3, the University of Calgary Amnesty International group held a Women’s Arts Gala to raise awareness of violence against women.

“We weren’t focusing on any one single country or culture,” said UCAIA executive director, Andrea Lukatela of planning the event. “[Violence against women] is a problem that permeates every single culture across the globe.”

The event, which was held in the U of C ballroom, was organized to promote Amnesty International’s Silence is Violence campaign. With a duration of two years, the goal of the campaign is to provide international awareness of the problem of violence against women and to encourage citizens to speak out against it.

Lukatela, who is a third year International Relations student at the U of C, expressed concern about the lack of awareness of violence against women in Canada.

“We wanted to specifically look at the problem of violence against aboriginal women in Canada,” she said. “These women and their problems have remained virtually invisible [to the Canadian public.]”

The event showcased an arts display of local women artists from both the U of C and the Alberta College of Art and Design along with displays containing information about local and global women’s issues. The program for the evening featured guest speakers, cultural dance performances and poetry readings.

Admission to the event was by donation, with close to $800 being raised for local women’s groups.

For more information or to get involved, contact the UCAIA at 220-7012 or visit them in MSC 279.

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