Walk In Her Shoes event raises awareness for girls in developing countries

On Tuesday, March 6, CARE Canada, a division of an international humanitarian organization dedicated to fighting global poverty, held its second annual Walk In Her Shoes fundraiser ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8 to raise awareness for women and girls in developing countries.

The event started at 11:30 a.m. on Parliament Hill, with speeches by notable individuals such as Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.

Following speeches, the group of over 100 participants walked down Elgin street to City Hall, where they were greeted by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, and treated to lunch by sponsors of the event including Gabriel’s Pizza.

The walk was held in solidarity with women from developing countries who often have to walk up to 10,000 steps a day to collect basic necessities, taking up time that organizers believe can be better put towards education.

Darcy Knoll, a University of Ottawa alumnus and communications specialist at CARE Canada explained that the event is part of a broader effort to address women’s needs across the organization.

“We felt one day wasn’t enough,” he explained in reference to International Women’s Day, sharing that the organization is spearheading events throughout the month for their March For Women campaign.

“It’s really part of this global effort to draw attention to efforts to promote gender equality and women’s rights and show that people really care about these efforts,” he said, adding that other offices are participating in countries like Niger, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and England.

One of the organizers, fourth-year international development and globalization student Leah Friedman, who got involved through the community service learning program through the U of O shared that “they’re trying to bring it in close to international women’s day because the program is for mothers, mothers’ empowerment, and combating child malnutrition.”

Tuesday’s event raised $15,098 in donations from the public, which Knoll says will go towards funding nutrition work in southern Africa, including training to help women take charge of health efforts in their communities.

Friedman encourages students to join the cause, even if they don’t have the economic means to donate. “It’s great to be a volunteer,” she said. “You’re still contributing through your time, you get to meet a lot of people. It’s a good way to get involved.”

To learn more about CARE Canada, you can follow them on Twitter.