Women in Revelstoke doing incredible things will be recognized this Friday March 8, as part of International Women’s Day celebrations.

The Women of Inspiration event will be held at DOSE Coffee, from 5.30 to 7.30 p.m. with free refreshments and live music. It is hosted by the Revelstoke Review newspaper and donations raised will go towards the Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society.

The women’s movement has come a long way since this day was celebrated over a century ago.

“There are many resources and support available for women today, especially single mothers,” Revelstoke Women’s Shelter Society’s executive director Lynn Loeppky said. “I feel for my mother’s generation — it felt like things were more hidden. Canada’s first women’s shelters weren’t created until around the early 1970s.”

Recent headlines have emphasized how far there is still to go in campaigning for women’s rights, particularly in other parts of the world. In January, the plight of a Saudi woman seeking asylum reached headlines across the globe.

18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun was detained in Bangkok airport, on her way to seek asylum, where her passport was stolen and plans were made for her to catch a return flight to Saudi Arabia. She barricaded herself in a hotel room until the UNHCR became involved. They validated her asylum claim and she was fast-tracked to Canada where she has now begun her new life.

The story highlighted many other cases of young Saudi women seeking asylum. Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship laws are well known for their strict rules that require women to seek permission to be able to do things, like get a passport. Human Rights Watch reports that women who attempt to flee an abusive spouse or family can be arrested and returned to their families. If they flee or are referred to shelters, they are not allowed to leave unless they reconcile with family members or accept an arranged marriage.

This is in stark contrast to here, where the Revelstoke shelter helps women to thrive and grow after experiencing abusive situations.

“We try to make the shelter a positive experience and provide services to help women get back on their feet,” Loeppky said. “We are lucky to have this resource available for women in need.”