The Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University of Newfoundland will hold its second annual silent auction in support of International Women’s Day on Friday, March 5. The auction runs from 12- 2 p.m. in Hampton Hall and the media is invited to attend.
The event is organized by MI International, the international office of the Marine Institute, and will include 99 unique gifts including jewelry, wooden crafts, silk scarves, purses and a variety of gourmet foods. The 99 gifts are symbolic of the fact that this year’s celebration represents the 99th official International Women’s Day.
Proceeds from the auction will go to local food banks.
“We decided to donate the proceeds to food banks because quite often, the majority of people who rely on food bank services are women and families on low and/or fixed incomes,” said Kelly Moret of MI International. “We wanted to offer support to this group of women while acknowledging that women and children are the most negatively impacted by poverty in our province.”
In 2009, more than 75 MI faculty and staff took part in the silent auction, helping to raise $800 for the Bridges to Hope food bank. Ms. Moret is confident a similar amount can again be raised.
“Most of the items available at the auction were created by women in developing countries around the world. There will be a lot of beautiful crafts, clothing, wooden carvings and jewelry available,” Ms. Moret said. “The items were purchased, and then donated, by MI faculty, staff and managers who have participated in our development projects. The original purchase of these items helped support women and their families in developing countries and now the proceeds from the silent auction will support women and children in our province.”
A power point presentation highlighting the achievements of MI International projects in support of women’s development and the push for equality and progress will take place during Friday’s silent auction. MI faculty and staff who have participated in international projects will be available for discussion during this time.
A unique sale will also take place, during which men will be charged $1 for a coffee and a pastry while women will only pay 77 cents. Ms. Moret says this is a subtle, yet effective, way to demonstrate the discrepancy in wages of men and women where it is estimated women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man.
“We are hoping to raise awareness about a very serious issue facing many women today,” Ms. Moret said.
International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 each year in countries all over the world. It is a day to acknowledge the cultural, political and economic impact women make on the international stage.
Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day 2010 is Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All. For more information, visit www.internationalwomensday.com