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Author reading celebrates International Women’s Day

Marcia Braundy will be reading at the Nelson Library on March 5 - Submitted photo
Marcia Braundy will be reading at the Nelson Library on March 5
— image credit: Submitted photo

The day Marcia Braundy was about to take her Inter-provincial Exam to become the first Journeywoman Carpenter in British Columbia, she found a twisted framing square on her classroom desk with an unprintable word scrawled across it. Now, more than 30 years later, Dr. Marcia Braundy has developed and delivered countless courses and seminars in workplaces and institutions on the subject of women in trades.

The author of Men & Women and Tools: Bridging the Divide (Fernwood Publishing, 2012) presents her book and offers a jumpstart to International Women’s Day on Tuesday, March 5 at 7:30 pm at the Nelson Public Library, co-sponsored by the Nelson & District Women’s Centre. Admission is by donation.

“Since the first time I picked up a hammer as the volunteer coordinator at the Vallican Whole Community Centre, I have loved construction work,” says Braundy in her prologue. That love is clear: Braundy was the first woman in the construction sector of the B.C. Carpenter's Union, building everything from hospitals, housing and shopping malls to coal silos 278' tall—and she continues in the trade to the present.

A self-described academic/feminist and social change activist, Braundy received her PhD from the University of British Columbia in 2005.

The early days weren’t easy, with harassment common for women in what was then considered a male occupation. After a call for change met with little response, Braundy gathered funding from a number of institutions, including the BC Provincial Council of United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the BC Human Rights Commission, and the Secretary of State Women’s Program to develop a groundbreaking program aimed at acceptance of women in the trades. In 1992 Braundy became National Coordinator of Women in Trades and Technology.

International Women’s Day, Celebrated March 8 each year, began in the 1900s to raise awareness of women’s issues and to celebrate accomplishments such as Braundy’s, and those of all women who stood for change.

The Nelson and District Women’s Centre was founded in 1972. The oldest rural women’s centre in Canada, NDWC’s mission is to create a healthy community through providing support for women and dismantling gender inequality.

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