SHE Canada - - CONTENT - EDITOR S.M. Kam­ran Zaidi

As this is­sue was go­ing to print, the world ob­served In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day. Marked on the 8th of March each year, IWD takes on dif­fer­ent forms in many parts of the world. In Eastern Europe, March 8th is a hy­brid of Valen­tine’s Day and Mother’s Day, with women re­ceiv­ing flow­ers and gifts as a form of ap­pre­ci­a­tion from their male rel­a­tives and loved ones. Else­where, the po­lit­i­cal mes­sage be­hind March 8th re­mains at the fore­front, with the UN declar­ing “Equal­ity for Women is Progress for All” as this year’s theme.

In the fight for women’s progress and equal­ity around the world, one woman caught our at­ten­tion. Her name is Laxmi, and at just 16 years of age she be­came the vic­tim of an acid at­tack at a bus stop in In­dia. Her at­tacker was an ac­quain­tance seek­ing re­venge af­ter Laxmi re­fused his ro­man­tic ad­vances. In­stead of hid­ing as count­less other vic­tims have done, Laxmi be­came the brave face of a pow­er­ful move­ment to curb acid sales and an ad­vo­cate for the vic­tims. The In­dian Supreme Court called for the im­me­di­ate reg­u­la­tion of acid sales and the aid and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of vic­tims fol­low­ing this brave young woman’s many tele­vi­sion ap­pear­ances and vol­un­teer ef­forts.

Laxmi re­ceived global at­ten­tion af­ter she was awarded the In­ter­na­tional Women of Courage Award, but that hardly means that our work in in­ter­na­tional women’s rights is fin­ished. Here in North Amer­ica, it can be all too easy to for­get the strug­gle for women’s equal­ity around the world—from In­dia to Afghanistan and the Congo. As al­ways, our pages are filled with women who have inspired oth­ers through their ded­i­ca­tion to their work, their tal­ent and their un­flinch­ing de­ter­mi­na­tion. Among them is this month’s cover girl: Merle Oberon. This Hol­ly­wood screen leg­end daz­zled au­di­ences with her beauty and com­mand­ing per­for­mances in Hol­ly­wood’s Golden Age, but the star­let had a se­cret. Priya Ku­mar re­veals what Oberon tried to keep hid­den in our must-read cover story. (p.38)

As sum­mer be­comes less of a dis­tant prom­ise and more of a tan­gi­ble re­al­ity, we bring you the latest must-have trends to wear now and dur­ing the heat waves to come. Our fash­ion cov­er­age is our most di­verse yet, as we look at tal­ented names from Lon­don, Paris, Mum­bai and Namibia.

Lastly, we look back on one par­tic­u­larly frosty win­ter day when Canada took on the US in the North­east semi-fi­nals in Polo. Did Canada make it to the fi­nals? Read on to find out. (p. 70) On the same day as the Polo match, the Cana­dian men’s hockey team bat­tled Swe­den for the gold medal in Sochi. I’m sure that our read­ers are as pleased as we are with their vic­tory, as well as that of the women’s hockey team and the gold medal sweep by both the men’s and women’s curl­ing teams.

Although In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day has come and gone, I urge you to be re­minded of the plight for equal­ity and fair­ness each day. It shouldn’t take a hol­i­day to raise global aware­ness to this crit­i­cal cause.

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