North Cowichan celebrates International Women’s Day

(North Cowichan, BC) – Marked annually on March 8, International Women's Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is witnessed worldwide as groups come together to celebrate women's achievements and raise awareness for women's equality.

North Cowichan is constantly striving to be a more inclusive and diverse employer, and one of our values speaks to fostering a culture where all staff feel accepted, welcome, and safe, and contribute to a positive, respectful, and fun work environment. The Official Community Plan, adopted in 2022, outlines a robust social justice and equity framework that provides guidance around ensuring a social equity lens is considered when making municipal decisions.

“International Women’s Day is not just something we say or write about. It is an opportunity to embrace equity in all that we do,” said Councillor and Deputy Mayor Debra Toporowski. “A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society's DNA, including part of Council decisions in North Cowichan.”

Debra Toporowski was elected to her second term on North Cowichan council in 2022, and previously had been on both North Cowichan and Cowichan Tribes councils at the same time. She is the first Indigenous woman to hold a seat on North Cowichan council, serve as Deputy Mayor, sit on the Cowichan Valley Regional District board of directors, and the first Indigenous person with part Chinese heritage to serve on Cowichan Tribes council.

Over 40 per cent of North Cowichan’s workforce identifies as female. The North Cowichan paid-on-call fire department is currently represented by 12 per cent women, a figure that is hoped to grow in the near future. The fire department is currently recruiting members to be part of its paid-on-call force. You must be at least 19 years of age, a resident of North Cowichan, have a current Class 5 driver’s licence, and in good physical condition to apply.


Media Contact:       
Barb Floden
Manager, Communications and Public Engagement