Dr. Gretchen Roedde and a Join Me on the Bridge participant carry signs for the day’s event on the North Bay overpass.
On Friday March 8th in celebration of International Women’s Day the North East Women’s Health Alliance, (NEWHA) hosted two well-attended events.
NEWHA (whose members include ACNBA staff) were thrilled host Dr. Gretchen Roedde at St. Andrews Church and join women on over 500 bridges worldwide for the Join me on the Bridge event. Dr. Roedde has worked in 30 poor countries around the world, in Africa, Asia, the South Pacific and the Caribbean.
She trained at the University of Toronto and McMaster University Medical School. She teaches at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and formerly at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in England. Her specialty is the health of pregnant women. Women who are physically or emotionally abused are more likely to have no care in pregnancy and childbirth and are more likely to die when they are pregnant or have given birth. Her work in the poorest countries of the world, where the deaths of women are the highest, has been supported by various governments such as Canada, Australia, Luxemburg, Denmark, and the Irish government, as well as the United Nations and the World Bank. Dr. Roedde has also worked with Non-Governmental Organizations such as World Vision, Rotary, and Planned Parenthood. She is a practising Roman Catholic and the mother of 2 grown children. Her book, ‘A Doctor’s Quest’ was No. 6 on the Canadian non-fiction best seller list in the Globe and Mail one week before it was published Sept. 8 2012, and went into a second print after 1 week. It has been profiled in the Toronto Star in October and was the subject of an editorial in the Ottawa Citizen in December. All of the author’s proceeds are going back into mother and child health and to combat HIV/AIDS.
After Dr. Roedde’s presentation NEWHA invited the community to join them on the West Ferris overpass for North Bay’s first annual Join me on the Bridge event. Over 60 people attended the event and took a stand on the bridge for women’s rights. Join me on the Bridge is the biggest women’s rights campaign in the world today. What started as a gathering of Rwandan and Congolese women on a bridge connecting their two countries, showing that women can build bridges of peace and hope for the future, has sparked what is today a massive global movement. NEWHA was pleased with the success of both events and looks forward to hosting more initiatives in the near future and celebrating International Women’s day on March 8th, next year.