Since 1909 International Women’s Day has focussed attention on women’s work. When hundreds of young working class immigrant women were killed in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City in 1911, IWD became truly international. March 8 provides a time to both reflect and act on what has happened in the lives of women during the past year. For many of us IWD was an important introduction to the women’s movement and issues. The marches, demonstrations, dances and celebrations in early March are often the focus of debates and struggles within the movement itself. The first time we marched with women through the streets of Vancouver in the 1970s we were overcome by the energy and commitment of groups whose banners proclaimed the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective or rape crisis centre, lesbian mothers, anarchafeminists, anti-poverty or arts collectives. In the later 1990s our enthusiasm tends to fluctuate. Despite gains made by grassroots and academic women in Canada, hundreds of thousands of women remain isolated through poverty, ill-health, violence, race, geography, lack of access to education, little economic decision-making power, poor wages and double or triple workdays. Why then, should we continue to celebrate what appears to be a paradox? Perhaps because the victories feel so precious.