International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the gains we’ve made together for women and girls. It is also an important opportunity to recognize how much more there is to be done towards building a province where everyone can truly share in the opportunities we create.
As women we need to stand in solidarity with one another and support each other’s efforts to make positive social change.
We should never accept that any woman in Ontario has to live her life in fear, or accept fewer opportunities. We should never accept that any woman in Ontario has to work three jobs, for wages that still leave her family struggling to make ends meet. And we should never accept that real action to improve the lives of women can be delayed any longer – put off for another day, another decade, or another generation.
Because when Ontario’s women succeed, we all succeed.
When women and girls flourish, so do our communities.
Together, we can build a province that improves the lives of women. We can take real action on pay and employment equity, affordable licensed child care, affordable housing, shelters, transitional housing and supports for women fleeing violence, and ending precarious work.
We can recommit ourselves – women and men – to speak up and act to end violence against all women whether straight, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, queer or 2-spirited, and by going beyond an inquiry to tackle the root causes of Canada’s national crisis of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women.
I believe that is how to best celebrate International Women’s Day – we celebrate our victories, and the women upon whose shoulders we stand while strengthening our resolve to continue their work and achieving the dignity, safety and equality of all women.
All the very best for an inspiring International Women’s Day!