EDITORIAL: Do we still need to honour Women’s Day? | Squamish Chief

EDITORIAL: Do we still need to honour Women’s Day?

One day, hopefully, International Women’s Day — held March 8 each year — will be an antiquated celebration from a bygone era.

It will seem as obvious that the genders are equal as it is taken for granted today that we don’t send children to work in factories.

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Sometimes, it can seem as if we are almost at that equitable stage in Squamish.

After all, women power this town. We have Mayor Karen Elliott at the helm of the municipality, six women on the Squamish Nation council, Insp. Kara Triance as the Officer in Charge of the Sea to Sky Detachment, Louise Walker, executive director of the Squamish Chamber of Commerce and so many more amazing women leading in business, politics, religion and sport.

The publisher of both The Squamish Chief and Whistler’s Pique Newsmagazine is a woman, too, for the record.

This week in The Chief we feature an ironworker, Arctic explorer and MMA world title-holder — all Squamish women.

For children, seeing people who look like them in all sorts of roles they can aspire to is key. On this front, the future is bright here in the Sea to Sky.

But there are still cracks in this pretty picture.

Less than one in five of all leadership roles in Canada are held by women, according to 2016 Stats Can data.

And gender-based violence remains all too common.

Women are at a 20% higher risk of experiencing violence against them than men.

Being an Indigenous woman is a key risk factor for experiencing violence.

These inequalities hold us all back, regardless of our gender.

Imagine you are on a team in a game of tug-a-war and half of the team is disproportionally a target or not allowed to pull as hard. That weakens the whole team.

We still need to work toward equality.

To honour this quest Howe Sound Women’s Centre is holding ‘Raising Our Voices’ the annual celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8 at the Maury Young Arts Centre in Whistler. This event is a showcase of local, femme-identifying, musicians with two performances — one at 3:30 and once at 7:30, and a silent auction. The goal is to raise $15,000 toward the centre’s invaluable work.

The Foyer Gallery is presenting “Women’s Art Show Project Honouring International Women’s Day”  with a Grand Reception March 10  at 6 p.m. at the Squamish Public Library.

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