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“Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”

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More than 80 years after winning the right to vote and being declared 'persons' in 1929, women in Canada are often treated as second-class citizens. Women are not proportionately or equally represented in government; only 22% of our Members of Parliament are women and Canada ranks 50th in the world in representation of women in the national lower house. In the community where I live, there is only one woman in municipal politics. Our current government has been reducing or eliminating funding for many women's programs and foundations, has attacked pay equity for women, cancelled childcare agreements with the provinces of Canada, and have yet to put a plan in motion to find Canada’s missing and murdered aboriginal women. Women in Canada are still doing most of the work at home and are out working as well, creating a second shift that leaves women exhausted. Canadian women still face the threat of sexual assault on a daily basis, while lacking fully funded sexual assault centres and laws that punish offenders severely. Canada is the second largest country in the world, with great distances between cities; it is difficult to gather groups of women together in one place to discuss matters of importance. My greatest personal challenge is being a strong woman and an advocate for other women, all while raising my children, taking care of my elderly family members, balancing my work-life commitments and developing as an individual.

I have often had conversations with my friends about empowering women, and one of the topics that always comes up is the feeling of helplessness. Most women are not rich and famous, and it is sometimes difficult to see how we as individuals can help with enormous problems both at home and around the world. How can one woman make a difference? I think that talking about issues is the first step to solving problems, and sharing of oneself leads to solutions. I volunteer with Pro-Choice Ottawa, have walked in marches to Take Back the Night, and I lead discussion groups on rape culture and sexual assaults at local high schools. After feeling frustrated that women's voices were not being taken seriously by the all-male executive of my trade union, I ran for the position of Vice-President and I won! We are coming up on a federal election in Canada; I will be volunteering to assist the campaign of one of the female candidates, and also interviewing other candidates on their views on women's issues.

Pulse Wire and other social media sites give me the opportunity to speak to women around the world; to ask questions, share ideas and collaborate on solutions that will affect women globally. Pulse Wire inspires me to keep trying and keep sharing!

“Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”
~ Charlotte Whitton, Mayor of Ottawa, 1951 - 1956 and 1960 - 1964.

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JT Long's picture

From Within

I love that you are changing the system from within. You are an inspiration to your children and women all over the world.

JT Long

telling stories; creating communities

Amei's picture

I salute!

Hi PaxFeminia,

Reading you post, I am posing questions to myself. You have had similar responsibilities and to see you focusing on "developing as a individual" is making me think hard.

I have never been an advocate; I was doing things, getting things done. Looking after my two kids with an extended family, work life, listening to people and there stories... and it stopped there. I am a strong woman - that’s what people say. I saw life challenges as consequences of my choices and tried to deal with it for the best of others...in the process I lost myself. Let me think!

Thank you, Cheers Amei

sallysmithr's picture

Your article is very

Your article is very passionate and I love that you are getting involved and doing what you can to have your voice heard. It is also always interesting to read about how things can be so different even in a country so close. Keep up the great work and I'll be thinking of you in your pursuits!

Thanks,

Sally

Christine.Dahl's picture

PaxF - you identified many of

PaxF - you identified many of the core challenges that I think women world-wide face: caring for the larger community as well as those closest to us, including ourselves. Congratulations on your successful election. I hope you enjoy leading. Thank you for sharing your voice and time here and I look forward to hearing more about your journey.
Warmly,
Christine

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