Statement from Alberta Liberal Leader Swann on International Women’s Day:
Today is International Women’s Day, a recognition as important now as when first celebrated over a hundred years ago.
This year Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Women’s Empowerment Leads to Equality’. Empowering women through freedom from violence, education and financial independence enriches all of society and can make the transition to equality that much quicker.
As a doctor and then MLA, I have had the great fortune to listen to many uplifting stories from women who have empowered themselves to overcome immense obstacles. Sometimes empowerment is through education, sometimes through community support and sometimes through sheer, dogged determination.
International Women’s Day also reminds us that the obstacles shouldn’t be so immense.
Sometimes it is our institutions which create obstacles. Just this month we saw the City of Edmonton appoint only one woman out of 13 general managers. In the boardrooms of Canada, too, gains made towards equality seem stunted. To be fair, there has been improvement, with many fine women in executive positions. Still, Justin Trudeau set the example for all of Canada when naming a gender equal cabinet.
On behalf of myself and the Liberal Opposition, I wish you all the best on International Women’s Day.