Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann made the following statement on the floor of the Alberta Legislature for International Women’s Day:
“Today we celebrate the achievements made in gender equality over the years. Just over a hundred years ago, women did not have the right to vote. Even fifty years ago, the franchise was still being withheld from First Nations women.
“Today women hold one in three seats in this House. While there is still much progress that needs to be made on many women’s issues, this is an encouraging trend, and I look forward to seeing it continue into the future.
“The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is Be Bold for Change. Across Alberta, Canada, and the world, individuals and organizations are honouring this day by encouraging women to be bold, and by doing so – hopefully with the full support of men – creating real change.
“I particularly want to acknowledge the work of Ask Her, a group in Calgary that is working to encourage greater representation of women in municipal politics. Ask Her recognizes that one of the reasons so few women hold public office is that they are too rarely asked to run. As such, they encourage Calgarians to seek out strong, well-qualified women in their communities and ask them to take leadership roles.
“This year, Ask Her will ask 20 women to run for Calgary City Council. At present only two of the City’s fourteen Councillors are women, a meagre 14%. Ask Her aims to achieve 50% female representation on Council after this fall’s municipal election on October 21st, and they have my full support in this.
“Our province – our country – our society is made better when strong, passionate, and engaged women become involved in their communities and bring their voices to the table. This International Women’s Day, we have much to celebrate in the progress women have made in civil society. I encourage women – especially young women – to continue to press forward, be bold, and take the lead in creating change.”