As you know, I’m the proud mom of three magnificent human beings — one girl and two boys. I make sure my kids know that every person is entitled to the greatest respect and that equality between women and men is of the utmost importance. Our duty as parents and members of our society is to instil these basic values.
"I make sure my kids know that every person is entitled to the greatest respect and that equality between women and men is of the utmost importance."
Yesterday, November 25, was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It marked the start of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign to end violence against women and children, an awareness-building exercise that concludes with International Human Rights Day, on December 10.
Some may say that women already have the same rights as men, so why do we need this day? Well, we need this day because these challenges remain all too real. The United Nations reports that one in three women around the world is the victim of physical or sexual violence and that these attacks are often perpetrated by an intimate partner.
In Canada, young women and Indigenous women are at greatest risk.
Violence against women is a fact of life for too many Canadians. Women and girls often suffer in silence and isolation. This is why we must continue to speak out, educate the public (especially our sons and daughters) and create initiatives to stop violence against women.
We must think about what kind of world we want to build when confronted with these alarming facts. Equality and justice have always been core principles of the Liberal Party of Canada. Our government has launched several initiatives during its first year in office to help make our society more open and respectful.
"Violence against women is a fact of life for too many Canadians. Women and girls often suffer in silence and isolation."
For the first time in our nation’s history, we have a gender-balanced Cabinet, which means that women and men can be heard equally at the Cabinet table!
Also, our government has launched a national investigation into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The friends and families of these women and thousands of concerned Canadians have long demanded this investigation and it’s an important step in the right direction.
Each of us individually, however, can advance the cause of women in our communities and families. Small, everyday gestures can make all the difference.
If you are witness to an attack, even if it is seemingly minor or innocuous, you have a duty to condemn it. For example, derogatory comments about women are too often taken lightly or passed off as jokes. But it’s no laughing matter when someone talks that way about your wife, mother, sister or daughter. Remember: no one is immune to injustice and violence.
I find that many are surprised to learn that successful women, in full control of their lives, are also survivors of abuse. We have to try to help them, and always refrain from judging.
"Around the world, too many women lack the same freedom as men or the same opportunities."
In these times of heightened awareness of these problems, the time has come to take an honest, in-depth look at ourselves, our families, and our societies.
Around the world, too many women lack the same freedom as men or the same opportunities. Not only does this represent an affront and a lack of respect towards women, but it is also an insult to the intelligence and potential of men who are more than capable of maturity, wisdom and respect towards women.
The objectification of women’s bodies, sexist language and rape culture diminish the self-esteem of young women. This kind of inequity is taking a severe toll on the mental health of women and men.
The human soul has no gender. Young Canadians with vision and open minds can shape the future of our country and create a more peaceful world for everyone. Human beings were born to be free.
"The human soul has no gender... human beings were born to be free."
Let us join forces in this vital quest for freedom and give a bigger meaning to our own existence.
You can become part of this initiative and share it on your social networks by searching for the #ActionsMatter hashtag and obtaining more information on the Government of Canada's Status of Women site.