International Women's Day

International Women's Day

< Back to Articles | Topics: From the President | Published: March 4, 2021

It’s hard to believe we’ve been in this pandemic for one full year. It was mid-March 2020 when Prime Minister Trudeau asked Canadians to ‘stay home’. Since then, the world has adapted to Zoom meetings, virtual workouts and mask-wearing.

With the arrival of vaccines, there’s a hopeful feeling in the air in Halifax. We’ve stayed the course for so long, but people are still kind, still generous and still respectful.

We know it’s been a long year on Zoom, but Nova Scotians know the more we work together to stay safe, the sooner we can get back to meeting and being together in person.

And the sooner we can start tearing down the inequalities highlighted by the pandemic.

It’s no secret––COVID affected women significantly more. After hosting Wonder Women last month and with International Women’s Day happening on March 8, I wanted to reflect on how far we have to go for equity in Canada.

Women find themselves in industries greatly restricted by the pandemic such as the service industry and the self-employed.

Women are still the primary caregivers for children and elderly parents. Several Canadian studies last year showed women still do most of the housework, and it actually increased during COVID.

They manage the unpaid work.

And for women entrepreneurs, they lack access to capital. The pandemic amplified these structural barriers.

Black, indigenous and immigrant women, women with disabilities and women in the LGBTQ2S+ community are all impacted by these barriers even more.

We did see some positive news this year like the first woman mayor in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Amanda McDougall, and gender parity on the Halifax council.

We also elected our first Black woman on council, Iona Stoddard, for District 12 in our 200-year history as a city.

This is a huge milestone, and we are so proud of Amanda, Iona and the rest of the councillors, but this just proves how far we have to go.

There were no women in the Nova Scotia leadership race.

One of the potential candidates said the $60,000 entry fee was a barrier for her. And I imagine others felt this way as well!

These structural issues need to be addressed at the root: we need more women in government leadership roles. We need more women making decisions.

We’ve done the studies; we’ve seen how to address the inequalities. It’s time to get to work.

Celebrate International Women’s Day this year by supporting women in business, donating to not-for-profits that support women, and by educating yourself and others on the inequalities that still need addressing.

Enjoy reading this issue and especially the IWD: Women in podcasting story about women entrepreneurs in Halifax.

< Back to Articles | Topics: From the President

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