By Dean Midyette
Hillary Clinton made history on Tuesday as she won the right to become the first woman to represent a major party in her campaign to become President of the United States. Her victory represents, among other things, another step toward equality between the genders.
Generally Canadians tend to see our society as more progressive than our neighbours to the south, but how progressive are we when it comes to gender rights? This year marks the 100th anniversary of Canadian women being given the right to vote. Some women, who were landowners, were given the right to vote as early as 1791, a right that was later stripped in 1849. In 1916 some provinces allowed women to regain the right to vote in provincial elections but it wasnt until 1918 that women aged 21 or older were given the right to cast a ballot in federal elections.
In 1919, the suffrage movement was at its strongest, with women earning the right to hold political seats. Agnes Macphail became the first woman elected to Parliament in 1921.
In 1929 the Famous Five won the Pearson case which resulted in women being considered persons under the law.
Today more and more women are earning leadership roles yet the glass ceiling still persists. Women hold only 4.4 per cent of the chief executive officer positions in Fortune 500 companies.
While we have gender equality in our federal cabinet female MPs only account for 26 per cent of the representatives in the House of Commons.
Women employed full time make only 73.5 cents for every dollar a man makes. Women of childbearing age are discriminated against by some employers because pregnancy is inconvenient. The lack of affordable daycare forces many young mothers to delay re-entering the workplace, forgoing raises and promotions.
It is estimated that women wont reach wage parity until 2033. Women in Canada deserve better. They deserve to be full and equal partners.