Letter to the editor

This letter is written in honour and memory of Melanie Nicolaides, Amanda Clearwater and her young children – Bethany, Jayven, and Isabella Manoakeesick,  and her teen niece Myah-Lee Gratton. 

One woman is murdered every six days by her partner (or ex) in our country. These are some of the innocents we have lost in 2024.

Marked annually on March 8, International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The IWD 2024 campaign theme is #InspireInclusion. 

Some may ask, do we still need an International Women’s Day? According to the World Economic Forum, none of us will see gender parity in our lifetime, nor is it likely that many of our children will. So, yes!

When we inspire others to understand and value including women, we forge a better world. And when women themselves feel inspired by being included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance and empowerment. It is exciting to see the world of women’s sports evolving to an even playing field with men. With games being played in sold-out arenas, clearly the newly formed Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) inspires the current and next generation of girls and women.

I asked members of my local memoir writing group for their thoughts on the IWD theme and was surprised by the intensity of their feelings: 

“Women’s agency is key; humanity is not male/female; sharing power demonstrates truly confident manhood; being able to live our full life means no artificial restrictions due to gender; motherhood shouldn’t be an obstacle for advancement in women’s careers; men play crucial roles in fostering inclusion of women and admonishing other men for abusive behaviour; the push/pull of patriarchy is still overarching; how do we inspire more conversation and less silence?”

In her article, “Intimate partner violence is not just a women’s issue”, journalist, author and human-rights activist Sally Armstrong points out that while the status of women has been altered dramatically – the number of students enrolled in law and medicine is now gender equal – the number of women in this country suffering from IPV (intimate partner violence) remains a disgrace. 

She thinks that it is well past time for men to act. 

By championing inclusion, individuals, organizations and communities can harness the full potential of diverse perspectives, leading to better decision-making and innovation. 

What if all men took a look at their respective workplace environments and home lives to see how they can be more inclusive of and respectful to women and girls that they are in regular contact with? 

That would make a difference. That would be inspiring.

Carolyn Rogers, Invermere