October is Women’s History Month in Canada. It is
a month in which women and girls, past and present, can
be celebrated and commemorated for their true value. A
month in which we can look back and be aware of how
far we have came in terms of gender equality. A month
in which we can speak out loud, pointing at the inequalities
that still have too much place in our world, and for
which Canada is not an exception. A month in which we
can also be proud of the progress we’ve made in women
representation in politics, rights, and recognition.
But this particular year, the improvement has been
slowed down by the pandemic. is year has shown that
we are still far from being in a world in which women
face fair conditions, with equal wages, equivalent employment
opportunities and no discrimination. e list
goes on. Women have to put a lot on their shoulders for
their families, work, community and for the global health
of the population.
Did you hear about ‘she-cession’? at is what some
women have termed our economic crisis during the pandemic.
Women and girls were on the frontline working
hard for the safety of our population too often in miserable
conditions. Many of them had to stay home and take
care of their families as schools and daycares were closed
Primer Minister M. Trudeau elucidated the point
quite well when he said, “Over the past few months,
women – and in particular low-income women – have
been hit hardest by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Many have served bravely on the frontlines, risking their
health to provide essential care and services to Canadians.
e pandemic has highlighted and deepened the inequalities
and injustices that exist for women in our society.”
In her statement for the Women’s History Month,
federal Minister for Women and Gender Equality and
Rural Economic Development Maryam Monsef said,
“ e COVID-19 pandemic has ampli ed existing gender
inequalities. Women are on the frontlines of this crisis
at work, in their communities, and are shouldering
the increased burden of unpaid care work at home.”
Once again, women were there when needed the
most in this di cult time, and still are today and every
day. It is time to recognize the e ort and bravery of women
and girls. How? By taking time to acknowledge the
hard work of women, say thank you, by objecting when
you see injustices, and by learning about our history to
honour women and girls.