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Celebrating Canadian women while smashing stereotypes
Published Monday, October 17, 2016 5:09PM MDT
Last Updated Monday, October 17, 2016 7:59PM MDT
A new campaign being launched in conjunction with Persons Day will turn gender stereotypes upside down.
It’s the brainchild of the Famous Five Foundation as it commemorates the October 18, 1929 decision by the Judicial Committee of the Imperial Privy Council, at that time the court of last resort for Canada, which held that women were eligible to sit in the Canadian Senate.
Kathryn Nixon with the Famous 5 Foundation says, “Women are legally allowed to be everywhere not just in the Senate but they’re not legally represented everywhere so the message of our campaign is that women if they belong everywhere why aren’t they everywhere?”
This campaign will feature several photos with the words” Women Belong” followed by phrases such as “ in the kitchen” or “with the children”.
“It’s to remind people those gender stereotypes still exist then we contradict that by showing images of a woman who does belong in the kitchen because she’s a chef or a woman who does belong with the children because she’s a pediatric doctor,” says Nixon.
Statistics show only three point eight per cent of women are firefighters and just three point nine per cent of those in combat are women and many feel the only way those numbers will increase is for young girls to see women in professions they are interested in pursuing.
The project hits close to home for Calgary lawyer Andrea James who started her own firm, Jamesco LLP, a year ago because she wasn’t seeing a large number of women at the highest levels in many firms.
“Women experience the world in a totally different way than men do and so having more women in decision making roles and in leadership roles can only be a good thing because they’re putting forth ideas that haven’t been heard,” says James.
Ask Her YYC is a group committed to encouraging and supporting women to run in municipal politics.
Board member Lindsay Amantea says there is a lack of women at the municipal levels because no one is recruiting them to run for office.
“That’s why gender parity in cabinet was so important last year,” says Amantea. “Even though we don’t have gender parity in parliament or in the legislature having gender parity in positions of power matters.”
Amantea looks forward to the day when city council is more reflective of Calgary’s population either by gender or ethnicity.
Persons Day will be celebrated Tuesday in Olympic Plaza from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and feature speeches by several Calgary women who have reached the top of their profession.