This International Women’s Day editorial is being written by a guy.
His working wife is a modern-day superhero who could do training videos on how to multi-task as she juggles career, young children, marriage, and many other daily responsibilities.
His mother is a remarkably kind and self-less senior citizen whose main goal in life is to help the less fortunate.
His kindergarten-aged daughter puts up with no guff and is full of enthusiasm to take on the world. (She wanted to be a dentist until Kaetlyn Osmond’s bronze medal skate. Now she wants to be a figure skater.)
His boss is an accomplished woman who earns more money than he does — and rightly so, since she’s eminently qualified and shoulders far more responsibility.
His colleague — who will edit this piece (and make it much better) — is also a columnist and a strong female voice in our community.
He won’t continue this list, although he could, because he works with so many diligent female journalists who try to make a difference each day.
By now, though, he hopes he’s painted enough for you to see the big picture — that he’s surrounded by amazing women.
You are, too.
Pause for a second and think about it.
And today, March 8th, as you reflect on the women around you, celebrate their accomplishments and contributions.
Congratulate them. Thank them. Encourage them to pursue their passion, and to prosper.
A lot has happened since the last time we celebrated International Women’s Day.
The #MeToo movement led the way, as millions of women around the world drew a hashtag in the sand and stood against sexual harassment and spoke out against sexual predators.
#MeToo is arguably social media’s greatest contribution to date. It’s led to profound conversation, shared stories and painful reflection, and as a result, social change and greater accountability. Hopefully the momentum continues and the world becomes a place where harassment becomes a thing of the past, in every workplace, with witnesses now willing to call it out and victims coming forward to shatter the silence.
#MeToo was a major step forward for all of us — or, at least, it appears that way for the guy writing this. (He’s a little concerned about coming across as mansplaining.)
But there are still so many challenges facing women, like pay equity, affordable child care, paid parental leave, and the threat of violence.
The recent federal budget showed that Ottawa was listening, as the federal government announced measures to start addressing some of these issues.
However, government policy and funding are one two parts of the solution.
You are another part.
Work towards equality, and as you do, celebrate women, support them, and encourage them to succeed.
It’s a great day to start.