Excerpt from “Debates & Proceedings” –
1st Session – 27th Legislature of the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan
N.S. Vol. 54 – No. 12A Thursday, March 8, 2012
Ms. Chartier: International Women’s Day
Ms. Chartier: — Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, March 8th, we mark the 101st anniversary of International Women’s Day. This is an important day for all of us to consider because it provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the political, economic, and social contributions women have made to the world. But it also serves as a reminder of the work we still have to do.
Canada elected our first woman to the House of Commons in 1921, so you’d think we would have made great strides over the last century, but we currently rank 40th on a list of 109 countries when it comes to electing women to national parliaments. In Saskatchewan we took a step backward in the fall election when it comes to gender representation and have two fewer women sitting in our legislature — an abysmal 19 per cent.
Women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours, produce half of the world’s food, but earn only 10 per cent of the world’s income and own less than 1 per cent of the world’s land. That, Mr. Speaker, is a problem.
This year’s International Women’s Day is focused on Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures. If we are going to inspire positive futures for girls, then we are going to have to do a lot better at showing young women that we are ready to value women as true equals in pay, in status, in representation and other decision-making bodies.
I ask all members to join me in celebrating International Women’s Day, recognizing that we still have much work to do, and in committing to do this work together. Thank you.