In 1992, the Government of Canada designated October as Women’s History Month to celebrate the many achievements of women throughout Canada’s history. 2022 marks the 30-year anniversary of this month long celebration and this years theme is “She Did, So Now I Can”
This theme is a tribute to the actions of Canadian women that positively influence our lives, both in the past and in our present day. This month we celebrate the brave women who do not accept the status quo and fight every day to improve the lives of all women in our country and beyond.
This month we honour women who have made positive impacts on all of our lives. We celebrate the more public heroines such as Rosemary Brown who was the first Black women in Canada to sit in provincial legislature, Shelia Watt-Cloutier who is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Inuk activist who identified the link between climate change and human rights. Canadian history of full of women who were true trailblazers and forever changed the political, social and economic landscape of our country.
This is a link to a Timeline of Women in Canadian History, check it out to see some of the many contributions women have made, and continue to make. Did you know that women were not legally declared as “persons” until 1929?
While we look back at the contribution of women in our past, we must also remember that we are currently living through unprecedented times. We are living in a time that will be well documented in the history books that future generations will study from. It is important to acknowledge the contributions that women have made, and continue to make, during these turbulent times.
Health care, a field whose work force is 70% women, has been under incredible stress as the world deals with the covid-19 pandemic. https://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/women-at-the-core-of-the-fight-against-covid-19-crisis-553a8269/
Mothers shouldered the weight of online schooling, often while working full time themselves, or having to leave or modify their jobs in order to care for their children while the world shut down. Many did so to the detriment of their own mental health. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10643-022-01306-5
Women in Iran are putting their lives on the line in the fight for Women’s rights, starting a revolution and leading to marches and rallies across the globe. https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/fatemah-shams-how-irans-hijab-protest-movement-became-so-powerful
Advocates continue to fight each day to protect Indigenous Women, girls and Two-Spirit people in Canada https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/mandate/
These are just a few examples of how women continue to make history across the globe every day.
We all stand on the foundations that were built by the powerful and brave women that came before us, a foundation that allows us to continue their fight. As we have seen in recent global events, women are often among the last to be given rights, yet are some of the first to have them taken away. History has shown this pattern countless times, but has also shown the resilience and strength that is inherent in Women. This month we celebrate these strong women, and those who are now rising into their power.