Absolute Equality

Absolute Equality -

Let’s Hear It For the Girl

Today is the International Day of the Girl and there is a lot to celebrated, particularly the announcement that Malala Yousafzai has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work for the right to education. This will be her legacy, as she has hoped:

“I don’t want to be thought of as the “girl who was shot by the Taliban” but the “girl who fought for education.” This is the cause to which I want to devote my life.”

Malala says that the extremists that would silence her are afraid of the power of women and it’s true. Why else would education be taken away from girls? Why else would rape be used as a weapon of war? Because women with power are terrifying to the people that would refuse them and their children the right to life. There is nothing more frightening than a mother fighting for the future of her children.

Obviously there is a lot to be done, and a lot of understanding to be reached. I am a feminist, and I still have to work to understand the plight of minority women who struggle to have their voices heard. There are still people who deny misogyny and rape culture and ask women what they’ve done to ask for the attention they get. There are major gaps in representation.

Women and their allies have a lot of fight left, but we know how to fight and we’ve got great examples like Malala.

 

Towards Equal

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A few weeks ago former Prime Minister Kim Campbell (the only woman to hold the office) made a suggestion to create gender parity in the House of Commons. She wants to have each riding elect two MPs, one male and one female. She says this will encourage more women to entire politics.

Unfortunately it would also create a House full of more than 600 MPs and be totally unworkable. Though she also said we should re-draw ridings so that there are fewer – you know, having just redraw ridings so that there are more.

It’s a dumb idea.

Here’s the thing – I have never been a fan of affirmative action. I understand why it was necessary decades ago, but it’s not a way I would ever want to be hired.

And I don’t think it’s the fear of losing the election that prevents women from entering politics, or the fear of running against a man. It’s the way women are treated once they get to Ottawa, the fear of losing their families when they are away from home so much of the time. It’s a very hard balance, being an MP, and particularly hard for a woman with children, since the onus is generally still on her to make sure things are taken care of for the house and the kids.

Kim Campbell is not wrong that we need more women representing in the house. It would be nice to see a female PM elected too. But she’s certainly wrong about the how. I think there’s a societal shift needed rather than a political re-writing.

 

Six fighter jets, 600 troops

There is no way for me to imagine what is happening in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria… everywhere ISIS or ISIL or whatever is spreading their hate and vitriol. I have always lived in a peaceful country where we don’t see the extremes of hatred that ISIS brings with it.

I don’t know what it’s like to live under those circumstances, and I don’t know what will fix it, if it is fixable.

I agree with the Prime Minister that something has to be done.

I disagree that our Canadian Forces – the men and women the Prime Minister claims to support above all others – are in any state of readiness for this mission they’re being sent on.

How long ago was our Air Force forced to raid a museum for plane parts? How many of our service members are hiding their pain and anguish for fear of losing their pensions? We destroyed these people in Afghanistan – a decade long war like no other war before it – and now we’re asking for more.

What we could do is send in support – humanitarian aid for the refugees, food and warm clothes for the coming winter for the people that are being left behind.

Pierre Poilievre says that the root of terrorism lies with the terrorist, but that’s bullshit. The root of terrorism lies in generations of being treated as less than, fodder in other people’s wars, for having one side that tells you you’re backwards and another side that tells you those people are the different ones, the evil ones, the ones that must be destroyed.

So here we go into another war. It was 30 days, next is 6 months, and we’ll see what is left by the next campaign.

Important related read: Roméo Dallaire: I watched the Rwandan Genocide unfold. We’re making the same mistakes in Iraq

New lease

This weekend I attended Blissdom Canada for the second time. Last year I was starting to build my business and blogging as a major part of my life. This year things are a bit different. I am back in school, fully entrenched in political science again. I’m finishing my honours year and applying for a Masters in Political Management for next year. I’m making the push towards a career in political advocacy.

It has been very clear since the first day of classes that I am in the right place, focusing on the right things. I love politics, I love talking about issues. I live for this stuff.

Now at Blissdom I went to two sessions that spoke to me on this level. I have found my passion, now I must use that passion to do something.

Krista Jefferson and Robert Eggers told me about how one person, with the right passion can make a difference, and help others to make a difference too. I had the pleasure of running in to Robert Eggers in the elevator and thank him for the talk he gave. We talked about the danger of getting political with your readers, but also the idea that I’m not here to tell you what to think, but to tell you about things you might not realize you should be thinking about.

I am pretty busy at the moment – working, going to school, trying to get sleep, eat, still see my daughter on occasion. But this is my passion, and this website is the forum that I created. I need to re-dedicate myself to sharing issues here and on the Twitter stream that people should know about.

It takes a lot of time and effort to care about finding out what’s happening in our political world. I want to be a step in that process.