My Statement on International Women’s Day

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The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Be Bold for Change,’ a theme that is appropriate given the challenges women are facing both here in B.C. and around the world.

Here in B.C. women are still waiting to get paid a decent wage for all the important work they do, and still being denied opportunities because of who they are.

That’s one of the reasons why I’ve made my #BeBoldForChange commitments to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and bring in 10 dollar a day childcare.

Most minimum wage earners are women, and they deserve fair pay for a fair day’s work. And it’s past time to fix the crisis in child care. It’s the right thing to do for women, for families and for the economy.

When services are cut, when we don’t come together to take care of our children and elderly properly, it’s mostly women who take on that extra work.

In addition to struggling to keep up economically, too many women face physical discrimination and sexual violence, especially women who face other barriers to equality, like women of colour, and women who live with disabilities.

Transgender women are too often targeted for violence, and denied access to housing and other basics of life.

Indigenous women are often the targets of violence not just because of their gender, but because of their First Nations identity.

Violence and discrimination against women isn’t separated from other forms of oppression, but magnified by it. If we want to improve the lives of women we must also take action to stop all forms of hatred.

International Women’s Day is particularly important this year as women’s rights get pushed back by the Donald Trump administration in the United States. These struggles remind us we can never rest in our efforts to fight for a better, more equal society.

We have come far, but we have so much further to go.