The Honourable Anita Neville, P.C., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY EVENT
Wednesday, March 8, 2023, 1:00 p.m.
Fellow Manitobans and special guests, I am delighted to be here to share in this celebration of International Women’s Day and the spirit of equity.
I am pleased to join you today here in the heart of Treaty One land, home of the Anishinaabe and the Red River Metis people, in the capital of a province that is home to the Cree, Dakota and Dene people. Here and throughout Manitoba, we are working to advance understanding, healing and reconciliation and build a better home for all.
Today, as on every March 8th since the United Nations held the first International Women’s Day in 1975, we are celebrating the work of women who are building a better, more fair and equitable world.
The International Women’s Day theme for 2023 is “Embrace Equity.” How do we do that? How do we embrace equity?
To me, it starts with recognizing the unique experiences of each woman – the special challenges and barriers, and the priceless gifts and insights.
It means much more than just the goal of earlier decades – the goal of breaking through the glass ceiling.
In a fair and equitable world, whatever floor you’re on in that metaphorical building should offer opportunities for fulfillment and accomplishment. And if you want to go to a higher floor, there won’t be any secret key to the elevator available to those with the right connections.
And in an equitable world, we recognize that the reality of many women’s lives – such as the unequal weight of family obligations – creates challenges not faced by many of their male colleagues.
As people said about the dancer Ginger Rogers, “she did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.”
The Canadian Forces may not have regulation Jimmy Choos – but you know what I mean.
Today we can celebrate successes. As Canadians, we can celebrate the fact that the Canadian Armed Forces are world leaders in the inclusion of women, with all military occupations open to women for more than 20 years.
And we can also rededicate ourselves to addressing attitudes and assumptions that still hold women back – whether their work garb is a uniform, a business suit, casual wear or coveralls.
Your work with the Canadian Forces defends Canada’s values every day. Today, on International Women’s Day, you defend those values by showing your embrace of the principle of equity.
Thank you for inviting me to share in your commitment and in this celebration. Happy International Women’s Day.