Statement by David Swann: International Women’s Day

CALGARY, AB (March 6, 2015): Dr.David Swann released the following statement to mark International Women’s Day:

“30 years ago, the equality rights clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights Freedoms came into force, guaranteeing equality to all women in this country. Sadly, our governments have too often failed to live up to this promise to the generation of women who have grown up since.

“There are still far too few women elected to public office, far too few women judges, CEOs, senior public servants, politicians, engineers, and trades people. In short, far too many women are told that they are not entitled to follow their dreams because they are women.

“Just this week, a report by the Parkland Institute found that women working full time in Alberta only make 68% of what a man makes, compared to 80% in Saskatchewan. Women still, on average, perform 35 hours of unpaid work per week, compared to 17.1 hours for men. Alberta also spends less on child care than seven other provinces.

“This is not good enough. It is not good enough for a society that constitutionally guaranteed gender equality 30 years ago. It is not good enough for my granddaughters, or our daughters to be told that their gender is something that will prevent their success.

“There is action that we can, and must, take to ensure equality for women in Alberta. Proper funding for child care, better enforcement of gender discrimination laws, and legislation to ensure equal pay for work of equal value.

“I am committed to these goals, and will continue to work towards them.”