Happy International Women's Day!
When I was a kid I hated my birthday. No point in having an Arthur themed birthday when everyone was off vacationing in tropical lands with their families for march break. As a teen, the soothing thought of sharing my special day with one Freddie Prinze Jr made the occasion much more bearable. Today, as a young woman in her twenties, March 8th is particularly meaningful. Not only is it the magical day that the laws of my country finally chose to recognize my humanity, it is the day that women across the world celebrate their humanity and achievements as well. I never understood the significance of my birth on International Women’s Day until I started to become a woman myself.
In 1929, after a long and drawn out battle of the sexes, women were finally recognized as persons in Canada under the the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Who knew that almost one hundred years later, Canadians would still be fighting the same battle. Who knew that almost one hundred years later, the Canadian Medical Association Journal would release an editorial entitled, "It’s a girl!”- could be a death sentence. Who knew that some females would still be defined out of existence.
When my mother was just 19 years old, she had an unexpected pregnancy. A first-year student at the University of Trent, she never expected to go from choosing her major to choosing baby clothes. When the doctor confirmed the shocking news, the first words out of her mouth were, “I’m pro-baby and everything, but I can schedule you an abortion if you like”. With a simple “yes” my life could have legally been taken in a blink of an eye. My value and worth as a female could have been literally sucked from me- no questions asked.
Today on International Women’s Day, I invite you to celebrate all the successes that women have achieved throughout the years. I also invite you to remember the inequalities that exist in our country that desperately need to be addressed. Today, many females are refused the most fundamental rights under the guise of “equality”. 100 million women have lost their lives to abortion around the world- including in Canada- which means as a society we have failed women. We have failed to meet the needs of women,at all stages of life, by presenting abortion as a faulty solution to difficult circumstances. Instead of providing women with resources- such as affordable housing and financial aid- Canadians are providing the funding for women to be herded by the hundreds everyday to abortion clinics across the country to have their children slaughtered. We are putting women at risk for endless physical and psychological damage and devaluing the dignity and worth of females by signing their death sentence under Criminal Law. Having a clean place for women to kill their children is not the cornerstone of women’s equality. Empowering women by providing them with accessible life-giving options is.
This wasn’t a difficult concept for the early feminists to understand. Alice Paul, Susan B. Anthony and Mattie Brinkerhoff saw that abortion was paternalistic and oppressive. Anthony herself said that women’s rights could never be built upon the broken rights of unborn children. Abortion is not about empowering women. The sadness, desperation and fear of a post-abortive woman explaining that she felt she had “no other choice” flies in the face of reason and compassion.
Therefore, on International Women’s Day, let us be thankful for our mothers, our grandmothers and all the women in our lives. Let us build on the basic tenets of feminism of nonviolence, nondiscrimination and justice for all and commit ourselves to making Canada a better place for women.