Happy International Women’s Day

By: Laura Steiner

I’m not a fan of Sophie Grégoire Trudeau’s Facebook post for International Women’s Day.   It asks women to celebrate the men, and boys in their lives who have supported them as their allies.  The picture above is of her, looking adoringly into the eyes of her husband Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau has led by example.  He’s made his cabinet gender equal.  And I think that has helped open discussions on women in politics, and the obstacles they face.  As the saying goes, a picture’s worth 1,000 words.  This one has hurt his credibility.

Women still face difficulties in their lives.  Equal pay remains an unachieved goal.  Body image is still a serious issue, to say nothing of what happens in the workplace.  There are parts of the world where women have their genitals mutilated, others where they are only learning to drive by themselves.   Any of these issues would’ve made a good Facebook post.

International Women’s Day should be about the women that have inspired us.  Women like my friend Michelle who fights internationally for the LGBTQ community.  Or my friend Maria who has built a made-in-Milton networking group for mom-entrepreneurs into a national success.  Or my friend Donna who fights for social housing  Director for Milton Transitional housing, and still manages to serve as one of the town’s school trustees.  Or the many moms I know struggling to raise amazing daughters.

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau has a voice.  As the Prime Minister’s wife, it could be an important one.  It’s wasted on a picture that brings back memories of a time when women looked to their men for validation.  It’s 2017, those times are long over.  It’s time to start acting like it.