Premier Ranj Pillai and Deputy Premier Jeanie McLean have issued the following statement:
Today we join Yukoners in marking International Women’s Day. Observed internationally since 1911, International Women’s Day originates from the labour movements of the early 20th century and has since evolved as a celebration of women’s achievements in the social, political and economic arenas and beyond.
This year’s international theme is #EmbraceEquity and the Canadian national theme is Every Woman Counts. Both acknowledge that women are a diverse group for whom equal opportunities do not always mean equal outcomes. These themes call for a shift from pursuing equality to embracing equity.
Equality means treating everyone the same, but it is important to acknowledge that we do not all start out in the same place. Women in the Yukon and worldwide face challenges because of their gender, but also because of other inequalities, such as colonialism and racism. These factors create complex systemic barriers and equal opportunities alone are not enough to dismantle them.
Equity means giving people the support that meets their individual needs. It recognizes that we all come from different backgrounds and face unique obstacles. Only with equity can we achieve equality.
International Women’s Day is an opportunity to recognize the economic, political, and social achievements of women and acknowledge the challenges they continue to face. Our government wants to acknowledge the tireless efforts of generations of women whose drive and determination in the quest for equal rights made it possible for women to hold the positions they today.
Happy International Women’s Day, Yukon!