Minister of Education and the Minister responsible for the Women and Gender Equity Directorate Jeanie McLean has issued the following statement:
“Every September, we mark Gender Equality Week in the Yukon. It’s not just a nod to progress or ideals but a celebration of a fundamental human right that everyone deserves. Gender equality means embracing and valuing everyone, be they women, men, neither, both or anywhere on the gender spectrum.
“The journey for genuine equality continues. Recent events in Canada and around the world remind us that challenges remain. Here in the Yukon, we have also witnessed misinformed narratives that question the value of promoting inclusivity. However, our message remains unshaken – United for Gender Equality: Stronger Together – which is this year’s theme.
“Our government is unwavering in its commitment. Every Yukoner, of all genders or sexual orientations, has the right to feel safe, seen and respected. This promise shines through our LGBTQ2S+ Inclusion Action Plan. One of our highlights is the update to the Department of Education’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Policy. This isn’t just policy; it affirms our commitment to inclusion and safety in schools. It affirms our commitment to human rights. We aim for our children to grow up understanding and valuing diversity, equipped with empathy, compassion and kindness.
“Our approach goes beyond words. It includes tangible steps like ensuring our educators use the correct pronouns and championing equity in our schools. Every child and youth in the Yukon deserves respect and the right to be themselves.
“This week, I invite all Yukoners to embrace gender equality. Our collective strength lies in embracing the values of inclusion and acceptance. Let's stand with our 2SLGBTQIA+ youth, some of whom may not find support elsewhere. Each one of us has a role, be it a parent, teacher, neighbour or friend. We can offer them safe spaces, understanding and resources.
“To our 2SLGBTQIA+ community, know that the Government of Yukon is by your side. Discrimination has no home here. We are consistently striving to refine our programs and services to be more inclusive and equitable. Together, let’s continue building a Yukon where everyone, of all genders, feels valued and celebrated.”