Updated: Aug 15, 2021
Our foremothers worked hard and tirelessly for women to be recognized and persons under the law and have every right that men have. We owe it to them, ourselves, our daughters, and their daughters to fight against what has been happening in Canada and other western nations: the erosion of our female sex rights.
There have been many changes that have quietly taken place, largely under the public's radar, over the past decade or so, with the bulk of changes taking place in the past five years after Bill C-16 became law. Women and girls have seen a change in safeguarding, language and the basic right to safety, privacy, dignity, and ability to freely participate in public life.
In plain language: Our rights have been eroded by the government to the point where we must act. Canada is in contravention of CEDAW, an agreement signed onto by members of the UN that outline what rights women need in order to have an equitable position in society with men. From language to sports to change rooms to prisons, our basic human rights have been affected. We cannot continue going backwards and watch our daughters and their daughters and so on. We cannot afford to lose more than we have and must fight to take back what has been taken.
We find ourselves in company with our western sisters. Australia, New Zealand, the UK, United States, and members of the European Union have seen the same, if not similar, erosion of women's rights. There is, however, light. The UK is in the midst of reversing and reviewing many policies that have affected women, girls, and children. Some of these reversals include removing mixed sex washrooms from schools. The UK is reviewing its policy on puberty blockers and hormonal treatment for minors, while Sweden and Finland have completely removed use of those drugs for minors. Australia is also reviewing how children are treated with gender dysphoria.
As we see other countries shifting and reaffirming the rights of women, it is important that Canada acts before things get worse. Everyone deserves the same rights, but others rights must not be at the expense of women's rights.
What you can do
The worst thing we can do is to sit back and let what has happened and is happening continue to happen. Many small actions make a bigger difference than one or two people doing one big action (with the exception of those who hold power). Join Women Matter or other groups in Canada, like our sister group caWsbar and take part in future initiatives. Talk to your friends and family about what is happening. Approach your local candidates and talk to them (there will be a video and information available that can help you out if you're not sure how to go about approaching them). Send the candidates in your riding our letter and Candidate's Pledge that supports women's rights. Check back to see if any of your local candidate's have signed the pledge. Attend your local debate and ask one of the suggested questions we will have available.