Manitoba women led the way

On January 28, 1916, Manitoba women became the first in Canada to win the right to vote and the right to hold provincial office. A historic achievement, the result of decades of struggle led by women like M J Benedictssen, and later on Nellie McClung. Unfortunately, First Nations women fought much longer to receive the right to vote in our province and country.

 As we acknowledge the women who fought decades ago we must recognize the need to fight every day to achieve equality.

This week for example we introduced an opposition day motion urging the federal government to do everything it can to tackle the unacceptable wage gap between men and women.There’s no excuse for the fact that women in Canada continue to make substantially less than men.  Canada is lagging far behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to pay equity. That’s why New Democrats are putting forward an opposition day motion to take action to address this problem. 

Women working full time, year round, in Canada make only 77% of what men earn for equal work. The World Economic Forum ranks us at 80th out of 145 countries.

Our opposition day motion would recognize pay equity as a right, and appoint a special committee to conduct hearings and put forward a plan to implement a proactive federal pay equity regime. Working together, we can, and must, finally achieve wage equality for women.

Let`s be inspired by the strength of Manitoba women one hundred years ago and take action to make gender equality a reality for all of us today.