Greg Clark's Member's Statement - April 19th
Posted on April 19, 2016 by Meagan Parisian
- CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY -
100 years since most women were granted the right to vote. 100 years since women could fully participate in democracy, and share their voices and opinions by selecting those that represented them within government. Even more remarkable, one year after women were granted the right to vote, the first women in the entire British Commonwealth were elected here in Alberta.
I am proud to be descended from a remarkable woman who ran for elected office 1952. My grandmother, who's name remarkably was Alberta Clark, ran as a Liberal in Calgary in the 1952 provincial election. She used to tell me that's not as easy to be a Liberal in Alberta as you might think. I couldn't agree more Mr. Speaker.
In 100 years we have come so far, and yet we still have so far to go.
It wasn't until 1960 that Indigenous women, and in fact all Indigenous people, were finally given the right to vote.
But inequality persists to this day.
Yesterday, Calgary MP Michelle Rempel wrote an article outlining the sexism and sexual harassment she and her staff have faced, working in the political world in Ottawa. While legal and structural barriers have been broken down, institutional and societal barriers to women in politics remain.
So long as women are degraded, looked down on, insulted, harassed, and assaulted, we have very little legitimacy in stating that there is equality in politics. It may be 2016, but in some areas not much has changed.
The fight for equality continues and I will commit to continue being an ally for women in all walks of life, for LGBTQ+ individuals, and for all of those who are marginalized within our province.
I commit to speaking up when someone makes a joke, a rude comment, or contributes to everyday sexism. I commit to confronting these barriers and addressing sexism in politics as it happens. I commit to working alongside women to further the cause that was started by women such as the Famous Five, and support the women in my life in their advocacy.
I ask each and every member in this legislature to do the same.