Edmonton (March 8, 2017) Alberta Party Opposition Leader Greg Clark released the following statement on International Women’s Day:
“Thank you Mr. Speaker, it’s an honour to speak on International Women’s Day.
Yesterday my staff and I were talking about the controversies spurred by the reprehensible “red pill” anti-feminist ideology. And of course I was shocked by the entire idea. I have to admit I was shocked to hear about the ingrained sexism that women on my own staff have faced in the recent past.
I was told that in a previous role, one of my staff was told she wasn’t capable of being on the communications team because women “disrupt the morale” of the men. Or of being encouraged to run for secretary, not VP because “women are better organized”. Or being called “sweetie” or “darling” in a board meeting. Or being told she was only hired in a senior role because the boss wanted to “get it wet”.
If that makes you uncomfortable, it should. These sound like stories from 40 years ago, but they’re stories from two years ago. This is what many women in Alberta struggle with every day.
Recently, I was asked if I’m a feminist.
Well, I was raised by a strong single mother. My wife is a smart, strong leader who makes a difference every day. I’m a father of two intelligent daughters who deserve to grow up a world where they don’t worry about sexual assault or domestic violence, and have exactly the same opportunities as any man.
So yes, I’m a feminist.
The real question is who’s not a feminist.
But despite the challenges that persist in our society, I am encouraged by the work I see women doing every day to strive for equality even in situations where some want them to fail.
Today, Daughters of the Vote sat in the House of Commons. These inspiring young women refuse to go unheard, and I hope they continue to inspire other young women to become involved in their communities. And I want to recognize the countless women who live their own quiet activism every day, shaping communities and making change.
And so I have hope. Hope that we will become more aware of the work still to be done to create a truly equal society.
I have hope that the next generation of young women will live in a world where opportunities are limited only by their capabilities and desires, not by their gender.
I hope to be able to work alongside the strong women in my life, both personally and professionally, and with all of you, to create a better world for all our daughters.
If we call out sexism when we see it, if we seek to create opportunities for women to take on leadership roles in elected office, in senior staff positions, in business and in community, we will be taking concrete steps towards building a truly equal society.
– 30 –
For an interview please contact:
Alberta Party Caucus