Bring a better balance to jobs, communities and businesses

Opinion

To the Editor:

On March 8, International Women’s Day, women from around the world will join together with a shared purpose. We will reflect on the amazing strides we have made and how much more we have to do to achieve gender balance. This year’s theme is #BalanceforBetter and it’s a call to action for women and men to take down the barriers that prevent gender balance. We all know that our communities, jobs and businesses are better when there is a balance of perspectives.

Last year, we witnessed the #metoo movement come to prominence. Brave women came forward to stop harassment based on gender. This year we are building on that watershed moment in history.

#BalanceforBetter doesn’t mean giving women something they haven’t earned. It means putting an end to the road blocks that keep women out of boardrooms, professions and opportunities, simply because they are women.

As the Progressive Conservative critic for the Nova Scotia Advisory Board on the Status of Women, I am so proud to work with a group of dedicated and talented women who are working so hard to make our province better. At the PC Caucus Office, there are many women in senior staff positions. Our past and present Party presidents are accomplished confident women. Our current and past two Chief of Staff are women of integrity and intelligence. There are five passionate female MLAs in our Caucus and in the Legislature, there are 17 women representing constituencies all across this province.

These are all women who have blazed a path for others. And that’s what #BalanceforBetter is all about.

You know, it wasn’t until 1960 that a woman was elected to the Nova Scotia Legislature. Because of Gladys Porter’s tenacity and courage, I was able to take my place in the Legislature 53 years later. It is my hope that in the coming years gender balance will be the norm, not the exception for our children and grandchildren.

On March 8, I ask all Nova Scotians to take a moment to think about what we all can do to bring a better balance to our communities, to our jobs and to our businesses.

Karla MacFarlane

Pictou West MLA