Among the many excellent signs at Saturday’s Nanaimo Women March On, one of the most important messages read, “I’m with her,” with arrows pointing every which way. (NEWS BULLETIN photo)

Editorial: March toward equal rights for women

All Canadians have our charter rights, but those rights aren’t respected equally

Those who support women’s rights have a way with words. At Saturday’s women’s march in Nanaimo, participants crafted all manner of signs, some funny, some angry, almost all of them spot on. One of the most important messages read, “I’m with her,” with arrows pointing every which way. The sign probably didn’t have much to do with U.S. politics – it was a show of support for all women. If we’re not ‘with’ women, then we’re against them.

The first women’s march was a year ago. It might have been fuelled by disbelief and outrage about the U.S. presidential election outcome, but from the start, it was about more than that. It sparked important conversations about equality, which is too often illusory.

All Canadians have our charter rights, but those rights aren’t respected equally. If we don’t know that, we should. There are too many women, including in our community, who are objectified, disrespected, belittled, assaulted, abused, raped and murdered.

All those things happen every day, somewhere. They happened between last year’s women’s march and this year’s march, but maybe if we look at the bright side of 2017 we can see that there exist segments of society that are standing up for women’s rights more firmly than before. We’re listening more closely to the women who are telling us, ‘Me too,’ and who are telling us why they march. We have to not only listen to them, but believe them. Men who would cause physical and emotional harm and sexual assault must be ostracized, no matter what generation they come from, because ‘Time’s up.’

A march is part of a movement. Change comes when we have leaders at the top and many more at the grassroots who pay attention and care, and together we can squeeze uncomfortably those who don’t see what’s obvious to reasonable human beings.

The next women’s march might be a year away, and in the meantime, there are attitudes and inequalities that we must keep trying to stamp out.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

280-unit development in Lantzville will proceed to public hearing

Mayor says Clark/Medd properties affect municipality’s future

Nanaimo’s Bastion Street Bridge to close for repairs

Bridge linking downtown Nanaimo to Old City Quarter to close for 18 days to fix deck joints

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo’s Rocky Point

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

City of Nanaimo and RDN re-opening playgrounds

Playgrounds will be back open on Wednesday, June 3, with health guidelines in effect

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

B.C. schools see 30% of expected enrolment in schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Most Read