Today is International Women’s Day. We’ve come a long way, baby, but there is still a long way to go. Millions of women live in abject poverty. Millions of women are victims of violence and sexual assault. There are still some countries where females are treated like third class citizens and denied a decent education. In Saudi Arabia, for example, women’s rights are severely restricted. As long as these conditions exist, an International Women’s day is necessary.
Here are some points to ponder on this day.
* Remember that it wasn’t until 1920 and the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution that American women had the right to vote in federal elections. Remember too that the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) has never been ratified. Although the ERA passed both houses of Congress in 1972, it did not succeed in gaining ratification before its June 30, 1982 deadline. The amendment guarantees American women equality of rights under the law.
* Wyoming is known as the “Equality State” due to its record on women’s rights. In 1869, Wyoming became the first state in the Union to grant women the right to vote. “Equality” is also the state motto.
* On May 24, 1918, female citizens, aged 21 and over, were granted the right to vote in federal elections in Canada. Manitoba was the first province to give women the right to vote in provincial elections on January 27, 1916. Saskatchewan followed suit on March 14, 1916 and Alberta on April 19, 1916. British Columbia continued the trend on April 5, 1917 and Ontario suffragettes won their victory on April 12, 1917. Women became eligible to vote in Nova Scotia on April 26, 1918, New Brunswick on April 17, 1919, Prince Edward Island on May 3, 1922 and Newfoundland on April 13, 1925. Quebec women were not eligible to vote in provincial elections until April 25, 1940, after exercising their franchise for over twenty years in federal elections. The hard work and determination of Therese Casgrain was largely responsible for the victory in Quebec.
* There are still too few women in positions of power in politics and in business. On March 14, 2011, Christy Clark will be sworn-in as the premier of British Columbia. Clark will become only the third female in over 143 years of Canadian history to lead a province. Only one of those three women, Cathereine Callbeck of Prince Edward Island, has led her party to electoral victory. Clark and Rita Johnston, both of British Columbia, won the leadership of their respective parties after the resignation of a premier. In Clark’s case, Premier Gordon Campbell resigned as leader of B.C.’s Liberal Party and Clark was subsequently chosen as party leader. In Rita Johnston’s case, it was Premier Bill Vander Zalm who resigned as head of a scandal-plagued government. Johnston was deputy premier at the time and she was named interim leader of B.C.’s Social Credit Party. As such, she was sworn in as Premier of British Columbia and Canada’s first female premier on April 2, 1991. Yes, it was not until 1991.
By the way, Catherine Callbeck is now a member of the Senate of Canada.
* Google is marking International Women’s Day with a colourful logo featuring a woman graduate and physician in place of the last two letters of “Google”. Google has also added a female sidekick- Pegwoman - to its Google Maps’ icon Pegman.
Number 16 presents a selection of interesting and provocative quotations on women.
|Charlotte Whitton in 1951|
Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half so good . . . luckily, it’s not difficult.
- Charlotte Whitton, 1951
How appropriate that Charlotte Whitton, the first female mayor of a major city in Canada, was born on International Women’s Day. She was born on March 8, 1896 and she was mayor of Ottawa from 1951 until 1956 and again from 1961 until 1964. A colourful and controversial figure, she was an outspoken proponent of women’s rights. Sadly, she also held anti-Semitic views. Charlotte Whitton became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1967. She retired from politics in 1972 and died in Ottawa on January 25, 1975 at the age of 78.
But if God had wanted us to think just with our wombs, why did He give us a brain?
- Clare Booth Luce
In Life magazine, October 16, 1970
The Queen is most anxious to enlist everyone who can speak or write to join in checking this mad, wicked folly of ‘Women’s Rights’, with all its attendant horrors, on which her poor feeble sex is bent, forgetting every sense of womanly feeling and propriety.
- Queen Victoria (1819-1901)
Letter to Theodore Martin, May 29, 1870
Women have, commonly, a very positive moral sense; that which they will, is right; that which they reject, is wrong; and their will, in most cases, ends by settling the moral.
- Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918)
From The Education of Henry Adams [1907}, Chapter 6
You don’t have to be anti-man to be pro-woman.
- Jane Galvin Lewis
If you have any doubts that we live in a society controlled by men, try reading the index to a volume of quotations.
= Elaine Gill
Fraily, thy name is woman!
- William Shakespeare
Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2
There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper.
- Camille Paglia
Intrnational Herald Tribune, April 26, 1991
The great question that has never been answered and which I have not yet been able to answer , despite my thirty years of research into feminine soul, is 'What does a women want?'
- Sigmund Freud
to Marie Bonaparte
Sigmund Freud: Life and Work; Ernest Jones 
6. T. Eliot, top bard, notes putrid tang emanating, is sad. I`d assign it a name: gnat dirt upset on drab pot-toilet.
7. Hey, Roy! Am I mayor? Yeh!
9. Oh, cameras are macho.