In June of next year, more than 6000 world leaders, parliamentarians, private sector executives, civil society leaders, young people, advocates, academics, activists, and journalists from over 160 countries will gather in Vancouver for Women Deliver 2019, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women in the 21st century. Another 100 thousand people will participate online in satellite sessions around the globe.
Hosting Women Deliver 2019 is a big moment for our country and our community. In the lead up to the conference, organizers are calling on community leaders across the country to discuss the importance of gender equality, gender-balanced practices, and what we can do to advance the rights and freedoms of women and girls globally.
The reality is, in 2018, only 26% of Canadian elected federal politicians are women. Women make 30% less than their male counterparts and account for 87% of victims of sexual offences. Indigenous women are three times more likely to report being a victim of gender-based violence than non-Indigenous women, and in Saskatchewan, police-reported family violence is twice the national average with 78% of women accessing YWCA Regina emergency shelters doing so as a result of violence.
While we’ve made significant strides in the past century towards a more just and equal society for women in our country, these statistics serve as a reminder of the work we have left to do.
But there’s hope! This week marks the first-ever Gender Equality Week. The theme of this year’s week is “gender equality benefits everyone” and YWCA Regina truly believes that when women do better, we all do better. This is why we will be participating with a social media campaign, highlighting the contributions that women have made in a variety of sectors while elevating the stories of women to expand our collective awareness. We have launched our new Equals Button, and we are asking that you wear it as a visible sign of solidarity and your commitment to enhancing and contributing to gender equality in our community.
You can contribute to the conversation using the hashtags #WeDeliver2019 and #GenderEqualityWeek on social media. Of course, you can tag us on all platforms at YWCARegina (no spaces!), or using our hashtag #YWCARegina. We would love to see photos of you and your buttons.
To learn more about Women Deliver 2019, please visit www.WeDeliver2019.ca.