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International Women's Day: Interview With 19-Year-Old Eden Tootoo

03/07/2012 05:14 EST | Updated 03/08/2012 02:11 EST
Eden Tootoo

For International Women's Day 2012, the theme is 'connecting girls and futures.' The Huffington Post Canada is asking girls and women what matters the most to them. Join the conversation with the hashtag #womenof2012 or leave us a comment to answer any of the questions below.

Name: Eden Tootoo

Age: 19

City: Iqaluit, NU

Occupation: Substitute Teacher

Who is your biggest influence?

I have found that the people who have the greatest influence on me are my peers.

What do you think is the biggest issue facing girls your age today?

The biggest issue for women my age is the pressure we get to be completely self discovered. Parents and older adults pressure us to have our lives completely planned out and I have seen the pressure get to a lot of us.

Who are your ideal female icons?

My mother is my ideal female icon. She is proof that a woman can do all of the things that a man can do. She has suffered from rhumathoid arthritis since my younger sister was born. And as a single parent she would fix house hold appliances and was never afraid to get her hands dirty.

Do you think there's equality between boys and girls in your school?

I wish that I could say I believe that there is complete equality between men and women in my environment but I feel like there is, and always will be, a double standard for men and women. It has always been like that, and although it has improved in the past decades it still exists.

Do you think a female prime minister would be any different than a male? Why and how?

In my opinion, the only thing that would be different between a male prime minister and a female prime minister is the publicity they would get and the fact that everyone would expect it to be different. But I believe that a woman becoming prime minister would be no different than a new male prime minister.

Do you think it's important to have an International Women's Day?

I truly dislike the way women are represented in pop culture. They get it in peoples head that there is only one way to be beautiful, that women NEED a man to do stuff for them etc.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I would like to end up in politics when I grow up but I am not sure of how I will be involved just yet. It's either that or an elementary school teacher.

How you feel about women represented in the media, film and pop culture? Can you see yourself in any of them?

I think that sometimes the media might change a celebrity's personality or looks. This could cause problems because women in pop culture have the power to change girls' lives. If girls see another girl on TV they might want to change to fit in or be popular. I don't want to change myself because of how other people look at me, I just care about how I look at myself.

What do you consider 'female' attributes?:

I don't think there are any characteristics that apply exclusively to women.

RELATED: Check out other interviews -- you can also add in your own slide by emailing us at canadaliving@huffingtonpost.com.

International Women's Day 2012