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Indeed, Bill C-16 helps to redress incomplete protections for some of the most vulnerable women in Canadian society today: transgender women. For over a decade now, however, legislation aiming to protect transgender rights has stalled. Numerous lives have continued to be tragically impacted by discrimination, harassment and violence in the meantime.
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Most fathers I know encourage their daughters by telling them, "You can be anything you want in life." But is that the complete truth? As long as women are considered sexual objects they'll always be rated as 'less than' in common society. Unfortunately, the diminished position of women reinforces the gender pay gap and makes them more vulnerable to sexual harassment and in some cases, victims of sexual and physical violence.
Canada matters. As Malala herself said, "If Canada leads, the world will follow." As a country, we have an opportunity to aid the global women's human rights movements that, at this moment, are more powerful than ever.
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"I think this is the beginning of a global movement."
"Stop the debate. Time for women to drive."
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The global statistics are staggering: 2.4 billion people do not have access to a toilet or latrine. About a billion of them have to defecate in the open, which often leads to serious public health problems. And more than half of the schools in the developing world lack private toilets.
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As an increasingly isolated beacon of progressive values in North America and even the world, Canadians have a role to play in preventing the reversal of critical progress for women's rights. Especially now, we must first hold our Government to account for their stated priorities to advance the rights of women and girls.
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We can vote, and drive, and march on Parliament Hill without fear. But do we question the deep rooted inequalities that make it possible for Aboriginal women and girls to disappear without a trace, and without an outcry? Do we demand an end to the gender wage gap that has been stuck at around 72 per cent -- and hasn't budged in years?
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"Violence against women is a violation of the most basic human rights," Prime Minster Justin Trudeau reflected. I would like to highlight two Canadian women who have faced tremendous tragedy in their lives, yet have pulled them together and are inspiring us all to embrace better ideals in our citizenship.
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We need policies that enable the poorest to benefit most from economic growth. Of the 1.1 billion people living in extreme poverty in 2010, 200 million could have escaped extreme poverty if poor people had simply benefited equally from the proceeds of growth -- particularly women and youth, two groups being left behind.
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OTTAWA - Grim human rights reports on forced child marriages in Tanzania are making the government take a hard look at Prime Minister Stephen Harper's top African partner in his signature aid initiati...
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David Letterman recently hosted Parks and Recreation actor Aziz Ansari on his show who beautifully summed up what it means to be a feminist. I think even those Hollywood girls who won't call themselves a feminist will agree with this analogy: "You're a feminist if you go to a Jay Z and Beyoncé concert and you're not like, 'I feel like Beyoncé should get 23 per cent less money than Jay Z. Also I don't think Beyoncé should have the right to vote and why is Beyoncé singing and dancing -- shouldn't she make Jay a steak?"
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The next step for South African women is mental liberation. More women should spend time deciding what they want, regardless of societal expectations, and put these plans into action. This can range from a top position professionally, or an escape from an abusive relationship.
Women worldwide have faced discrimination, injustice and the infringement of their rights for centuries. In the 21st century, there still exists a great number of women who don't have basic civil rights, and female representation on different levels of our society remains low.