Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, has issued the following statement in honour of Gender Equality Week:
“Gender Equality Week occurs each September to celebrate the progress made in advancing gender equality in Canada, while reflecting on the work that remains to make sure that everyone – regardless of their gender – can pursue their dreams, reach their full potential, and are welcome and safe in communities throughout British Columbia.
“Equality and equity are often defined as two strategies used to achieve fairness.
“Equality is treating everyone the same, but it can work only if everyone starts from the same place and needs the same help. This is almost never the case.
“Equity is giving everyone what they need to be successful.
“Despite the progress made over the years, everyone’s lives are not the same. I’ve worked in the social sector on the front lines, and I’ve seen what it means when people face violence, discrimination and injustice because of their gender. This is particularly true for women, especially Indigenous women and racialized women. Youth, transgender and non-binary people as well as those with disabilities also face barriers that others simply do not.
“For this reason, my mandate as parliamentary secretary includes developing an action plan to end gender-based violence and lead work to close the gender pay gap. With collaboration across government and with communities and organizations partnering side by side, we know we will continue making strides toward gender equality.
“Our lives and communities are so enriched by the many different people and cultures that make up British Columbia. With this appreciation for the diversity of our province grounding our work, we must continue to recognize and dismantle the systemic barriers to equality in B.C.
“I sincerely hope that all British Columbians join in celebrating our differences and stand up for diversity, inclusion and mutual respect. It will take all of us to build a future where there is true equality for every person, in every community and we cannot stop until this is our shared reality.”