Minister of Status of Women hosts talk on Women’s Empowerment
By Leah Ching, Staff Writer
What is women’s empowerment?
This was the focus of a dynamic and inspiring morning talk hosted by Patty Hajdu, the Minister of the Status of Women and MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North. An inspiring political leader and strong female role model in the Canadian political landscape, Minister Hajdu hosted a brunch at the Silver Birch Restaurant Saturday March 5th as a way to encourage networking amongst people dedicated to the empowerment of women.
With a diverse range of voices represented, the morning commenced with socializing, networking, and a fabulous breakfast put on by the talented staff of the Silver Birch. Minister Hajdu took the opportunity to greet attendees and talk about her new role in parliament, how she adjusted to the job, and challenges faced.
Patty spoke with the crowd about her ministerial portfolio, then opening up the floor to a question and answer period. She commended women in the community for the work being done to further gender equality, noting, “gender equality doesn’t come easily. It isn’t something that is automatically bestowed. We’ve seen that across the world, there have been challenges in patriarchal colonized countries surrounding gender equality. It’s my privilege to address some of those longstanding conditions that lead to women getting paid less, having less opportunity for leadership, and experiencing greater degrees of violence.”
As previously discussed with The Argus, Minister Hajdu re-affirmed the three focuses of her portfolio, which included “improving the opportunities for women to have leadership roles in Canada, improving the economic outcomes for women, and finally and significantly, ending gender based violence.”
During the talk, she elaborated at length on what was being done to accomplish these goals and create a platform for real change surrounding these issues. In the question and answer period, Minister Hajdu was able to elaborate further on specific portions of the government’s plan, surrounding issues such as providing funding to grassroots groups on the ground, and reversing the damage done by the Conservative government on policy regarding incarceration and mandatory minimum sentences.
One guest, Alana, a schoolteacher and mother of two said that the talk was “incredibly inspiring.” Continuing, Alana said that “the whole morning warms my heart. Patty’s talk, the wonderful company, getting to meet so many inspiring females, and the atmosphere of empowerment and strength is just awe-inspiring.”
With agreement from surrounding attendees, it was a fully enjoyed morning, hailed by another guest Olivia as “a testament to the power of women in leadership roles to inspire and empower others through their actions.”