Fight for women’s rights needs to include men: Gov. Gen. – Metro US

Fight for women’s rights needs to include men: Gov. Gen.

Men must be included in the fight for women’s rights, Gov. Gen. Michaëlle Jean told 115 youth who gathered at Rideau Hall yesterday to discuss how to get more women and girls interested in politics.

“The fight for the full recognition of the rights of women cannot be waged without them or against them,” Jean told the mostly local teenagers. “If we are to succeed, it must be waged with them.”

She will take her message to an international conference on women’s issues in Liberia this coming weekend, coinciding with International Women’s Day on Sunday. But her message also inspired the students.

“We have to be supportive of women, and not just say ‘stay home and bake food,’” said Chris Bento, 17.

“We have to be part of the solution,” agreed Christopher Bernard, 17.

Later, the students attended Question Period and met with Helena Guergis, minister of state for the status of women.

Dominique Souris, 16, said the day’s events changed her mind about going into politics — now she’ll consider it, especially after hearing such statistics as that Canada ranks 47th out of 110 countries in terms of equality in governance, with fewer female political representatives than Iraq, Rwanda, other parts of Africa, most of Europe and Australia.

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