While women across the country marked a century of social progress on Saturday, Toronto high school student Chelsea Phillips-Carr worried too many girls her age have become disengaged from women’s rights.
"I think that because there’s been so many big victories for women in the past, such as voting, people now kind of forget about feminism," said Phillips-Carr, 16.
"There’s been a bit of a decline."
She added that many of her peers aren’t interested or are scared away from learning about issues like the gender wage gap because of negative perceptions.
"People my age think of feminists as a stereotype," she said, referring to the idea feminists hate men.
Still, Phillips-Carr and her classmate Vanessa Beland, also 16, joined hundreds of men and women who braved a winter storm and marched through downtown Toronto to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement the government was working on a plan to improve women’s economic and social conditions and also increase women’s "participation in democratic life."