International Women’s Day has been recognized for more than 100 years and celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women worldwide. Since its inception, we have seen a greater presence of women in male-dominated arenas, including business, law and academia. There has been significant change over the years in women’s equality; however, women continue to be underpaid in many fields and not equally represented in the upper rungs of management.
But the story is quite different in the animal welfare sector, where the prevalence of women in leadership is rather striking. Across Canada, women fill more than 70% of the leadership positions in animal welfare organizations, and we represent the largest group of donors. It is vital that we join together as women to use our power, influence and resources to improve the lives of animals in Canada. After all, we are at the forefront of this movement and in the best position to make change for animals across political, social and economic landscapes.
The way I’ve chosen to step forward and make a difference is with Women for a Humane Canada, a national initiative of the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies that believes in the power of making change happen for animals in this generation. I am honoured to have been named as the Chair of Women for a Humane Canada, and I’m excited to be a part of this incredible group of like-minded women who have banded together from across Canada to elevate animal welfare in this country.
By leveraging the sheer number of powerful and inspiring women in the animal welfare sector and investing our power, skill, resources and talent, this sector can become a launching pad for much-needed change. The making of such a powerful group of animal advocates is very timely. We are seeing a huge paradigm shift in our thinking as Canadians, which is reflected in the way we view animals – no longer seeing them as mere objects or belongings but rather as sentient, intelligent beings who have the capacity to feel joy, pain, love and fear.
Women for a Humane Canada is currently supporting the development of animal welfare indicators, which will identify current gaps in legislation and key animal welfare issues that most urgently need focused action, including lobbying at all levels of government, and encouraging Canadians to direct their attention, effort and donor dollars toward strengthening the humane movement. Animals in this country need a strong federal voice now more than ever, as most political decisions being made on animal protection law, particularly at the federal level, go against the views and values of the majority of Canadians.
As a member of Women for a Humane Canada, I know that my donation is being put toward research and programs that will make a real difference for Canada’s animals. As a group, we spend our time recruiting new members, mentoring young people to further professionalize and empower the sector, and amplifying the work of CFHS across Canada to make the national voice for animals even stronger.
Animals have enriched my life in more ways than I can count, and I owe them much in return. Because of this, I want to be part of building a humane nation, shaping this country into a fair and just place for the most vulnerable – the animals. On International Women’s Day, join me in making a commitment to advance the welfare of animals. Together, Women for a Humane Canada can take animal advocacy to the next level – we are already accomplishing so much, but we could go further with you.
Learn more about becoming a member of Women for a Humane Canada here.