Michaels: Gender equality is worth being thankful for, too bad we don’t have it

Equality is something I mull over more as my little bundle gets his footing in the world...

“I’m thankful for  Batman Lego.  Green Lantern Lego. My Gogo (grandma). My Milennium Falcon. Mommy. Daddy. And toys.”

That’s a quote from my little human  at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner table. Seconds later he grabbed a big piece of turkey and shoved it in his little gob and he said he was also thankful for food.

As for me, I was thankful to get placement next to the Millennium Falcon and that my little ball of joyfulness is a boy.

He doesn’t know what an advantage it is just yet, and maybe by the time he’s as old as I am it won’t matter.

Not that I’m personally oppressed, suppressed, depressed or any other being-kept-down-by-the-man word  I can think of.  Nor do I want him to be.

But equality is something I mull over more as my little bundle gets his footing in the world and starts seeing things through the lens of his gender.

He’s already telling me about what the boys do at school, versus what the girls do.

He was once said he doesn’t like to play with girls because they aren’t as much fun. He was set right when I pointed out that I was a girl, and I was more fun than anybody else. Clearly, I’m also not short on self confidence.

Point is, these natural divisions occur and unless we’re going to set them right they will keep stacking up to create the kinds of barriers that stop women from finding equal footing to their male counterparts.

Something that we don’t yet have, as was made evident with a study released Thursday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

In the Best and Worst Places to be a Woman in Canada ranking, senior researcher Kate McInturff, provides insight into the gaps in men’s and women’s access to economic security, personal security, education, health, and positions of leadership in Canada’s largest 25 metropolitan areas.

Kelowna is ranked 17th because, in large part, of workforce issues.

The gender gap between earnings is larger in Kelowna than the national average, with women generally earning 66 per cent of what men earn.

Kelowna’s poverty rates are close to the national average, but the gap  between men and women is slightly larger than average, with 11.7 per cent and 14.1 per cent respectively living below the Low Income Measure

I suppose it only makes sense that if you’re going to make less money you’re going to be closer to the poverty line.

The study found that women in Canada are now more likely than men to be victims of violent crime, “due to persistently high rates of sexual assault.”

Doesn’t this make anyone else want to pull out their hair in frustration.

Next time someone tells you that there is no difference between men and women, think about these statistics.

In fact, think about them and apply them to your view of this community.

McInturff says it best.

“It is through combining our knowledge and working together that we will close the gaps in men’s and women’s access to security and opportunity; another reminder that we are in this together. We live together, we work together and when we close these gaps, we all share in the benefit of more secure and more stable lives and communities,” said McInturff.

And more secure and stable lives are something we can all be thankful for.