Today is International Women’s Day – a day to appreciate the impact women have on our lives, a day to realize the strides that have been made towards equal opportunity for women, and a day to remember that there is still a long way to go. As discussed in a recent BBC News article – Viewpoint: What if women ruled the world?, it was not so long ago when the prevailing opinion was that “women clearly lacked the intellectual capacity and emotional fortitude to make the difficult decisions that leadership required.”
Times are changing; women are no longer “just” house wives. If we start with this belief we see the first contradiction. Women have always been trusted to run our homes, raise our children and begin their education. If we trust them to raise and educate our children as the leaders of tomorrow, why not trust them to educate our cities, counties and nations? Thankfully this road has been forged by inspirational women that have come before us, and women today continue to follow their lead.
In a city and province dominated by the oil industry we are surrounded by male ego often personified by a set of steel testicles on the back of a jacked up pickup truck. To outsiders this creates a stereotype of life in our blue collar city. In reality intelligent, driven women have to be strong willed and confident enough to be heard in this male-dominated city. Shauna and I are lucky enough to meet many of these amazing women as we photograph their lives. They are role models who we celebrate today, and who we thank everyday for allowing us to share in their lives and their stories.
On this women’s day remember to set a positive example, to have the self belief and strength of character for the next generation. Character comes from within creating a radiance that far outshines the false body images we are led to believe are important.
I would not be the person I am today if not for the women in my life, I hope you feel the same way too.
p.s. Happy mothers day mum (it’s mothers day in the UK this Sunday)