Good afternoon, esteemed speakers, distinguished guests, colleagues and friends,
Let me first express my thanks to all of you for participating in the 2015 She Will Run Conference, on the eve of the 104th annual International Women’s Day.
I would like to specially thank our incredible keynote speakers, Dr. Kellie Leitch, Lorraine Rekmans, and Lynne Steele for your wisdom and advice. We are grateful for your willingness to share your experiences, lessons learned, and good practices.
I also would like to extend a warm thank you to my fellow exec members of Equal Voice uOttawa for all of your hard work and dedication that you poured into the planning of this conference.
In my closing remarks, I would like to say a few words about what we have learned today:
We learned about how privileged we are to live in a country where women are allowed to participate in politics. We learned that parliament needs diversity – it is essential in order to ensure that our country is best served. We learned that politics is not always about winning – it is about sharing integrity and hope for the future with our fellow Canadians.
We learned that we have the right to be here. We have the right to participate. We have the right to contribute.
We learned to go up and show up. We should not be afraid to be the only woman standing. We need to challenge ourselves and others.
We learned to always get dressed for a meeting 😉
We learned to stay passionate and to stay true to ourselves.
We learned that “change cannot be dictated – it must be a work in action”.
Now, this is where your journey begins – for some of you, this conference is only a small step in a larger process. Perhaps this journey leads you towards law, towards local, provincial, or federal politics, or maybe even towards becoming our second female prime minister. I hope that as you continue your journey, you place women’s rights, dignity, justice, and equality high on your agenda, alongside your other political concerns, in the knowledge that women’s equality and rights are the rights of a whole nation.
Reach out to more women and remain inclusive. Be open-minded and determined. Support and encourage each other.
To quote the 2015 International Women’s Day theme: MAKE IT HAPPEN. Go out and get involved in politics. Go out and vote. Go out and meet the politicians who are only a mere 10-15 minutes away from campus. Go out and RUN.
—-Danika Leminski, Official journalist/blogger of Equal Voice uOttawa Chapter