01 October 2014
Hon. Grant Mitchell: Honourable senators, I rise today to celebrate the message of the HeforShe campaign that was launched last week by Emma Watson at the United Nations. I wholeheartedly accept this challenge for men to actively participate in women's issues.
Whether you stand in front of the UN, your class, your team, your colleagues, your family or your friends, standing up and saying "no" to sexism unfortunately all too often requires strength of character and integrity.
The campaign is about recognizing the ways in which language shapes and is shaped by social attitudes and stereotypes. It's about identifying double standards and finding ways to work together to level the playing field, and it's about leading by example for our children and refusing to be bystanders among our peers.
The HeforShe campaign gives voice to the fact that the successful engagement of women's issues must involve empowering men to speak out, as Ms. Watson and so many other courageous women have done and encourage men to do.
We must diligently seek opportunities to reject norms that are harmful to the integrity of women and to inspire conversation about what equality amongst men and women really means.
I look forward to the day when campaigns like HeForShe are obsolete and unnecessary, the day when men and women alike move in society with equal opportunity, fully uninhibited by gender stereotypes and stigmas. A Canada like that would be a sight to see.
Click here to read this speech in French / Cliquez ici pour lire ce discours en français