Happy International Women's Day!

What does it mean to be a feminist in 2018? For me, and for so many of us engaged in the struggle, this is a time of transformation. The culture is shifting. Victims and survivors are speaking up. The message is becoming louder and clearer: #TimesUp.

Honest, intimate conversations about consent and the sheer scale of sexual harassment and assault are finally emerging as more and more #MeToo stories are shared publicly. I too have had the opportunity to tell my story <https://mlalenorezann.us13.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2c2ba73562ae9929b83df666e&id=20f26edc83&e=e003172af8> --including the old boys' club <https://mlalenorezann.us13.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2c2ba73562ae9929b83df666e&id=63f98a8890&e=e003172af8> mentality I've experienced that has for too long made the workplace intimidating and difficult for women to rise to their full potential.

And while the NSNDP can now celebrate having the highest proportion of women MLAs of any caucus with official party status in Canada, we are currently facing a government that is eliminating the one level of elected office where women are equally represented: school boards.

Sadly, sexualized violence remains pervasive in our culture, in our communities, workplaces, and homes. But as our feminist chorus becomes larger and louder with each sister's voice who steps forward from the shadows--and every woman, man, youth and trans person whose beating hearts give life to our movement--the power of our voices singing our truth together is growing.

Some amazing organizations are working on the ground with sexual assault survivors and they are adding notes of strength and stability to the chorus.

But they can't meet the growing need for counselling, therapy and advocacy without a committed and financially supportive partner in government.

Unfortunately, many of these community-based services are at risk of losing funding <https://mlalenorezann.us13.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2c2ba73562ae9929b83df666e&id=6299d9bfd8&e=e003172af8> --leaving the future uncertain for those in need of these vital supports for healing.

This International Women's Day, the NDP caucus re-affirms our commitment to taking action on sexualized violence. We are using our voices in the Legislature to call on the government to make the reasonable investment needed to expand sexual assault services and make them sustainable.

We have also introduced legislation to strengthen the response to sexual assault on university and college campuses--building on the efforts of students, faculty and staff who are challenging rape culture and pushing for much-needed institutional change.

Yes, feminism is alive and well in Nova Scotia! I am inspired by all the activists among us who embody a diverse, intersectional approach to changing the world--one day, one march, one song, one poem, one heart, one breath, and one child, at a time.

We can do it. We must do it. We are doing it.

Together.

Happy International Women's Day!

In Solidarity and Love --

Lenore Zann

NDP Status of Women Spokesperson

MLA, Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River

Lenore Zann, MLA
Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River
557 Prince St.
Truro, Nova Scotia B2N 1G2
1-902-897-9266
Fax: 902-897-1841