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Lethbridge women reflect on significance of International Women’s Day

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As the world celebrates International Women's Day, Taz Dhaliwal speaks with Belinda Crownson, the city's only female councillor as well as a female researcher at the University of Lethbridge to find out how they're paving the way for other women – Mar 8, 2021

You don’t have to look far to find inspirational women in Lethbridge.

One of them is Belinda Crowson; she is currently the only female councillor but she’s not the first.

“The nice thing is there were 18 other women on council before me, so there’s certainly a lot of people I can look back onto to get good advice from to be inspired by,” Crowson said.

“But I think if I were to talk to young women today, first (I’d say) it is a good job. It is fun to be in politics. You get to make a difference in people’s lives.”

Read more: Majority of Canadians say gender equality not achieved in the country: poll

Crowson had plenty more words of wisdom for women who may be doubting their abilities.

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“You get to have a say in how your community is run, so if you’re interested, do it,” she said.

“Know that it’s not always easy. There are difficulties, and you’ll always have to work hard, and there’ll definitely be challenges. Being a woman in politics — everybody knows some of the challenges that are out there but don’t let that stop you.”

Read more: How International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world

Angelica Peters is another woman who is relentlessly pursuing her dreams. She’s a researcher at the University of Lethbridge in the humanities department.

To her, International Women’s Day brings an opportunity to remember women people can look up to.

“It’s a day to present woman with role models. Personally, I like the philosophy: if you can see me, you can be me, and I feel like that goes for women across any field,” Peters said.

One of the research projects she has worked on is the Prosperity Project, which is an annual report that tracks gender diversity.

“In the study that we did, women were underrepresented in leadership roles and in board executive roles and in the pipeline to those roles across the Canadian economy,” Peters explained.

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She said this report is proof there is still more work that needs to be done when it comes to adequate representation of women in higher-up positions, which is why she’s glad to be able to play a part in helping diminish persisting inequalities.

Read more: ‘The gap is widening’: Alberta CEO Arlene Dickinson says pandemic has unfairly affected working women

Peters said she got into research because she was interested in how it could be used to create change in the world and meet the diverse needs of people from any background, culture or walk of life.

The Prosperity Project also includes LGBTQ2S+ Canadians in their intersectionality and inclusivity lens along with refugees.

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