Princess Diana, Mother Teresa and Nellie McClung are among the figures Colleen Arnold is looking up to this month – and all year round.
“They were all caring women working towards social change and equality and peace,” says Arnold.
Arnold, executive director of the Women’s Resource Centre and a well-known women’s advocate, is among those proudly marking October as Women’s History Month.
“(It’s important) to remember the pioneer women who fought for our rights and freedom,” she says. “They give us hope for change by the recognition of the strength of women, and inspire each generation of women to continue to fight for true equality.”
Arnold says significant milestones for Canadian women over the past 50 years include equality legislation, the ascension of the first female prime minister and the election of the first aboriginal woman to Parliament.
What milestones still await? Arnold hopes to see more women in elected office, business and upper management roles, laws to ensure true pay equality, and stricter penalties for violence against women and girls.
Arnold looks up to famous figures as well as her own mother, whose strength, perseverance and sense of humour inspire her. Local women she looks up to include the Friendship Centre’s Shelly Craig, city council’s Colleen McKee, businesswoman Dianne Russell, and arts and culture leader Crystal Kolt
“(They are) all intelligent, strong, caring women working for social change and equality,” says Arnold. “They all do so much for our community.”