Story & video: Cait Hoock
Strength, leadership and equality are just a few words you’ll be hearing this month.
March 8 kicks off International Women’s Day and marks 100 years since the first event took place. Although hundreds of events happen around the world on this day, many people choose to celebrate the social and economic achievements of women throughout the entire month.
More than one million people rallied in 1911 and today nearly 25 countries celebrate this day as an official holiday.
This year’s theme is equal access to education, training and science and technology. And for Oshawa pilot Lesley Page, she says this theme resonates well with her career.
“As a woman with a male-dominated hobby, I think it’s important to celebrate International Women’s Day because we need to increase women’s awareness of access to male-dominated professions and hobbies,” she says. “Only six per cent of pilots worldwide are women.”
Next Tuesday she’ll be taking eleven girls and women for flights in her airplane, a Cessna 172. “None of these women or girls have even flown in a small plane before and we are all very excited,” she says.
Although aviation is just one of many male-dominated hobbies, Page’s ultimate dream is to introduce as many women and young girls to the sport as she can. “An increased awareness may lead to an increase in interest and participation,” she says.
Whether you’re going to be in the Durham Region next week, or across the Atlantic, take a few moments to remember the women who made history, and how you can bring change to the future.
Click to watch this video and see how certain members of the Oshawa community celebrates its women.