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My Little Corner of Canada: Look beyond the issue

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

JOHN AMAGOALIK

What will gender parity achieve?” you ask.

By itself, nothing. It is only a means to an end.

Gender parity will not be a magic wand which will make our problems disappear. Unlike Lucien Bouchard, we do not claim to possess such a thing.

It is how the Nunavut legislative assembly will work with gender parity that will make the difference.

It is our strong belief that it will create a better environment for men and women to work together to tackle the large agenda they will have.

It is when you look beyond the issue that you begin to see the good possibilities. We will need each other to face the problems on your list.

Yes, women have made great strides in recent times. But they still face systematic barriers.

One of them is an attitude that women need to prove themselves first. Women don’t need to prove themselves to me.

I believe in women’s abilities and strengths and look forward to their positive contributions. I do not want to wait until someone has judged women to be “ready”.

This is not tokenism. This is real.

As they say, justice should not only be done, it must be seen to be done.

A gender-equal legislative assembly is a picture of tolerance and mutual respect. How it could foster contempt and feelings of inadequacies is beyond any rational thinking.

Perhaps some people think in this negative fashion because of their experiences with poisonous politics of other jurisdictions.

Gender parity is only a door. Some will be afraid to walk through it. Many are anxious to leave an old, smoke filled backroom and look for new possibilities.

ZZS

Makivik President Zebedee Nungak recently visited Europe and came back with more ZZS (Zebedee Zingers).

Here are some.

“I don’t want my grandchildren preordained to battle Lucien Bouchard’s grandchildren on an issue that never gets resolved. Where losers are winners and winners are losers. Where

Separatists set the agenda, determine the rules, and are never stood up to.”

“We wish no ill will towards the separatists in their desire to secede from Canada. We just want them to leave us alone when they do it.”

“It was a noteworthy sight to behold an elderly lady almost smiling.” (on the general glumness of crowds in Brussels, seemingly too busy to enjoy life.)

“I was ready to do the Pope one better and French kiss Canada’s soil.” (on his joy at returning to Canada, which he calls “the best country on the face of the Earth.”)

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