Today, I received this email:
My other written petition was presented in the House Of Commons on March 5th by My MP Gerald Keddy of Nova Scotia. We are asking if people could send a email to get ministers to support my petition. To stop funding facilities in Canada that allow discrimination towards women in the name of religion. Pleas email Minister of justice Peter Mac Kay email email@example.com and mister for the status of women Kellie leitch at Kellie.Leitch@parl.gc.ca and minister of immigration Jason kenney at firstname.lastname@example.org
This message was sent by Michele Walsh using the Change.org system. You received this email because you signed a petition started by Michele Walsh on Change.org: “Canadian Government, Prime Minister Stephen Harper: Protect Canadian women rights from gender based religious persecution, and stop the erosion of the most important and fundamental RIGHT that we enjoy in a free and democratic society..” Change.org does not endorse the contents of this message.
View the petition
My response was to write an email to Minister MacKay:
Dear Minister MacKay,
Canada is a wonderful place where the rights of all minorities – down to the minority of one – are protected by law, respected by society and cherished by the citizenry.
However, lately, we have seen a very worrying trend of erosion of gender equality in the name of religion. As Asma Jahangir, while acting as the UN’s special raconteur on the status of women and religion had reported, religious minorities demand special rights/privileges for themselves and, when they receive them, they immediately use these to oppress a minority within that religion, usually the women.
This is a global problem, but one that has been creeping into Canada and that is very troubling.
Recently, a member of parliament from Nova Scotia, Gerald Keddy, presented a petition in Parliament where concerned citizens were asking you, our lawmakers, to take steps to ensure that misogyny cloaked in religious garb will not be permitted to erode our cherished gender equality. I would like to voice support for this and ask that you, as Minister of Justice, take steps to ensure that Asma Jahangir’s sad observation will not become fact here, in Canada.
If you value gender equality in our society, I urge you most sincerely to add your voice to this call to prevent creeping misogyny camouflaging itself as ‘religion’.