We know Quebecers, statistically speaking, are among the quote-unquote least productive populations in Canada, meaning we work fewer hours on average, per week, than many other Canadians.
That said, we think there ought to be another statutory holiday added to the calendar, this one commemorating the contribution women have made to the world. Fortunately, we have International Women's Day, celebrated around the globe on March 8 of every year, and recognized by the United Nations – meaning it is recognized by more people than Christmas is.
It is a day of reflection, of considering women, how far they've come – and how far they've yet to go in terms of rights, equality and choices available to them. We think, like Remembrance Day, that March 8 is a day worthy of the kind of thought that people must take a few minutes to consider and one that people ought to be allowed to take some time out of their day for.
That said, contemporary life, especially in the West Island, leaves very little time for the kind of directed contemplation that one would require for the task – and so it should be considered a statutory holiday, much like Remembrance Day ought to be. Even if lawmakers feel like a full day is too much, maybe it would behoove the government to declare a half-holiday on March 8 and another on November 11 – and maybe combine the two into a floating holiday that workers could book as a single day off whenever they feel the urge to contemplate. Cheek aside, human beings are often only capable of what they are prompted to do, either through peer pressure or expected behaviour, and not making International Women's Day a statutory holiday, we are effectively diminishing its importance, much like we have with Remembrance Day.
Some argue that students are better served by attending school on these days, because the awareness they receive through school assemblies, services or other pedagogic input is invaluable to their awareness of women's issues.
Like Martin Luther King Day in the United States, though, it would seem that until there's a day off in its name, then it really doesn't matter what we're marking. For all people know, March 8 could also be International Aglet (they’re the small plastic attachment on the end of shoelaces) Awareness Day, but that doesn't mean it's important.
No, for International Women's Day to have any traction as a day of recognition, it needs to be made statutory by the government.