The United Nations (UN) annual International Day of Happiness has been celebrated on March 20th since 2013. Each year the UN releases its World Happiness Report which ranks 156 countries on six indicators that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and…
One of the highlights of our trip along the Big Sur coast of California in late February was watching the northern elephant seals at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery, north of San Simeon. More than 7,000 elephant seals live here, making it one of…
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made towards gender equality, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary people. We need to stand together to ensure that our hard-won rights are protected and continue to strive for gender equality throughout the world.
The United Nation’s theme for International Women’s Day 2020 is, “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”. The theme is aligned with UN Women’s new multigenerational campaign, Generation Equality, which marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most progressive roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls, everywhere (source).
“Despite some progress, real change has been agonizingly slow for the majority of women and girls in the world. Today, not a single country can claim to have achieved gender equality. Multiple obstacles remain unchanged in law and in culture. As a result, women remain undervalued, they continue to work more, earn less, have fewer choices, and experience multiple forms of violence at home and in public spaces (source)”.
Iceland is the country with the highest gender parity currently, at 88%. The Scandinavian countries, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Rwanda and Germany round out the top ten. The United States and Canada don’t make the top ten; North America sits at 73% in this index ranking (source). Legal restrictions have kept 2.7 billion women from accessing the same choice of jobs as men. Women earn 23% less than men globally and occupy only 24% of parliamentary seats worldwide. One in three women still experience gender-based violence.
“Equal rights, opportunities and access to resources, equal sharing of responsibilities for the family by men and women, and a harmonious partnership between them are critical to their well-being and that of their families as well as to the consolidation of democracy.” (source)
We can each make a difference locally and globally by promoting gender equality in our homes and workplaces.
Canadian winters tend to be long…by February Canadians are looking for some “green inspiration”! We were lucky to have a late winter break in California recently and I can share some photos to brighten your day. Part of our exploration included the rugged Big Sur…
Happy Valentine’s Day! This day is not just for lovers. It’s a wonderful time to remember just how special and unique we each are and not to be afraid of being different or standing out. It is also a good time to take stock of how lovingly we treat the body that carries us through our busy lives.
“While everyone would try to hide their colours; busy matching their skin with the surroundings, be that wild rose in the otherwise green forest, rare, novel and adorably unique.”Annie
The wild rose, Rosa acicularis, has been used as food, medicine and in ceremonies by Aboriginal peoples through the ages.In 1930, the wild rose was chosen by schoolchildren to be Alberta’s provincial flower. A sure sign of summer’s arrival, the various shades of pink wild rose blooms peek from the forest shadows in June, inviting a closer look. Their tantalising scent wafts through the air, attracting insect pollinators and people alike. The wild rose leaves and flowers can be used to make tea and the petals have been used to make fragrances. Rosehips are very high in vitamin C and are popular foods for birds and wildlife.
I am a Canadian photographer and artist. My heritage is Scottish; my parents were from Aberdeen, Scotland. My name, “Heather”, is also the name of a flowering shrub that is found all over the highlands of Scotland…I guess it’s no wonder that I love flowers!…