Said Smith, " International Women's Day was celebrated around the world on March 8th. It provided us with an opportunity to honour the contributions women have made and are making, but it also allowed us to take stock of some of the very real changes which are occurring in the lives of women in Saddle Hills County.
"Saddle Hills County recognizes the changing role of women in the County and we are making every effort to provide support through our programs and initiatives," she said.
Saddle Hills County's Childcare Subsidy Program was designed to help meet some of the challenges faced by young families with children from 0 to 6 years dealing with the realities of today’s work environment.
"Whether they are working outside the home, are self-employed, working on the farm or attending a post-secondary institution on a full-time basis – our program is designed to help support them," said Smith.
"Our commitment to other initiatives such as the Potable Water Strategy, the Communication Network and Sustainability Planning are all designed to increase the quality of life in Saddle Hills County and retain and attract young men and women seeking opportunities to settle and raise a family."
MLA and Minister of Energy Margaret McCuaig-Boyd paid tribute to Councillor Smith saying, "Kristen is managing to raise four young children and still be a successful municipal councillor. I'm truly proud of Saddle Hills County for encouraging women like Kristen to participate in the public process."
She also noted that several women were attending the event with their children and said she was impressed that the event was organized in a way which welcomed women with children.
McCuaig-Boyd went on to describe some of the challenges she has faced in provincial politics and as Minister of Energy and the constant effort both she and Premier Rachel Notley put in to broadening participation in provincial politics and government to include more women and more people from Rural Alberta.
"I told the Premier that sometimes you have to ask women more than once," to which, according to McCuaig-Boyd, the Premier responded, "Just like I had to ask you four times to run."
McCuaig-Boyd encouraged the more than 20 women attending the event to consider getting involved in the political process in their communities. With a provincial election coming this fall she urged women to consider running for office or becoming involved in the many boards and committees which exist at a municipal level.
McCuaig-Boyd said she would be making several announcement soon which will have an impoact on women in Alberta. Those announcements are expected to include new measures on domestic violence and abuse. She also mentioned the long list of initiatives the Notley government has undertaken from providing more money for shelters, homelessness, women in abusive relationships to increasing the minimum wage and encouraging women entrepreneurs.