During a session on gender parity at last week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau told fellow delegates “we shouldn’t be afraid of the word ‘feminist,'” urging men and women to describe themselves that way “any time they want.”
Trudeau, 44, made international headlines in November when the newly elected PM announced a cabinet made up of 50 percent women, describing it as “looking like Canada.” Pressed by a reporter to comment on the importance of a gender-balanced cabinet, Trudeau asserted: “Because it’s 2015.”
On Friday at Davos, Trudeau revealed that his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, had pulled him aside a few months ago and said: “Okay, it’s great that you’re engaged and modeling to your daughter that you want her empowered, but you need to take as much effort to talk to your sons [who are 2 and 8] about how he treats women and grow up to be a feminist, just like Dad.”
Gregoire-Trudeau is “extremely committed to women’s and girls’ issues,” Trudeau said — adding they are of a like mind. “And, by the way, we shouldn’t be afraid of the word feminist,” he said, to applause. “Men and women should use it to describe themselves any time they want.
“That role we have as men in supporting equality and demanding a shift is really, really important.”
Four out of five delegates are male at the WEF, where Trudeau appeared on the panel alongside philanthropist Melinda Gates and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.