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Odyssey House asks candidates to pledge to “Lift Her Up”

Odyssey House has asked candidates in the Grande Prairie region to “Lift Her Up” by signing a pledge committing to respecting and supporting women throughout the election campaign. Executive Director Ebony Rempel believes it is a gesture still needed in this day and age.

“They are questions we still need to ask and are commitments we still need to ask. We see it all the time in business and politics. I think most often we see it in politics, I don’t really have to speak about specific examples but it happens all the time.”

Rempel says the depth of the problem that women face on a day to day basis is still something the community at large needs to be educated about.

“The candidates even coming here today I’m not convinced they knew everything before coming here and I’m hoping we were able to shed some light on what that looks like in our community.”

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She believes the discussion about the types of abuse women face needs to move away from it being considered just physical violence against women and more into the overarching hardships that many women face around the world.

“When we talk about violence against women and gender-based violence. We are talking about women still make 88 cents to the dollar compared to a male in that same job. We are talking about the lack of females represented in politics in general. We aren’t just talking about the domestic violence piece of it. It exists in so many ways.”

Odyssey House and its second-stage shelter were at capacity last year, with more than 400 women and 200 children booked in for a stay. However, due to the high demand, they were also forced to turn away another 481 women and 358 children.

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