International Women's DayFebruary 8, 2021
Article and photos by Jared Story
Weston School students saw their drawings come to life on International Women’s Day.
Redrawing the Balance, a city-wide elementary school event presented by the Winnipeg Police Service, saw school children illustrating their perceptions of people in different occupations.
The students were then introduced to individuals with those same careers, the catch being they were all women.
Visiting Weston Grade 1 and 2 students on March 8 were Barbara Pelletier, an avionics technician at 17 Wing Winnipeg, Lesley Fox, a military chaplain at 17 Wing, Dr. Nafisa Dharamsi, a surgeon at Children’s Hospital, and Const. Leonie Lazarus, a member of the WPS’ foot patrol unit.
“I think it’s awesome that we’re encouraging girls that they can do whatever they want,” Dharamsi said. “I fought through a world to get here, but in our time, it wasn’t the same. Now, there’s not the same biases.”
When the four women walked into the Weston classroom, Grade 1 teacher Jodi Horst asked the students “What do you notice about all our guests that are here today?”
The children gave multiple answers, such as “They all have uniforms”, “They all help people” and even “They all have different hair.” Horst had to hint at the fact that all four guests were women before any student guessed gender as the similarity.
“I thought that was a good sign, that they weren’t surprised that women were here in those roles,” said Jessica Davies, a Grade 1/2 teacher at Weston.
“Some of them were writing their own names on the pictures they were drawing, so they’re already starting to see themselves in those roles.”
After introductions, the students split into groups, where Pelletier, Fox, Dharamsi and Lazarus showed the children what they do in their respective careers.