Deputy Minister of National Defence video message for International Women's Day

Video / March 8, 2021


Hello. My name’s Jody Thomas. I’m the Deputy Minister of National Defence.

International Women’s Day is a reminder to celebrate and recognize women, their contributions, and their achievements.

Not just one day, but every day.

But we also need to be real.

Here in this Defence Team, we need to recognize the reality of what many women endure in the course of doing their jobs. And how harsh that reality can be, to both them as individuals, and to the wider DefenceTeam we’re all a part of.

That recognition and reality must go hand in hand.

Women on our Defence Team are soldiers, sailors and aircrew. Finance experts. General and Flag officers. Helicopter pilots. Assistant Deputy Ministers. Policy analysts. Task Force Commanders Lawyers. Graphic designers. Master Warrant Officers. Communications experts. Trainers and instructors and so much more.

They lead. They inspire. They reflect the best of Canada to our allies around the world.

None of the women in this Defence Team are here by accident. They are here because of choice, of sheer grit, and because of what they contribute.

They are here because they belong here, no matter what anyone else says.

In many cases, they are here despite what others have said, and the obstacles that have been raised against them.

Right now, we are part of a crucial moment in the history of this Defence Team.

The voices of women from our Defence Team, past, present, and future, must be heard.

It is every Defence Team member’s job to listen, to hear, and to understand that what was, can no longer be permitted to stand. We need to amplify and support those the voices of our amazing Defence Team women, their perspectives, their knowledge and their reality. Because it is not enough to simply recognize what we have accomplished, hard as it was. Those of us who are here now need to double our efforts so that future generations can and want to imagine themselves as contributors to our team. Canada is a stronger, better country because of the women who work across this Defence Team and I thank you.
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