Statement by Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2017 - “Equality Matters”


March 8, 2017

Ottawa (Ontario) - As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we can be proud of the progress that Canada has made toward gender equality over the course of the last 150 years. But we must acknowledge that the struggle for gender equality continues. As long as discrimination and gender stereotypes influence our daily lives, we have more work to do.

Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day 2017 is Equality Matters.

  • Equality matters because we can make our economy stronger when we harness the talents of all Canadians.
  • Equality matters because when women have a seat at the table, our government is more effective.
  • Equality matters because our children are watching and learning from our actions. 
  • Equality matters because an inclusive society where everyone has a chance to contribute will always work better than one that marginalizes its people.

Canada has the potential to lead the world on this issue. I believe that we can come together and show the global community that equality is good for the economy, good for democracy, good for families, and good for everyone.

I urge all Canadians to join us in exposing stereotypes and challenging discrimination. Stand up and say that equality matters to you! Tell us why using the hashtag #EqualityMatters. Inspire your friends by tagging the people in your life who work for gender equality every day.  Small actions like these will help move us toward a more equitable future — one where girls and boys can aspire to any goal they can imagine and where women and men can contribute to every aspect of society.

Happy International Women’s Day!

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More information:

International Women’s Day


Alex Wellstead
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Status of Women

Nanci-Jean Waugh
Director General, Communications and Public Affairs
Status of Women Canada

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