Government of Canada marks the first-ever Gender Equality Week


September 23, 2018 

Ottawa, Ontario – The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, today issued the following statement:

“Today marks an important first for Canada: the first-ever Gender Equality Week, a new opportunity every year to celebrate Canada’s progress on advancing gender equality, reflect on the work that remains, and recognize the countless benefits of gender equality for people of all genders.

“This is the inspiration for this year’s theme, Gender equality benefits everyone. It is a powerful reminder that we all have so much to gain when we advance gender equality. It is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do.

“We have a $150 billion dollar reason to do this well. That is what we will add to Canada’s economy in less than a decade if we successfully bring in policies of fairness and equality. By removing barriers to women’s participation in sectors like the skilled trades and STEM fields – sectors which represent high-quality, well-paid jobs and have significant labour shortages – we are growing our middle class.

“By supporting women in business, in leadership roles and in non-traditional sectors, we are unlocking Canada’s economic potential and creating a strong economy. By including women in decision-making processes, we are creating more profitable businesses and a more secure and peaceful world. By upholding equality and justice, we are advancing human rights within our borders and beyond.

“And by eliminating discrimination, preventing gender-based violence, and challenging harmful stereotypes faced by people of all genders, we are creating a foundation for everyone to lead happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives.

“Like Canadians, our government believes that everybody deserves an equal and fair chance at success. Together, we are making tremendous progress on advancing gender equality – progress worth celebrating and, more importantly, progress we are committed to building on in the months and years to come. We still have much more work ahead, but if we all do our part, we will create a more equitable and prosperous Canada for everyone.”

Quick Facts on Gender Equality Week

  • Canada is celebrating the first-ever annual Gender Equality Week from September 23 - 29, 2018.

  • Gender Equality Week is the result of Bill C-309, the Gender Equality Week Act, which was introduced by Sven Spengemann, Member of Parliament for Mississauga–Lakeshore, and received Royal Assent on June 21, 2018. This legislation designates the fourth week in September as Gender Equality Week, leading up to Women’s History Month in October.

  • Throughout the week, everyone is encouraged to show their support for gender equality using the hashtag #EveryoneBenefits.


Justine Villeneuve
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Status of Women

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