Statement by Minister Monsef on International Women’s Day


March 8, 2019 

Toronto, Ontario – The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, today issued the following statement:

“On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the tremendous contributions of women everywhere working to make the world a better place and the incredible progress Canada has made in advancing gender equality—at home and around the world.

“This year, the theme for the day is #InnovateForChange, and we are proud of the innovative approaches our government is using to advance gender equality.

“Here in Canada, we have passed legislation to ensure equal pay for work of equal value and to keep our workplaces safe from harassment and sexual violence. We have brought in the first-ever federal strategy to prevent and address gender-based violence. We have supported more women to pursue well-paid and rewarding careers in underrepresented fields such as science, technology, engineering, and math, and in sectors like business and the skilled trades. And we have made historic investments in the women’s movement to ensure that both services and advocacy for women are supported and gain momentum.

“Globally, the Government of Canada is taking similar steps. The Feminist International Assistance Policy puts advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls at the heart of everything that we do because we know it’s the most effective way to reduce poverty and create more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous societies.

“Our plan is working. Canada has its lowest unemployment rate in 30 years; we have created more than new 900,000 jobs since 2015; and we have lifted 825,000 Canadians out of poverty three years ahead of schedule, all of which benefit women and their families. And globally, we are making our humanitarian assistance more gender-responsive and more effective; we led the development of the G7 Whistler Principles to Accelerate Innovation for Development Impact to support inclusive innovation; and we are investing in women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights because empowerment begins with a woman having control over her own body.

“We cannot take this progress for granted. Advancing gender equality and supporting women’s organizations and movements in Canada and globally are at the core of our government’s work, and we are in this to make long-term, systemic change that endures. But no government can fix this alone. To innovate for change, we also need to collaborate. We need community organizations, the private sector, and all Canadians to be our partners in this work.

“So, as Canada gets ready to host #WomenDeliver, the world’s largest gathering on the health, rights and well-being of women, in Vancouver this June, I invite you to join us—in person or virtually. And, I invite you to take actions—big or small—to create more opportunities for women and girls everywhere. Canada is proud to be part of this global movement to promote gender equality for everyone, everywhere, because when women and girls flourish, we all do.

“Happy International Women’s Day!”

Related links


Braeson Holland
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality

Valérie Haché
Communications Officer
Department for Women and Gender Equality

Justine Lesage
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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