Government of Canada launches #BecauseOfYou campaign for International Women’s Day to honour trailblazers in women’s rights 

News release

February 24, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Women and Gender Equality Canada

Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, launched the Government of Canada’s campaign for this year’s International Women’s Day, Because of You. Featuring 9 Canadian trailblazers , including athlete Christine Sinclair, businesswoman Ann Devine, and Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Donna Strickland, the campaign will profile those who are making the world a better place by challenging cultural and societal norms, amplifying the voices of women and girls, and breaking barriers in their respective fields.

International Women's Day, which takes place every year on March 8, is a time to recognize the outstanding contributions of all women and an opportunity to promote and support gender equality. This year's theme,  Because of You, celebrates activists, advocates and other changemakers, across generations past and present, who are advancing gender equality and the rights of women. Because of them, our country is changing for the better. Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast are encouraged to use the hashtag #BecauseOfYou to name, honour and celebrate women in their lives and communities whose work and impact inspires them.


“International Women’s Day is a time to recognize the outstanding achievements and contributions of women and girls who have helped create a better world. It has been 25 years since the Beijing World Conference on Women, providing an opportunity to take stock and reflect on the work ahead and to celebrate those whose efforts have made our country and the world better. The only way to move forward is to remember where we came from and those who brought us here. This year’s theme,  Because of You, asks everyone in Canada to honour the role models in their own lives. I encourage all Canadians to take part and recognize the incredible impact of the women making change in their communities.”  

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

Quick facts

  • The beginnings of International Women’s Day trace back to the early twentieth century, emerging from the activities of labour movements in North America and Europe and reflecting a growing movement for women to participate equally in society.

  • The first International Women’s Day was observed on March 19, 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. That day, more than one million people showed their support by participating in public events. In the years that followed, other countries began to observe and celebrate this day.

  • The United Nations recognized 1975 as International Women’s Year and began celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8 of that year. 

  • Today, International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world – in many countries, it is a national holiday. It has grown to become a global day of recognition of women’s achievements and a call to action to support women’s rights and advance gender equality.

  • Canada hosted the Women Deliver 2019 Conference from June 3 to 6, 2019, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Held every three years, it is the world’s largest gathering on gender equality and the health, rights and well-being of women and girls. 

  • At Women Deliver, Minister Monsef announced that the Government of Canada is reshaping how it supports women’s rights organizations, domestically and internationally, to build a legacy for gender equality and rights.

  • The Equality Fund will not only create a sustainable and predictable source of funding for women’s rights organizations and movements in developing countries, but will also shift how investment decisions are made for gender equality outcomes: by providing resources directly to women’s rights organizations and by making investments that support gender equality. The Equality Fund has mobilized initial investments of $100 million as a result of the Government of Canada’s initial $300 million commitment. The Equality Fund will also mobilize funding for women’s rights organizations in Canada.

Associated links


Alex Howell
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

Media Relations
Women and Gender Equality Canada

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