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Statement by the Prime Minister on International Women’s Day

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The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on International Women’s Day:

“Women in Canada have made transformative progress in shaping our country for the better. Today, on International Women’s Day, we celebrate the remarkable achievements of women and girls around the world and recommit ourselves to building a fairer, safer, and more inclusive future.

“This year’s theme, ‘Invest in women: Accelerate progress’, reminds us that advancing gender equality is about building stronger, more inclusive, and prosperous communities. When women and girls are meaningfully supported and represented, we break barriers, spur progress, and shape a better future for generations to come.

“That means giving women more choices in the work force, closing the gender wage gap, and reaffirming our collective commitment to women’s leadership – from public offices to corporate boardrooms to university and college campuses. That is why we have invested nearly $7 billion in Canada’s first Women Entrepreneurship Strategy – helping women start up, scale up, and soar, in whatever field they choose. With over half of provinces and territories now offering $10-a-day child care and the rest well on their way, we are also seeing the benefits of record-high levels of women’s participation in the workforce. Building an affordable, accessible, and high-quality child care system is good for kids, good for families, and good for the economy.

“Women should never have to choose between paying bills and protecting their health. That’s why we will work with provinces and territories to provide universal contraceptive coverage in our pharmacare legislation – ensuring women can make their own decisions about their own reproductive health.

“As part of our commitment to address the national crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people, we are accelerating the implementation of the Federal Pathway and providing new funding for services that support Indigenous women and girls, along with other marginalized groups.

“We are also making our workplaces more inclusive, including by ensuring federally regulated employees can access menstrual products at no cost while on the job. And through the recently launched Equi’Vision tool, we are encouraging businesses to address pay gaps and underrepresentation in Canadian workplaces.

“Canada remains a champion for advancing gender equality beyond our borders. As part of our ten-year commitment to global health and rights, we are committed to spending an average of $700 million annually to support comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls around the globe, starting in 2023-24. In addition, Canada’s upcoming third National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security will advance the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in peace and security efforts at home and abroad. This includes our ongoing work through the Canada-led Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations to make sure women can participate even more in UN peace operations.

“As women’s rights come under attack, we need to do even more to empower and celebrate the voices of women, and especially diverse women.

“On this International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate the incredible contributions of women and girls to our communities, our country, and our world. We all have a role to play – as partners and allies – in achieving gender equality and building a better future. Because when women and girls succeed, we all do.”