Statement by Minister Marci Ien on International Women’s Day

Ottawa – March 8, 2022

Ottawa, ON – The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth, issued the following statement today on International Women’s Day.

“Happy International Women’s Day! Today we celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and girls, in all their diversity, who are breaking down barriers, lifting each other up, and making the world a better place.

This year’s theme – Women Inspiring Women – honours the remarkable women and girls who inspire us to do better and be better; from the colleague who challenges norms and harmful stereotypes, to the neighbour who finds new ways to build a stronger community. Women all around us inspire us every day to reach our highest potential.

Advocates like Dr. Notisha Massaquoi motivate us to fight for what we believe in. Author Kim Thúy’s inspirational story reminds us of the courage and resilience that lies within us. Leaders like Maria Barile encourage us to raise our voices against violence and discrimination. These women and so many others, have helped make Canada the country we know and love, and we are forever grateful for their contributions.

Today, we also present the Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case to four women who have made outstanding contributions to advance equality for women and girls in Canada. Thank you Monique Aubry Frize, Carina Gabriele, Bailey Greenspon and Caitlin Salvino for demonstrating leadership and improving the lives of Canadian women.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but we know that women and girls – particularly racialized women and girls – have been hardest hit. Women have faced steep job losses and reduced hours of work. They have shouldered extra unpaid responsibilities at home – caring for pre-schoolers and supporting children with virtual learning, while balancing working from home. Many women continue to serve bravely on the frontlines as teachers, nurses, doctors, and other public health officials.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let’s also reflect on how far we have come to move gender equality forward. Women and girls deserve a future free from stigma, stereotypes, and violence, and with equal rights and opportunities, so they can reach their highest potential. Only by working together can we make this future a reality.

Today, I invite you to share stories about the women and girls in your life who inspire you, using the hashtag #IWD2022 on social media. We must all continue to stand up for women’s rights, and amplify women’s voices, because when women and girls succeed, we all do.” 

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