Dr. K. Kellie Leitch Kicks off International Women's Week by Praising Canada's Women Entrepreneurs

TORONTO, March 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, celebrated the beginning of International Women's Week in Toronto today at events with the Red Shawl organization and the Armenian Relief Society of Toronto. This year's theme is Strong Women, Strong Canada, Canadian Women - Creating Jobs One Business at a Time. This theme highlights the important contributions women entrepreneurs make to Canada's economic success.

International Women's Week begins on March 2 and concludes on March 8 with International Women's Day. Canadians are invited to join the Government of Canada in marking this occasion by organizing, promoting and participating in events across the country.

Quick Facts

  • According to the Direct Sellers Association, the vast majority of independent sales contractors are women (84%) who are attracted to the opportunity to work from home, and have more control over their lives.

  • According to BMO Financial Group, women-owned businesses employ over 1.5 million Canadians.

  • RBC Economics reports that as of 2011 the contribution of majority-owned women's businesses was an estimated $148 billion.

  • Since 2007, the Harper Government has delivered more than $53 million through the Women's Program at Status of Women Canada for projects that specifically focus on improving women's economic security and prosperity, including more than $9 million for projects which address women's entrepreneurship.

  • Canada began commemorating International Women's Day on March 8 following a 1977 United Nations resolution calling on member states to proclaim a day for women's rights and international peace.


"Women entrepreneurs are critical to the growth and competitiveness of the Canadian economy.  We all benefit when women's businesses succeed, creating jobs and prosperity. That's why this year's International Women's Week focuses on the valuable contributions of women entrepreneurs to the Canadian economy."

The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

"International Women's Day provides us a wonderful opportunity not only to celebrate the women in our community, but also to rededicate ourselves to the goal of inspiring change in their lives. The Red Shawl organization believes that when a woman's life is improved, families and communities are strengthened. A shawl denotes the passing on of a mantle, and the extending of resources to another. It also symbolizes our approach of reaching out. By offering solutions, we hope to inspire others towards positive change in their lives today, and throughout the year."

Zari Gill
President & Founder, Red Shawl

"Our A.R.S Roubina Toronto chapter is looking very forward to hosting our fifth annual celebration of International Women's Day to commemorate the advancement and empowerment of Armenian women, and women around the world. The Armenian Relief Society, along with its various chapters around the world, strives to promote the educational, social, health and welfare of communities, and continues to extend humanitarian help to people in distress, Armenian and non-Armenian alike".

Lena Ohanessian
Chair, International Women's Day Committee, A.R.S Roubina Chapter

Additional Links

SOURCE: Status of Women Canada

For further information:

For media inquiries only:

Barbara Mottram
Director of Communications
Office of the Hon. Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.P.
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women
Tel: 819-953-5646

For all other inquiries:

Nanci-Jean Waugh
Director General, Communications and Public Affairs
Status of Women Canada
Tel: 819-420-6810

Ce texte est également disponible en français.

For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to women.gc.ca.

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