Status of Women Minister attends swearing-in of new troops to mark International Women's Day



    QUEBEC CITY, March 8 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Josée Verner, Minister
of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages, today marked
March 8, International Women's Day, by attending the swearing-in of new
members of Canada's armed forces at the complexe militaire St-Malo in Québec
City.
    "On this 31st International Women's Day in Canada, we celebrate the
contributions of women under the theme Strong Women, Strong World," said
Minister Verner. "It is fitting, that we are gathered today to celebrate the
swearing-in of these fine young recruits to the Canadian Forces - and that
one-third of them are women."
    Women have been involved in Canada's military since 1885. In 1971, the
Department of National Defence lifted its limit of 1,500 women, expanding
opportunities for women into non-traditional areas, including vehicle drivers
and mechanics, aircraft mechanics, air-traffic controllers, military police,
firefighters and, as of 1989, combat soldiers. Today, women represent more
than 17 per cent of the Canadian Forces population.
    "Women have progressed from barely being represented in the military, to
joining the ranks of units such as this proud Brigade, and taking part in
Canadian operations worldwide," Minister Verner said. "The young women
graduating today will march in the footsteps of the brave women who have gone
before them, opening the doors of opportunity for others like them in the
future."
    As announced in Budget 2008, the Government of Canada will develop an
Action Plan to advance equality for women by improving their economic and
social conditions, and their participation in democratic life.

    Status of Women Canada is a federal government agency working to promote
the full participation of women in the economic, social and democratic life of
Canada.
    For more information on Status of Women Canada, visit
http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/.




For further information:

For further information: Dominic Gosselin, Press Secretary, Office of
the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages,
(819) 997-7788; Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director General, Communications and
Strategic Planning, Status of Women Canada, (613) 995-7839; Ce texte est
également disponible en français. This release is also available on the Status
of Women Canada website: http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca.


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