Governor General celebrates International Women's Day with Afghan Women

    OTTAWA, March 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Her Excellency the Right Honourable
Michaelle Jean, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, is marking
International Women's Day, today in Kabul, to show her solidarity with the
women of Afghanistan and those from all over the world.
    "For me and for so many others, the hand these women were dealt was
unacceptable. I am here to tell that to the Afghan women in person. To attack
the dignity of women is to fly in the face of life itself; it is to make a
mockery of humanity," said the Governor General.
    While in Afghanistan, she will meet with women from various sectors of
society who face tremendous challenges on a daily basis to get their country
back on its feet.
    "In my opinion, the role of Afghan women in Afghanistan's reconstruction
is imperative. Empower women and you will see a decrease in poverty,
illiteracy, disease and violence," added the Governor General.
    The Governor General will also take the opportunity to emphasize Canada's
commitment to improving the lives of Afghan women and ensuring that their
voices are heard. Two Canadian delegates will accompany the Governor General
on her visit to Afghanistan and in her meetings with Afghan women:

    June Webber-Director of International Policy and Development for the
Canadian Nurses Association, she is especially active in implementing programs
that strengthen health care systems in developing countries.

    Francine Pelletier-Documentary filmmaker and independent researcher, she
is interested in many aspects of women's lives and history. She has been a
part of and directed a number of documentaries, including Legacy of Pain, a
one-hour documentary that she wrote and co-directed on the massacre at the
Ecole Polytechnique, which received a number of awards in 2001.

    For more information about the visit, please visit the Governor General's
website at .

For further information:

For further information: Media information: Marilyne Guèvremont or
Isabelle Serrurier, Rideau Hall Press Office, (613) 998-7280 or (613)

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