Statement by the Honourable Helena Guergis, Minister of State (Status of

OTTAWA, March 7 /CNW Telbec/ -

    As Canadians celebrate International Women's Day, it gives us an
    opportunity to look back at where we've been, to celebrate what we've
    achieved, and to refocus on where we're going.

    Canada's 2010 theme is "Strong Women, Strong Canada, Strong World." This
    theme reflects the important action that women contribute both here in
    Canada and around the globe.

    On March 2nd, I reported to the United Nations Commission on the Status
    of Women, which is engaged in the 15-year review of progress on
    implementing the Beijing Declaration.

    Here in Canada, we have seen strong progress. In 2007, women made up 61
    per cent of all university graduates.

    Women are starting small businesses at twice the rate of men. In
    addition, women's average incomes have increased almost 17 per cent since

    While we have made strong gains, there is more to do.

    For example, violence against women, especially in vulnerable
    communities, is an ongoing issue. In addition to our government's
    continued work to tackle violent crime in Canada, last week's Speech from
    the Throne committed to additional action to address the crimes against
    hundreds of missing and murdered aboriginal women.

    Just as we must continue working to end violence against women, we must
    take action to help ensure women's economic security and keep encouraging
    their participation in democracy.

    Internationally, Canada is contributing in areas including building
    schools for girls in Afghanistan, and supporting women as families
    struggle to rebuild in Haiti. Prime Minister Harper has identified
    maternal and child health as a major theme of this year's G8 summit and
    is making it a priority to help women and children have access to clean
    water, food and medical care around the world.

    Canada has much to celebrate on March 8th. As a nation, we must build on
    this work and continue moving forward together.

Ce texte est également disponible en français.

For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to

SOURCE Status of Women Canada

For further information: For further information: Emily Goucher, Senior Special Assistant, Communications, Office of the Minister of State (Status of Women), (819) 956-4000; Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director General, Communications and Strategic Planning, Status of Women Canada, (613) 995-7839

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