National Committee of UN Women - Canada.

National Committee of UN Women - Canada.

March 07, 2011 22:11 ET

Message from National Committee for UN Women Canada on International Women's Day

A Reminder of Work Yet to be Done

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 7, 2011) - Special Message from National Committee for UN Women - Canada on International Women's Day: A Reminder of Work Yet to Be Done. The 100th anniversary of International Women's Day will be commemorated in special celebrations worldwide. The day marks the historic moment when more than one million women joined together to draw attention to and demand change to the unacceptable and often dangerous working conditions faced by women worldwide.

The last century has witnessed remarkable progress for the advancement of women in areas of education, employment, and political representation. Despite this progress, International Women's Day serves as an important reminder of the work that has yet to be done.

The Right Honorable Mme. Michaëlle Jean, former Governor General of Canada, believes that International Women's Day provides an opportunity for women to reflect on the continued work needed to achieve universal equality. "International Women's Day 2011 allows Canadians to remember that the road to gender equality is still fraught with many obstacles," said Mme. Jean. "We must keep alight the flame of hope and progress that women around the world have ignited. We are forever indebted to these women who have fought and provided us with leadership towards equality."

Mme. Jean is inspired to continuing to promote women's equality and empowerment by women in Canada and in Haiti. "My tenure as the 27th Governor General and Commander in Chief of Canada and my current responsibilities as UNESCO Special Envoy for Haiti have allowed me to stand with Canadian women, Aboriginal women and women of every origin, and now with Haitian women in the battle they are still waging to have their rights recognized" said Mme. Jean".

Last year, I was in Haiti on International Women's Day. My Haitian sisters taught me that strength can be derived from the most trying of times. They found solace among themselves and triumphed by taking on leadership roles in the face of catastrophe and privation. On this International Women's Day I would like to honour Haitian women and their extensive efforts in recovering from disaster and reconstructing their futures."

Despite the unprecedented expansion of women's legal rights and entitlements in the last century, Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of the newly established United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), suggests that the pioneers of the women's empowerment movement would look at today's world with a "mixture of pride and disappointment." She encourages individuals across the world to work in partnership to achieve the goal of global gender equality. "I have seen myself what women, often in the toughest circumstances, can achieve for their families and societies in they are given the opportunity" said Ms. Bachelet. "The strength, industry and wisdom of women remain humanity's greatest untapped resource." 

In regions around the world, women continue to be marginalized, abused, discriminated against, and deprived of basic needs because of their sex. There also continues to be systematic discrimination against women in education, health care, employment, and control of assets. Uncapping the potential of women will result in not only in increased opportunities for women and girls, but also in concrete improvements in national economy, peace and security, and development.

Ms. Almas Jiwani, President of the National Committee for UN Women – Canada, believes that International Women's Day can be a catalyst for change. "As we celebrate," says Ms. Jiwani, "let us not ignore the significant gaps in equality that have yet to be bridged. One hundred years ago, women united together to lay the foundation for a gender equal reality. On International Women's Day we celebrate their dedication, courage, and their vision for a world where women and men, boys and girls, live together as equals. Together we must also act to ensure that women and men in all countries can live as equal beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action, and peace and security."

The centenary anniversary of International Women's Day will be honoured by women and men around the world. 

About National Committee for UN Women - Canada

The National Committee for UN Women Canada raises UN Women's profile and promotes its work in Canada; raises funds for UN Women projects; creates awareness within the Canadian governments for increased funding for UN Women projects; and encourages non-governmental organizations to promote and support UN Women initiatives.

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