Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

March 08, 2014 11:23 ET

Minister of National Defence Statement on the Occasion of International Women's Day

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 8, 2014) - The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence, today issued the following statement on the occasion of International Women's Day:

"International Women's Day is a special opportunity for both Canadians and the international community to take time to reflect on the many valuable achievements that women have contributed to our society. I am proud, as Minister of National Defence, to lead a department where women have full and equal opportunity to participate in all areas of our military and at all levels of leadership. Among our allies, the Canadian Armed Forces are highly regarded as being at the forefront of military gender equality.

"For more than 125 years, women have played an ever-expanding role in Canada's military. From the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, which saw women serve as nurses, to the CAF's more recent mission in Afghanistan, women in the Canadian Armed Forces have become more and more prominent. Women now serve alongside their male counterparts in all military occupations.

"Now that the Afghanistan mission is coming to a close, we should recognize the contribution that our deployed CAF female soldiers have made there as well. The skill and professionalism they have displayed powerfully demonstrated Canadian values in a land where gender equality remains a distinct challenge. Every day, women break down conventional barriers and expand the realm of the possible around the world.

"Lastly, Canada remains a world leader in terms of the proportion of women in its military, and the areas in which they can serve. In all military occupations, our men and women in uniform are selected for training, promotions, postings and all career opportunities in exactly the same way - based on rank, qualifications and merit, exactly as it should be.

"I want to thank the women of the Canadian Armed Forces for what they do every day. Their service makes them strong role models, both within their communities and while deployed overseas. The Canadian Armed Forces honours the important work of our women and recognize that their achievements comprise an important part of our national military heritage and contribute to the full and equal inclusion of women in our society."

For more information, please see the following links:

Backgrounder - Women in the Canadian Armed Forces

Fact Sheet - Canadian Armed Forces - Historical milestones of women

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