Video Statement from Minister Paradis on International Women's Day
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
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Hi – I'm Christian Paradis, Canada's Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie.
On International Women's Day, we celebrate the important contribution women make to:
- our families,
- our communities, and
- our countries.
There is no doubt that the recognition of women's rights in Canada has contributed significantly to our democracy and prosperity.
But the struggle for women's empowerment and equality continues around the world.
This year's theme for International Women's Day is “Equality for women is progress for all.”
Evidence shows that investing in women and girls is one of the number one way to:
- reduce poverty,
- improve livelihoods and
- grow economies.
That is why Canada integrates gender equality into all of its international development work.
It is also why we are leaders in reducing maternal deaths around the world.
We do so by helping women gain better access to clinics and skilled health workers.
And by ensuring they have access to care from pre-pregnancy to early childhood.
We are also supporting the education of women and girls.
Because we know that girls who stay in school longer:
- marry later,
- have fewer children, and
- stay healthier.
They are also more likely to ensure the same level of education of their children.
And we are helping female farmers gain access to the same technical assistance and resources as men.
Because evidence shows this could lift up to 150 million people out of hunger.
We are also empowering women to start or expand businesses by providing them with micro-financing and loans.
Because we know that they are one of the key drivers of economic growth.
We are investing in women and girls because it is the right thing to do.
But it is also the smart thing to do.
And it benefits us all.
So happy I want to wish you a Happy Women's Day.
And I encourage you to take a moment to thank the important women in your life.
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