Statement by the Liberal Party of Canada on the 100th International Women’s Day

March 8, 2011

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff made the following statement on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day:

“100 years ago tomorrow, the first International Women’s Day was established in 1911 to campaign for women’s rights to work, vote, hold public office and end gender discrimination.

“Today, International Women’s Day celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women across the globe. Commemorative events across Canada will reflect on women’s progress over the decades, and the challenges that still remain before all women achieve true equality.

“The Liberal Party of Canada believes that the strength of Canadian society is dependent on the full participation of women in our economy, our government and our country’s decision-making. When women succeed, all of Canada wins.

“On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our parliamentary caucus – particularly the Liberal Women’s Caucus – I would like to reaffirm our party’s commitment to creating equal opportunity for all women, both in Canada and around the world.”

Liberal Women’s Caucus Chair Lise Zarac added:

“International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on the incredible achievements of women in Canada and around the world. It is also a stark reminder of how women’s equality in Canada has taken a step back under Stephen Harper’s regressive policies, which have led to a growing gender gap in this country.

“To commemorate the global centenary year of International Women’s Day, Liberals will continue to fight for equal opportunity for all women. There are still far too many women – here at home and across the globe – living with poverty, prejudice and abuse, solely because they are women.”

Liberal Status of Women Critic Anita Neville added:

“Over the last five years, Canadian women have seen their equality diminish. Stephen Harper has done worse than simply ignoring Canadian women – he has deliberately made choices that have reversed a decade of progress on women’s equality.

“Liberals believe that Canada’s federal government must lead by example by adopting policies and programs that help more women and girls participate in all levels of society. Let’s make every day women’s day by working to ensure a bright, safe and prosperous future for all women and girls over the next 100 years.”