Today marks International Women’s Day, a date for celebrating the achievements of women and girls. It is also a day to reaffirm our commitment to work toward gender equality worldwide.
First recognized by the UN General Assembly in 1977, the 2016 theme for International Women’s Day is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality.” This is a goal that I support. Unfortunately, we have a long way to go. The World Economic Forum has predicted that it will take another 117 years to achieve global gender parity.
In Canada, we have achieved great feats on the road toward equal rights for women, but we still have so much to do. I want my two girls to grow up in a world free of gender discrimination, violence and inequality.
The GPO supports the Pledge for Parity effort. We must continue to work toward closing the income gap and ensuring equal access to opportunity. We must also strive for a fair society by discouraging discrimination and marginalization in the workplace and throughout our communities. We must foster a climate that does not tolerate sexual harassment and violence.
On this International Women’s Day, let’s reflect on the progress that we have made and re-commit to doing even better in the future.