Government of Canada

Global Affairs Canada

Minister's Message: International Women's Day

March 8, 2011

This year, the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, reminds us of the many accomplishments of outstanding women, including those who fought for women's rights and equality. In Canada, women have played a significant role, as leaders in every field, in building our country. However, there is more to do.

In developing countries, women are among the most vulnerable. Legal, social and cultural barriers prevent them from being equal participants in their societies. Women-led households are among the poorest, and in the aftermath of natural disasters, they face the harshest impacts. Women living in countries affected by conflict are also horribly victimized.

Canada, through CIDA, recognizes its responsibility to support these women and girls in developing countries. On this International Women's Day, we must renew our commitment to women around the world so that every woman can live life fully and reach her potential.

Beverley J. Oda
Minister of International Cooperation