Statement – Women’s leadership essential to building back better

March 8, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission

To mark International Women’s Day, the Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Marie-Claude Landry, together with Deputy Chief Commissioner Geneviève Chabot; Pay Equity Commissioner, Karen Jensen; full-time Commissioner Edith Bramwell; and part-time Commissioners Joanna Harrington, Rachel Leck, and Dianna Scarth, issue the following statement:

Today, on International Women’s Day, we celebrate women and recognize their invaluable contributions to family, community, country and the world. Canadian women continue to be a driving force in our country — as community-builders, business leaders, innovators, educators, scientists, mothers, and frontline workers.

Women’s voices are louder than ever before. Together, we are uniting and inspiring generations in a growing and powerful movement towards equality for all.

Now, more than ever, we must remember that far too many women in Canada continue to live a day-to-day reality fraught with socioeconomic disadvantage, especially Indigenous women, women of colour, members of the LGBTQ2SI+ community, and women with disabilities.

The COVID-19 crisis has amplified the pre-existing barriers and gaps in equality. It has made things especially difficult for women in the service industry, frontline workers, single mothers, caregivers, and those at risk of domestic violence.

Canada must take a feminist approach to its social and economic recovery efforts. If we are to build back better, our approach to recovery must promote gender equality and a more fair and just society. We must close the gender pay gap, improve social services for women in vulnerable circumstances, and give every woman the support and opportunity to choose her own path.

This responsibility is all of ours to carry. We all have a role to play. We all play an essential part of the solution.

Today we celebrate women in Canada and the leadership they provide in all aspects of life – from our families to the highest offices in the land. We must rely on this leadership as we begin to build back better. We must ensure that nobody in Canada is left behind.

We must dream big, and push for a Canada where everyone is valued, safe and feels a sense of belonging. When women thrive, everyone thrives.

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