Canadian Government Statement by Minister Leitch on International Women's Day


OTTAWA, Ontario March 8, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - The following is a statement by the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, on the occasion of International Women's Day, on March 8.

  International Women's Week is a time to celebrate women of all ages and to honour their invaluable contributions to our families, our communities, and our country.
March 8th is International Women's Day. Each year, this commemoration provides Canadians with the opportunity to celebrate women's achievements. It is a time to celebrate women's extraordinary potential and look toward a more equitable future for women across the country, and around the world.

Canada's theme for International Women's Week 2014 is: "Strong Women. Strong Canada. Canadian Women - Creating Jobs One Business at a time."

This theme recognizes the important role of women entrepreneurs and business leaders in the Canadian economy. In fact, in 2011 women-owned businesses contributed an estimated $148 billion to the Canadian economy, and women-owned businesses currently employ over 1.5 million Canadians.

Women business owners are crucial to the well-being and prosperity of communities throughout Canada. They create jobs, drive growth, and spark innovation, all of which increase Canada's competitiveness in world markets. Economic Action Plan 2014 includes a commitment to increase mentorship among women business owners.  I am leading this initiative, and will be consulting on how to increase the number of women entering into, and succeeding in, business. This effort complements the work being done by many federal departments to support small business and entrepreneurs - including women entrepreneurs- across the country.

This International Women's Day, I invite all Canadians to join us in acknowledging the outstanding contributions of women, including business leaders and entrepreneurs, who support their families, enrich their communities, and contribute to making Canada a great place in which to live.