International Women's Day marked by politicians

Politicians mark different women on International Women's Day. (Reuters)

Politicians mark different women on International Women's Day. (Reuters)

Jessica Hume, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 2:09 PM ET

OTTAWA - Politicians used International Women's Day to commend the country's women and recognize how the role of women still needs to grow in Canada.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper celebrated the "many achievements of women in Canada," specifically the "contributions of women entrepreneurs."

"Our government is taking action to support women's economic security and prosperity, including by supporting measures to increase the participation of women on public and private corporate boards as well as promoting leadership projects and mentorship for young women entrepreneurs."

The Liberal critic for status of women, Kirsty Duncan, said in a statement that it's "important to recognize the historic struggles that women have overcome" but also lamented the statistics on women in Canada.

"Canada currently ranks an embarrassing 20th among 133 countries regarding the gender gap; 42nd in female Parliamentary representation and a shocking 49th on health and survival."

Friday in the House of Commons, NDP women's critic Niki Ashton made a statement in anticipation of International Women's Day, saying women all over the world were fighting for the rights to "access to abortion, birth control, LGBT rights, the right to be educated and too often for human rights."

Here at home, she continued, fights continued on the fronts of an inquiry for missing and murdered Aboriginal women and "rape culture" on campuses at Canadian post-secondary institutions.

Governor General David Johnston issued a statement encouraging "all Canadians to think about the countless and invaluable contributions that women are making in our country and throughout the world."


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