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March 8 is International Women’s Day – Statement from Government of Canada


GATINEAU, QC, March 6, 2020 /CNW/ – The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, issued the following statement in advance of International Women’s Day:

“On March 8, International Women’s Day, we will celebrate the achievements of women and girls everywhere and we will reaffirm the Government of Canada’s commitment to advancing gender equality in the workplace, here in Canadaand around the world. Our government recognizes that equality is at the heart of Canada’s future economic success – everyone benefits when women are fully able to realize their dreams and aspirations. Over the last 40 years, the greater participation of women in the workforce has accounted for approximately one third of Canada’s economic growth, but we know there is still work to do.

The Government of Canada has taken a number of important steps towards achieving greater gender equality in recent years. For example, we introduced the Pay Equity Act, which will help address the gender wage gap, and we have brought forward new pay transparency measures to help address the wage gaps that affect not only women, but also Indigenous people, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. We are also helping workers achieve better work-life balance with updates to federal labour standards. Last year, we updated the Canada Labour Code to give workers the right to request flexible work arrangements and better access to a number of leaves, including maternity and parental leave. We also introduced new breaks and leaves, including breaks for breastfeeding and personal leave. These changes will benefit employers as well by creating work environments that attract and retain talent.

We also made changes to improve how workplaces prevent, address and respond to workplace harassment and violence. Far too many people continue to experience these unacceptable behaviours, which is why we took action with Bill C-65, legislation to better protect federally regulated workers from harassment and violence, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. We believe that this path-breaking legislation is going to have a major positive impact in workplaces; however, we know that legislation alone will not fix this issue. That is why, last year on International Women’s Day, we announced the new Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Fund. Partner organizations across Canada received funding for projects to support the creation of tools and resources to prevent harassment and violence and to help drive the much-needed culture shift in workplaces from coast to coast to coast.

Our efforts to combat workplace harassment and violence reach beyond our borders. On the world stage, our government played a strong leadership role in the negotiation and adoption of International Labour Organization Convention 190, the first-ever global treaty on ending violence and harassment in the world of work. Since responsibility for labour matters in Canada is shared among federal, provincial and territorial governments, we are now working closely with the provinces and territories with a view towards its possible ratification.

I encourage everyone to continue their efforts to create equitable, inclusive, respectful and secure workplaces. Together, we can build work environments where everyone has the opportunity to realize their full potential.”

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

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