Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Today, on International Women's Day, I am joining you from Alberta, from Treaty No. 6 territory, and I would like to take this opportunity to offer particular thanks to each of you for making the time and the sacrifice to be with us this evening and for sharing some of your stories with us. The passion that you have for advancing human rights has been nothing short of inspiring for me and, I think it's safe to say, for my fellow parliamentarians.
Prior to becoming a member of Parliament, I worked for over 20 years to protect human rights around the world. It's an honour to take part in this event, which seeks to spotlight both the important human rights issues each of our recipients is involved in and the dangers that face women who defend human rights.
I'm particularly moved by the stories of hardships that these women have suffered on account of their gender. Their bravery in facing these additional risks is humbling and a reminder that much work is left to be done in the work of fighting gender inequality worldwide. That includes in Canada, where we must do more to protect marginalized populations, including indigenous women and girls.
In closing, I would simply like to express my gratitude to each of the candidates for doing this critical work. Their efforts to make this world more equitable, just and free for everyone are truly an inspiration.