Mr. Speaker, it is a great pleasure for me to commemorate International Women's Week. Its origins can be traced to labour strikes in both 1857 and 1908 in New York city. Workers were protesting the dangerous working conditions and exploitative wages of women employed in the textile industry.
Later, women's rights and suffrage also became issues of concern. In 1911 the first International Women's Day was celebrated to acknowledge women's struggles.
March 8 marks a global celebration of women's accomplishments and of advancements toward gender equality. It is also a time to focus on issues that affect women's lives. The government is determined to address these issues. I stand proud of our efforts to counter violence against women, inequality in the workplace and gender discrimination.
Imagine a world in which true equality is no longer a distant dream.