Mr. Speaker, tomorrow, March 8, is International Women's Day. I would like to say a few words about this event.
Women make up more than half the population, but they do not hold half the power, particularly not half the political power. Some countries do not even allow women to vote. In Canada, the proportion of women in the various legislatures varies between 15 and 20 per cent.
The percentage of members of Parliament who are women comes as a surprise. It is 11 per cent in the United States, 10 per cent in the United Kingdom, and only 6 per cent in France. Although there has been some improvement, a new electoral dynamic must be found that is more favourable to women.
Progress is certainly under way towards the equal access of men and women to political office, but it must continue if there is to be real democracy throughout the world. Scandinavian countries have almost achieved this representation and I express my hope this March 8 to all women that this objective will be attained as quickly as possible.