Mr. Speaker, October is Women's History Month. Through the hard work and determination of our foremothers, women in Canada today have access to higher education. They can work, earn money and own property. They have the right to vote and run for elected office.
Today when women stay home they do it by choice knowing they are valued at home or at work. We should never take these rights and liberties for granted.
Women's History Month is a time to encourage us to look back on our past and see how far women in the country have come. It is also a time to acknowledge that we still have far to go.
Today women represent 44% of income earners in Canada, yet continue to struggle with issues of equity. Women make up more than 50% of the population, yet hold only 21% of the seats in the House of Commons.
This year's theme, “What Do You Mean Women Couldn't Vote”, reminds us that gaining the right to vote must not be the final chapter in Canadian women's history. We must continue to ask: What is the most effective way to use that vote?
I ask all members to join with me this month as we celebrate the achievements of Canadian women. Let us keep up the fight.