Mr. Speaker, women and men around the world are recognizing International Women's Day as a time to celebrate women's social, political and economic achievements.
Sadly, women across the world still suffer extreme poverty, violence and violations of their basic human rights. In Canada, lack of attention to women's rights by successive governments has left equality rights in tatters.
The government has cut funds to Status of Women Canada and removed the word “equality” from its mandate; eliminated the court challenges program; failed to make investments in child care; failed to invest in affordable housing; failed to make employment insurance accessible to more women; failed to improve the lives of aboriginal women; and failed to address violence against women.
Disturbingly, the Conservative government is now revoking pay equity laws in Canada and removing pay equity protection under the Canadian Human Rights Act for federal employees. New Democrats will continue to fight for equality and oppose the government's agenda to turn back the clock on women's rights.
We invite all Canadians to join us in celebrating International Women's Day and to speak out on the issues that matter to all women.