Jennifer Howard (2nd) (260 x 260)

The Honourable Jennifer Howard

International Women’s Day 2010 will recognize the gains in equality achieved by Canadian women since the Report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada was tabled in the House of Commons 40 years ago, Labour and Immigration Minister Jennifer Howard, minister responsible for the status of women, said today. 

“The report was written following consultation with women all across Canada and resulted in key recommendations on topics vital to true equality for women,” said Howard. “Working together, women have made tremendous gains in the last 40 years, changing the face of Manitoba. Much remains to be done to ensure that all women benefit from these gains. Manitoba women were particularly involved in this process, holding consultations throughout the province and contributing their own recommendations in a written report.” 

This year’s theme is Milestones in Women’s Equality:  Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. In celebration of International Women’s Day, a reception will be held at the Legislative Building starting at 11:45 a.m., Monday, March 8. The formal program will begin in Room 200 at 12:05 p.m. Around the Grand Staircase, community organizations will provide information and displays highlighting the history and contributions of their organizations. A light lunch will be served in the Rotunda. 

The minister noted many important recommendations in the report resulted in positive changes to Canadian laws that now have a direct effect on the lives of women including equal pay for work of equal value, income and taxation, access to child care, educational opportunities, services for victims of domestic violence and issues relating to human rights. 

The guest speakers at this year’s event will be Dr. S. June Menzies and Beverly Goodwin. Both have contributed to and been actively involved in the women’s movement in Manitoba. Menzies had an active and prominent role in the provincial consultations for the royal commission and in compiling the written submissions. Later, Goodwin became instrumental in the implementation of many of the recommendations in Manitoba. 

“The rights women now enjoy in Manitoba and all across Canada were fought for and won by the women who came before us,” said Howard. “It is up to us to ensure that progress continues. I encourage all women to remember change cannot happen without them. The generations of women to come are depending on us to pave the way.” 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION here.