Women Ambassadors of Ottawa (WAO) in collaboration with the Parliament of Canada commemorated International Women’s Day 2014 at Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada on 25 March 2014, with Keynote Address from the Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O. Ont., M.P. The theme of the commemoration was “Equality for Women is Progress for All”, and the event was held in the presence of the Guests of Honour, the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Honourable Andrew Scheer, M.P., the Honourable Linda Frum on behalf of the Speaker of the Senate, the Honourable Noel A. Kinsella; the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Honourable Chris Alexander; and the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular), the Honourable Lynne Yelich.
H.E. Dienne H. Moehario as the President of WAO opened the commemoration by emphasizing the importance for women and men to work hand in hand, to make the current century for gender equality. The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O. Ont., M.P. in her Keynote Address highlighted that women should be champions who could be role models and inspiration in the promotion of equality for women. The champions had bigger opportunity to move other women in fighting against the injustices they endured. Women leaders should be champions who kept on pushing the bar so the door for gender equality would open wider. Education that simultaneously voiced equality for women was the key factor in manifesting gender equality. The Honourable Andrew Scheer, The Honourable Linda Frum, The Honourable Chris Alexander dan the Honourable Lynne Yelich stressed that Canada had been a great supporter of equality for women, and would continue to tap further potentials.
For the commemoration, four Panellists discussed various issues on women empowerment. Ms. Almas Jiwani, President of the United Nations Women National Committee Canada, discussed about “Women Economic Empowerment”; Professor Ann Denis from the University of Ottawa and Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women focused on “Women Participation in All Levels of Education”; Mrs. Joy Smith, Member of Parliament, Member of Canada-Indonesia Parliamentary Friendship Group talked about “Women in Law and Practice”; and Ms. Helene Leblanc, Member of Parliament, Chair of Standing Committee on the Status of Women (FEWO), discussed about “Women’s Participation in Decision Making”. H.E. Nouzha Chekrouni, Ambassador of Morocco to Canada, took the role as the Moderator
By commemorating International Women’s Day 2014, Women Ambassadors of Ottawa hoped that equal rights and participation of women in the public life would contribute to achieve the Millenium Development Goals. Through the Statement issued as the outcome of the commemoration, WAO Called attention to reflect on progress made, to call for a change and to support acts of courage and determination of all who have played an important role in the history of their countries and communities to make the century for women and gender equality. Equality for Women is Progress for All. (SM/Indonesian Embassy in Ottawa)