Celebrate International Women's Day

International Women's Day

Canada's theme: Women’s Empowerment Leads to Equality

Empowerment is essential to gender equality. Women and girls who are empowered are better equipped to fulfill their potential and contribute their best to society.

This International Women's Day, who will you celebrate?

A young Black woman raises a sheet of paper towards the camera.

It reads: My Boss

A caption on screen follows: “Through hard work and determination, she became a well-respected leader in her field.”

A young First Nations woman is holding a sheet of paper towards the camera.

It reads: My Teacher

A caption on screen follows: “She is a great mentor and encourages me to reach my full potential.”

A man in his mid thirties is holding a sheet of paper towards the camera.

It reads: My mom

A caption on screen follows: She is a single mom who always found time to help those in need in our community.

A young teenage girl is holding a sheet of paper towards the camera.

It reads: Malala

A caption on screen follows: “Despite adversity, she became a symbol of courage and strength.”

An older woman is holding a sheet of paper towards the camera.

It reads: My best friend

A caption on screen follows: “She overcame domestic abuse and has continued to persevere.”

Text on screen: Women from all walks of life have the power to inspire.

Text on screen: Who inspires you?

Text on screen: Tell her

Text on screen: #YouAreEmpowerment
International Women’s Day – March 8

Celebrate International Women’s Day 2016

Hi. I'm Patty Hajdu.
And I'm Anju Dhillon.
Every year International Women's Day is celebrated in Canada
and throughout the world.
On March 8th, I invite all Canadians to celebrate
International Women's Day, to highlight the milestones
big and small, to honour women's achievements and
the incredible women who have made a difference in our lives
across the country and around the world.
Let's also celebrate the future,
a future of true gender equality.
This year for International Women's Day,
the theme is women's empowerment leads to equality.
Empowerment is about knowing your rights.
It's knowing that you have the right
to live free from violence.
It's having access to education.
It's about demonstrating leadership
and getting involved in your community.
Women and girls from all over the world can inspire us.
Personally I've always admired women who are at the forefront
fighting for social justice - women like Elizabeth Fry
who worked non-stop to improve the lot
of those rejected by society.
It was difficult for me to select one role model, but
people like Carole, Tracy and Ena have been amazing mentors
and have inspired me to lead with compassion and integrity.
If there is a woman in your life who empowers you,
tell her, tell others.
Use social media to tag a woman who inspires you
using the hashtag #YouAreEmpowerment.
We are all strong when women and girls are empowered.

So, what is empowerment?

Empowerment is having the tools to make better choices.

Empowered women make choices that meet their own needs and those of their families. When this happens, the world becomes a better place – not just for women, but for all of us.

Empowerment includes:

Having access to education.

Women who have access to educational opportunities are more likely to participate in the labour market and strengthen outcomes for themselves, their families, their communities and the economy.

Getting involved in the community.

When women and girls get involved in the daily life of their communities, they learn more about the people and opportunities around them and are able to share their talents and perspectives.

Becoming financially independent.

When women have the knowledge and means to support themselves, they are more able to make financial decisions that will improve their quality of life.

Understanding your right to live free from violence.

Women and girls who feel safe and secure in their homes and communities are more able to participate in all aspects of life.

Knowing how government works and exercising your democratic rights.

Women who have the opportunity to participate in the democratic life of their country influence its governance, taking into account their rights, needs and values.

When women and girls have the opportunities and resources to succeed, it enriches all of society. We are all stronger when women and girls are empowered!

A century of voting rights

People casting their ballot in a polling station
Photo credit: Library and Archives Canada

The right to vote and to run for office is a fundamental aspect of women’s empowerment. In 1916, Manitoba became the first Canadian province to grant women the right to vote in provincial elections. In 2016, Canada is recognizing the significance of this milestone by celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage and reflecting on how this historic event has influenced women’s empowerment and gender equality. Read more about the 100th anniversary of women voting.

Join the conversation

Tag a woman who inspires you using the hashtag #YouAreEmpowerment

Tag a woman that inspires you

Download the poster

Poster image
View Description of Poster in HTML

Poster Description

The upper half of the background is white, the bottom half is a dark purple. The following text, in white, appears in the bottom half: "Women’s Empowerment Leads to Equality", “Tag a woman who inspires you”, "International Women's Day", the date "March 8", the web address women.gc.ca, the twitter name Women_Canada and the hashtag #youareempowerment.”

In the upper half of the poster, six figures form a human pyramid. The figure on the bottom left is pale blue; the next figure is yellow and wears a ponytail; the figure on the right is pale green and also wears a ponytail. In the middle of the pyramid, the figure on the right is violet-coloured and wears a bun; the figure on the left is dark grey. The figure on the top of the pyramid is purple and has shoulder-length hair.

The Status of Women Canada logo in English and French is in the upper left corner of the poster. The Government of Canada logo is in the bottom right corner.

View the Poster in PDF (1 page, 0.91 MB)*

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