Statement by Minister Joly on International Women's Day

Statement by Minister Joly on International Women's Day

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SOURCE Canadian Heritage

OTTAWA, March 8, 2018 /CNW/ - Today, on International Women's Day, we join people around the globe in recognizing the enormous impact that women have had, and continue to have, in shaping our country and our world.

As Minister of Canadian Heritage and a feminist, I am proud of the leading role that women play across Canadian society, including in arts and culture. However, as our creative industries continue to grow and thrive, we must ensure that women's stories are being told, that their diverse voices are reflected throughout these industries, and that we continue working to advance gender equality in Canada and around the world.

Important steps have been taken to improve women's representation throughout Canada's creative industries. Just this week, the National Film Board announced they have achieved gender parity in their portfolio, and Telefilm Canada and the Canada Media Fund have also signaled their intention to achieve gender balance in their respective productions and programs by 2020. Our national public broadcaster is also leading the way forward, with women directing more than 50 percent of episodes for CBC/Radio-Canada series in 2017. In the music sector, we are working with FACTOR, Musicaction and national music organizations to ensure that measures are in place to support inclusion, women's representation and diversity throughout the music industry.

We also must respond to the very real concerns raised by the #MeToo movement and the fundamental changes that are needed in our society to address them. In the past months, I have met with representatives from the performing arts, film and television, and music sectors to discuss ways to work together to address concerns and support the health, safety and dignity of those working in these fields. As part of the efforts across government to tackle these issues, I have asked Canadian Heritage officials to review our funding policies to ensure that recipient organizations have measures in place to promote safe and harassment-free work environments.

This year, as Canadians celebrate the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote in federal elections, I invite everyone to join together to honour the exceptional women who have led the way, support those that continue to break down barriers today, and inspire the next generation to continue working towards a more positive, just and equal future for us all.


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