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Gender Equality Week is being celebrated for the 1st time in Canada

Canada is celebrating the first-ever annual Gender Equality Week, which began today.

"Today marks an important first for Canada: the first-ever Gender Equality Week, a new opportunity every year to celebrate Canada's progress on advancing gender equality, reflect on the work that remains, and recognize the countless benefits of gender equality for people of all genders,” says Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women.

Gender Equality Week is the result of Bill C-309, the Gender Equality Week Act, which was introduced by Sven Spengemann, Member of Parliament for Mississauga–Lakeshore, and received Royal Assent on June 21, 2018. This legislation designates the fourth week in September as Gender Equality Week, leading up to Women's History Month in October.

"This is the inspiration for this year's theme, Gender equality benefits everyone. It is a powerful reminder that we all have so much to gain when we advance gender equality. It is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do,” says Monsef.

"We have a $150 billion dollar reason to do this well. That is what we will add to Canada's economy in less than a decade if we successfully bring in policies of fairness and equality. By removing barriers to women's participation in sectors like the skilled trades and STEM fields – sectors which represent high-quality, well-paid jobs and have significant labour shortages – we are growing our middle class.”

Throughout the week, everyone is encouraged to show their support for gender equality using the hashtag #EveryoneBenefits.

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