Alberta’s Status of Women Ministry unveils mandate ahead of International Women’s Day

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Alberta’s Status of Women Ministry has laid out its plan to improve gender equality in the province. The move comes a day ahead of International Women’s Day.As Canada’s only stand-alone ministry for the status of women, the province said it will focus on the the following:Increasing women’s economic security;Increasing women’s leadership and democratic participation;Decreasing violence against women and girls.“Alberta women are building strong businesses, families, and communities across the province. We are partnering with women and with ministries across government to increase economic resilience, promote women in leadership positions, and to help eliminate violence against women,” Stephanie McLean, minister of Status of Women, said in a media release Monday.Watch below: Alberta MLA Maria Fitzpatrick shares horrific story of domestic abuse

The province said it is leading by example with the first gender-balanced cabinet in Canadian history. After the government’s most recent cabinet shuffle, Alberta now has 18 cabinet ministers, nine of whom are women.“We cannot build a stronger, more prosperous province if we leave women behind,” Premier Rachel Notley said in a media release. Story continues below

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“Our government promised to increase gender equality in Alberta, and we are keeping that promise. Working with the new Ministry of Status of Women, our government will include the voices of women in our policies, programs, and legislation. Our province will be richer as a result.”READ MORE: Rachel Notley proud of ‘historic’ number of women elected in AlbertaThe province said women are under-represented in leadership positions in Alberta, and a 20 per cent revenue growth among women-led businesses would add $2 billion a year to Alberta’s GDP.Earlier this year, the province voted to support a private member’s bill that would allow tenants impacted by domestic violence to break a lease early without facing financial penalties.International Women’s Day is marked every year on March 8.

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