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MacKay praises women for military contributions

March 8, 2012, Ottawa - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today issued the following statement on the occasion of International Women's Day.


March 8, 2012
By Helicopters Magazine

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March 8, 2012, Ottawa – The Honourable Peter MacKay,
Minister of National Defence, today issued the following statement on the
occasion of International Women's Day.

"From coast to coast to coast, and around the world, organizations, communities
and individuals are recognizing women's progress and achievements as part of
International Women's Day events," he said. "The Canadian Forces are a world leader in
terms of the proportion of women in its military and the areas within which
they may serve. The Canadian Forces take pride in being a leader in the field
of equality and women's rights.

"Today is a day to celebrate the rich contributions women have made throughout
Canada's military history. It's a day to promote the accomplishments and
advancement of women in the Canadian Forces.

"Women in Canada's military have pushed the bar forward. Women are serving
alongside their male counterparts in non-traditional professions.

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"Throughout the Canadian Forces' contribution to Afghanistan, women worked as
combat engineers, drove heavy transport and armoured vehicles along dangerous
routes during day and night convoys; they operated armoured vehicles and
weaponry in battle. Canadian women led combat missions as infantry, artillery
and armoured soldiers and officers.

"Women flew armed helicopters day and night in combat roles transporting troops
and equipment about Afghanistan's battlefield; they provided close air escort
and reconnaissance support to our ground forces. On recent operations in the
Mediterranean Sea, Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Charlottetown's air detachment
was commanded by a woman. And, recently, a young airwoman became the Royal
Canadian Air Force's first female CC-177 Globemaster pilot.

"In the Mediterranean Sea, many women have served aboard Royal Canadian Navy
ships in support of Operation Active Endeavour, the NATO counter-terrorism
mission in the region.

"I thank the women of the Canadian Forces for their service, as well as
recognize them in their multiple roles as mothers, daughters, sisters and
spouses. Their service here at home makes them strong role models within their
communities and to Canadians. Their service abroad sends a signal of hope to
girls and women living in societies where equality remains a challenge. As
such, today is also a day to reflect upon the societal values the Canadian
Forces embodies, and those for which it fights: diversity, equity and freedom
of choice for all."


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