The Canadian Peace Congress salutes all our sisters in Canada and around the world on International Women’s Day 2024. We recognize the heroic efforts of women and girls in the struggles for peace and full equality in work places, homes, government offices and other public institutions.

Women in Canada and around the world are struggling on all fronts. The power and leadership of women is evident in efforts to improve all aspects of their lives including struggles to end systemic economic discrimination, protect reproductive rights, combat gender violence in all its forms, enhance social programs such as adequate housing and child care, for climate justice, to block violence against women and girls, and, crucially, the struggle against war and for peace. There can be no equality in the face of war and genocide.

Women have a long history of opposition to war, militarism and Imperialist aggression. Women and children are those who have always paid the heaviest price during armed conflicts with thousands killed or wounded as so-called “collateral damage” or by direct sexual violence. In addition, when money is diverted away from critical social programs such as health, education, housing, and child care into wasteful military spending the impact on women and children is most acute.

Military spending fills the pockets of merchants of death and their corporate allies while women, youth and workers do the dying and suffer the consequences. It is for these reasons that peace has always been a top priority for women, youth, and the entire working class.

Working women and all democratic and peace minded peoples of the world are shocked by the current wars that are plaguing our lives. Who can watch the genocide now taking place in Palestine where women and children are being slaughtered in unprecedented numbers on a daily basis and not reflect on the urgent need to step up the struggle for peace and against white supremacy and imperialism in all its forms?

Who can watch the ongoing NATO-Russo war in Ukraine and not cringe at the death and destruction that has been ongoing for more than two years now?

Who can witness the ongoing sabre rattling happening in south-east Asia and not see that the ground work for another horrific war is being laid by Imperialist forces against the People’s Republic of China?

In our 2020 IWD statement the Congress noted that “Ending militarism, aggression, and war, averting climate catastrophe, tackling poverty, social disparity, and related global problems should be humanity’s top priorities.” This is even more relevant today as the current situation has deteriorated sharply and the immediate horizon is covered by the clouds and sounds of war.

Canada’s Role

Has the Canadian government stepped up to implement Trudeau’s so-called “feminist foreign policy”? We see the true meaning of this “feminist foreign policy” in the diplomatic cover being provided for Israel’s genocidal war in Palestine. Is the myth that Canada is a peace loving country trying to promote democracy and women’s and human rights accurate? When we examine the facts of Canada’s involvement in the destruction of Yugoslavia and Libya or its efforts at regime change in Syria, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Haiti and Honduras we see that this myth is a cruel farce.

Canada should be a voice for diplomacy, International cooperation and peace but, instead, it has been one of the most bellicose voices for war and aggression. In large part this is because Canada is deeply integrated into the aggressive NATO military-political alliance. Tied to NATO Canada is forced to divert billions of dollars away from programs which would greatly benefit women, girls and civil society into the war budget.

For all the above reasons it is urgent that we rebuild a dynamic and engaged peace movement across Canada, one which unites women and all forces for peace, solidarity, social and climate justice dedicated to shifting Canadian politics away from war, confrontation and militarism towards peace, disarmament and international cooperation based on the UN Charter. This is the only way forward to save millions of lives and to give the human race a realistic chance to save the planet from war and environmental disaster.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2024 the Canadian Peace Congress renews it’s commitment to struggle for peace, social justice and equality.


Canadian Peace Congress Executive

March 8, 2024

IWD 2024 CPCon Flyer