Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, Women's Rights Advocate and Wife of PM Justin Trudeau and Almas Jiwani, Women's Rights Ambassador, Will Celebrate International Women's Day at Women's Festival Toronto

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 26, 2016) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

"We are excited to have Madam Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau, Katie Couric, and Almas Jiwani address the 1st ever Women's Festival Toronto Gala in celebration of International Women's Day. These women are global leaders and their collective wisdom empowers us all to make the most of our own lives, talents and experiences to help others," stated Antoinette Mak, Executive Director, Women's Festival Toronto.

Prominent Leaders & VIPs to gather at Shangri-La Toronto on March 4th & 5th 2016, for International Women's Empowerment & Leadership Conference & Gala, to celebrate United Nations' International Women's Day. Topics will include those such as Your Female Tribe and Women in Global Affairs, and the gala will feature an exhibition area, live performances, Indigenous art and a Diversity in Fashion runway show.

"International Women's Day is a time for us to showcase the invaluable contributions women make in our everyday lives and recognize the exceptional achievements made by women in the fields of technology, human rights, finance, the arts, environmental protection, education… The list goes on," says Ms. Jiwani, President emeritus of UN Women Canada National Committee and CEO Almas Jiwani Foundation. "I am always honoured to walk alongside other strong women on our shared path to equality and empower others to do the same."

In 2014, the World Economic Forum predicted it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. One year later, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap would not close entirely until 2133.

In this context, we must take heed of the clear evidence which shows that societies with empowered women thrive, not just socially, but economically as well. Empowering women is the single greatest tool we have to lift many parts of the world out of poverty, and is a resource that has been underused.

"If you believe in human rights, you believe in women's rights. It is as simple as that," says Ms. Jiwani. "History has shown us time and again that a society with empowered women is a society that excels. This is true in business, academia, government and so forth. We can no longer sit idly by while women in much of the world suffer from disadvantages purely because of their gender. It is our time to act, and by doing so, we will change the world."

By making the #PledgeForParity each and every one of is able to take a feasible and concrete step towards accelerating gender parity. In an ever-globalizing world, issues affecting others increasingly become issues affecting us as well. For us to succeed as a global community, there is no question that women must have an equal voice.

About International Women's Day

International Women's Day is an annual celebration of the economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world, held on March 8th. This year's campaign sheds light on both the successes and the pitfalls in our strive towards gender empowerment and equality by encouraging everyone to make the #PledgeForParity.

About Almas Jiwani Foundation

The vision of Almas Jiwani Foundation (AJF) is to empower women, girls and marginalized communities through focused projects that directly address disparities in equality, education, entrepreneurship and energy rights.

AJF aims to bridge inequalities through the fostering of relationships among the various actors and stakeholders in the afore-mentioned global issues, and provide a platform for discourse and action.

A variety of evidence points to gender empowerment as the single greatest tool we have to eradicate these global issues, and is a resource that has thus far been underused. For us to succeed and thrive as a global community we must all work together, and in order to do so, women must have an equal voice.

About Women's Festival Toronto

Women's Festival Toronto is a non-profit organization with a team of dedicated volunteers supporting initiatives to empower women and girls of diverse cultures and backgrounds, for the benefit of all.

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Contact Information:

Almas Jiwani Foundation
613-234-8252 ext. 103

Phaedra de Saint-Rome
VP Communications

Women's Festival Toronto

Sophie-Gregoire Trudeau & Almas Jiwani