Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ‘a war on women’s rights,’ EU leader tells Parliament – National

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen paid tribute to Ukrainian women fighting Russia on Tuesday, condemning sexual violence by the Russian army and calling the aggression a “war on women’s rights”. called.

At a joint parliament on the eve of International Women’s Day, von der Leyen said women who were once barred from enlisting in the Ukrainian army “smashed down doors” and “smashed the glass ceiling over women’s heads”. emphasized that Russian aggressors fighting for their country”.

“These women are an inspiration to all of us,” she said, receiving one of the standing ovations from members of Congress and senators.

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European Commission president pays tribute to Ukrainian women on eve of International Women’s Day

Von der Leyen visited Bucha, Ukraine, site of atrocities believed to have been committed against civilians by Russian forces shortly after its liberation last April, recalling stories of “rapes and cold-blooded executions.” rice field.

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“The UN says Russia is using rape and sexual violence as part of its military strategy in Ukraine,” she said.

“This is not just a war against Ukraine. This is also a war against human rights. This is also a war against women’s rights.”

says the United Nations At least 2,296 women and girls have been confirmed killed since Russia began its invasion more than a year ago, he added, adding that the true number is “probably much higher.”

About 70 percent of Ukrainians who have been displaced by the civil war and remain in the country are women, at risk of sexual violence, trafficking and other forms of gender-based violence, the report added. ing.

Von der Leyen applied much of his 30-minute speech to the situation in Ukraine, emphasizing Canada’s cooperation with Europe and its commitment to help the country fight off the invaders “as long as it is necessary.”

“We will never accept that a military power with imperial illusions has rolled tanks across its borders,” she said.

“We will never accept this threat to European security and the very foundations of the international community. I know Canada’s commitment is as determined as ours.”

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She also thanked Canada’s leadership and its continued support in providing military training to Ukrainian fighters under the Europe-based United Operations.

Von der Leyen, the first woman elected President of the European Commission, closed her remarks by calling for more action on gender equality.

She said Canada and the European Union have shown the world the benefits of gender-balanced government in decision-making, but added that more needs to be done.

“We have a duty to set an example for society and the economy as to what a world of fair chances looks like,” she said.

At an event in Kingston, Ontario, with von der Leyen, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada will extend its joint operations mission to provide technical training in Ukraine until at least October, and that Canada’s medical trainers will be sent to help Ukrainians. Troops with combat medical skills.

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Prime Minister Trudeau, EU President Ursula von der Leyen vow to stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ for Ukraine

Prime Minister Trudeau announced that Ottawa will spend $3 million to help clear Ukraine’s landmines and unexploded ordnance, adding to the $32 million already committed to mine action. The European Union has invested 43 million euros in the same effort.

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The EU has now designated Canada as a partner country for economic sanctions against Russia, and the two countries are working together to send Canadian energy transformers to support Ukraine’s power grid, seven of which will soon be delivered. It is scheduled to be

The two leaders also met with Canadian military personnel from CFB Kingston who were deployed to Poland to assist Ukrainian refugees.

Prime Minister Trudeau said he would “stand shoulder to shoulder with our European partners for Ukraine”.

Von der Leyen is scheduled to meet with Governor-General Mary Simon on Wednesday morning.

— Using Canadian Press files

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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