A number of Canadian women leaders from a variety of backgrounds initiated the idea of a RespectWomen statement in response to the deeply troubling and divisive political and public debate about the niqab that has arisen during the current federal election.
Together, they have drafted a statement (see below) which calls on political and other leaders to commit to a vision of Canada that embraces all women, regardless of how they dress or how they express their religious beliefs.
The statement has quickly gathered well in excess of 500 signatures of high profile Canadian women from all walks of life including the worlds of law, politics, civil society, religion, academia, international affairs, labour and business.
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