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

European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday paid tribute to the ladies of Ukraine who’re combating towards Russia and decried the sexual violence broadly attributed to Moscow’s forces, calling the invasion “a war on women’s rights.”

Chatting with a joint session of Parliament on the eve of Worldwide Ladies’s Day, von der Leyen highlighted that ladies, who had been as soon as barred from becoming a member of Ukraine’s armed forces, “broke the doorways down” and “smashed the glass ceiling proper over the pinnacle of their Russian invaders” to struggle for his or her nation.

“These ladies are an inspiration for all of us,” she mentioned, receiving one of a number of standing ovations from MPs and senators.

Click to play video: 'European Commission president pays tribute to Ukrainian women on eve of International Women’s Day'


European Fee president pays tribute to Ukrainian ladies on eve of Worldwide Ladies’s Day

Von der Leyen recalled her go to to Bucha, Ukraine, the positioning of atrocities towards civilians believed to have been carried out by Russian troops, shortly after its liberation final April and the tales of “rape and executions in chilly blood.”

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“The United Nations says Russia is utilizing rape and sexual violence as half of its navy technique in Ukraine,” she mentioned.

“This isn’t solely a war on Ukraine. Additionally it is a war on human rights and it’s a war on women’s rights.”

The United Nations says it has verified the killing of a minimum of 2,296 ladies and women because the begin of Russia’s invasion over a yr in the past, including the true quantity is “doubtless considerably larger.”

Almost 70 per cent of Ukrainians displaced by the war who stay within the nation are ladies, it provides, placing them at larger threat of sexual violence, human trafficking and different types of gender-primarily based violence.

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Von der Leyen devoted the higher half of her 30-minute speech to the state of affairs in Ukraine, emphasizing Canadian and European co-operation and the dedication to assist that nation struggle off its invaders “for so long as it takes.”

“We’ll by no means settle for {that a} navy energy with fantasies of empire rolled their tanks throughout a world border,” she mentioned.

“We’ll by no means settle for this menace to European safety and to the very basis of our worldwide neighborhood. And I do know that Canada’s dedication is simply as adamant as ours.”

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She additionally thanked Canada for its management in offering navy coaching to Ukrainian fighters below Operation Unifier, which is predicated in Europe, and its continued help.

Von der Leyen, who’s the primary girl elected to be president of the European Fee, concluded her remarks by calling for additional motion on gender equality.

She mentioned Canada and the European Union have proven the world the advantages of gender-balanced authorities on choice making, however added extra must be carried out.

“We now have an obligation to set an instance to society and the financial system of what a world of honest possibilities seems to be like,” she mentioned.

Earlier within the day at an occasion with von der Leyen in Kingston, Ont., Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned Canada will lengthen the Operation Unifier mission to supply engineering coaching in Ukraine till a minimum of October, and Canadian medical trainers will probably be despatched to assist Ukrainian forces with fight medical expertise.

Click to play video: 'Trudeau, EU head Ursula von der Leyen promise to stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ for Ukraine'

Trudeau, EU head Ursula von der Leyen promise to face ‘shoulder to shoulder’ for Ukraine

Trudeau introduced that Ottawa may even spend $3 million to help the clearing of landmines and unexploded ordnance in Ukraine, on high of $32 million that was already dedicated towards mine motion. The European Union is placing 43 million euros towards the identical effort.

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The EU has now designated Canada as a accomplice nation on financial sanctions towards Russia, and the 2 are working collectively to ship Canadian power transformers to help the Ukrainian electrical grid, seven of which can quickly be delivered.

The 2 leaders additionally met with Canadian Armed Forces personnel at CFB Kingston who’ve deployed to Poland to assist Ukrainian refugees.

“For so long as it takes, we’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with our European companions for Ukraine,” Trudeau mentioned.

Von der Leyen is ready to satisfy with Gov. Gen. Mary Simon on Wednesday morning.

— with recordsdata from the Canadian Press

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