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Hon. Senator Martin: Honourable Senators, today I rise to commemorate the courage, dignity and perseverance of those women who paved the way so that I may freely rise in this Chamber and celebrate their accomplishments.

Majestic resilient women like my mother, Kye Soon Kim (nee Kwon) who taught me to live with intention, grab hold of opportunities, and do all the things she could only dream of doing within the confines of imperialism; then civil war. "Do all the things I never had the chance to do," is her mantra.

This week women across Canada and around the world are joining together to celebrate International Women’s Week.

As we celebrate our accomplishments, we must also highlight the key challenges that women face today, especially those women living in developing and war-torn countries. We must focus on future steps to achieving equality for all women.

Across this country, women are developing new models for achieving success and equality in our increasingly interconnected world.

Realizing within the old patriarchal models, women may not have come close to gaining the representation that reflects our population in the high level decision making roles of government and business, there are some Canadian women who are saying, “Why do I have to be a leader within the old model? I can be a builder of a new model, one where the responsibilities of women personally and professionally can better fit, harnessing our collective power in new ways.” These women are aptly called Builders.

Barb Stegemann is one of those builders of a new model. She is the author of the Canadian Best Seller, "The 7 Virtues of a Philosopher Queen - a woman’s guide to living & leading in an illogical world".

On March 8, 2010, she celebrated with us in honour of International Women’s Week, the launch of her long time vision, Afghanistan Orange Blossom Eau de Parfum.

The incredible scent is the thesis in her book come to life. That harnessing women’s buying power to make change in ways that empower is the way.

Barb was inspired by her best friend Captain Trevor Greene and his mission to empower the people of Afghanistan.

Barb is harnessing the power she knows, women’s buying power.  She purchased the delicate orange blossom oil made from the licit crops by farmers in Afghanistan to make her perfume. She has brought other buyers to purchase the licit crops and is on a mission to bring enough buyers to create a tipping point where farmers will not want to grow the illicit poppy crops of the Taliban.

I honour my friend Barb Stegemann and the strong women gracing our chamber today - Stephanie Chung, Michele Kim and Lorraine Brett, my Honourable colleagues, and all women around the world. What a blessing to live in a just and peaceful nation as Canada and have the power to live authentically.

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