Von Der Leyen Honors Ukrainian Women Ahead of International Women's Day

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen honored women fighting in Ukraine as she addressed the Canadian Parliament on March 7, ahead of International Women’s Day.

“Ukrainian women are fighting back,” she said. “When the first Russian invasion happened, women weren’t allowed to carry out combat duties. But they didn’t care and they started joining the army…These women also smashed a glass ceiling right over the head of the Russian invaders.”

The EU president singled out the first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, who she said had “become a global symbol.”

“She stayed in Kyiv in the darkest hour,” Von der Leyen said. “Together with her husband, she is emblematic of the courage of the Ukrainian people.”

“These women are an inspiration for all of us. And I want to honor them,” Von der Leyen said, drawing a standing ovation from the Canadian Parliament. Credit: Ursula von der Leyen via Storyful