Canada is committed to the view that gender equality is not only a human rights issue, but is also an essential component of sustainable development, social justice, peace, and security.

Women Parliamentarian Dialogue - Sri Lanka and India - January 28 to February 2, 2016

From January 28 to February 2, 2016, leading women parliamentarians from Sri Lanka, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, and the Maldives will engage in a series of activities in Colombo and New Delhi designed to forge links between these political leaders and their nations.  The events will involve activities that promote women’s rights, democracy, and good governance, values that are dear to Canada.

The dialogue will address the challenges and opportunities for enhanced women’s political participation through engagement with government officials, parliamentarians, civil society leaders, academics, students and media.

The initiative is particularly timely given the recent advances in Canada including: gender parity in the new Cabinet of the Government of Canada; the identification of many women in the Opposition’s Shadow Cabinet: and women’s leadership at the provincial and municipal levels.

In addition to meetings with notable parliamentarians, government officials, and women’s rights organizations, delegates will participate in panel discussions about topics relevant to increased political engagement at all levels across the region.  The women will also meet students to discuss the empowerment of women through skills development and economic independence.

These events are focused on mobilizing support toward engaging women in the parliamentary process and empowering women politically as a means to shape more egalitarian societies. Increased women’s leadership in governance structures, the economy, and civil society is key to achieving gender equality.