Canada launch of the Women's Voice and Leadership project during “Mesa por la vida” event in Cali, Colombia

Canada believes that societies are more prosperous, peaceful and secure when women’s rights are respected, when their voices are heard, when their priorities are reflected in policy outcomes and when they can exercise their leadership at all levels of society.

Today, Canada’s Ambassador to Colombia, Marcel Lebleu, announced CAD $5 million in funding over five years to strengthen the capacity of local women’s rights organizations in Colombia, in partnership with Oxfam-Quebec. Ambassador Lebleu made this announcement during a speech he delivered at an event with the Inspector General Fernando Carrillo, the National Ombudsman Carlos Negret, the Presidents of all Colombian High Courts, the local Governor and Mayor, the Directors of several local and national government entities, local leaders and human rights defenders.

Women’s rights organizations have long played a key role as agents of change in Colombia, helping to advance democratic, economic and peacebuilding agendas. The Women’s Voice and Leadership – Colombia project will support local women’s rights organizations, especially in rural areas, to increase their capacity to advance their priorities while strengthening networks to advance women’s rights on a national scale. Oxfam-Québec plans to launch a call for proposals later this year and more information will be available soon.

The Women’s Voice and Leadership initiative was launched in 2017 as part of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. It responds to the needs of local women’s organizations and movements in developing countries, which are working to advance the rights of women and girls and promote gender equality. Globally, Canada committed $150 million over five years to the Women’s Voice and Leadership initiative.