Canada welcomes you to the 2019 Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver - a global movement to promote gender equality

From June 3-6, Canada will host the Women Deliver global conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is the largest international gathering on gender equality and the health, rights and well-being of women and girls. We expect more than 7,000 participants from more than 160 countries — and another 100,000 participants watching online. High-level government delegations, local women groups, civil society organizations, youth leaders, as well as international Non-Governmental Organizations from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Tanzania will be there!

Canada is proud to host this event because Women Deliver goes beyond a simple conference. It is a global movement to promote gender equality, a cause that can make a real difference in the fight against poverty and in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Canada is a strong supporter of gender equality at home and around the world.

Domestically, we took concrete action to advance gender equality—from appointing Canada’s first gender-balanced federal Cabinet, to introducing the first federal budget with a gender lens in 2018, to launching the first federal Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.

Internationally, we have a feminist foreign policy that integrates gender equality considerations in all aspects of our engagement abroad. Additionally, we have a feminist international assistance policy that seeks to eradicate poverty and build a more peaceful, more inclusive and more prosperous world.

In Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Tanzania for example, Canada is working with governments and local organizations in the areas of education, women economic empowerment, as well as sexual and reproductive health. Canada is supporting efforts to stop child marriage and female genital mutilation and to combat sexual and gender-based violence.

In Kenya, a Canada-funded project is preventing sexual violence by empowering girls and young women with self-defence techniques and by engaging boys and young men.  This project has reduced rape within the target community, as up to 50% of girls surveyed reported having used the training to protect themselves from sexual assault. Boys also demonstrated a significant change in negative perceptions towards women/girls and how to safely intervene when witnessing harassment or assault. In the last 12 months, the project reached 15,000 Kenyan boys and girls with additional programs being rolled out in South Sudan and Somalia.

Research has shown that when more women work, economies grow. A 2015 global study found that US$12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality.  Canada works to reduce gender barriers to entering the workforce by supporting Ethiopian, Kenyan, South Sudan and Tanzanian women entrepreneurs, to help them see their businesses succeed and thrive. 

In South Sudan, a gender-sensitive agriculture initiative is changing behaviors and attitudes towards women by empowering them to own and control agricultural assets. In Ethiopia, the Women Entrepreneurship Development and Business Growth Program is providing business development services and innovative financing to assist young female entrepreneurs in expanding their commercial ventures.

Research has also shown that when girls are given early access to education and are supported in their studies, they are more likely to graduate, improving their future earning potential. Every one-percentage point increase in female education raises the annual GDP growth by 0.2%.

In Tanzania, Canada is improving teacher training, building and renovating teacher colleges, and ensuring that educational instruction addresses the specific needs for girls. In Kenya, Canada has worked with Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) by improving the quality of curricula and equipping all 10 national polytechnics with technical equipment. And in Ethiopia, technical and vocational training plus information technology tools are used to provide female youth with employment readiness skills so as to strengthen their ability to run small businesses.

As a long-standing partner in the region, Canada is reaching out to citizens, civil society, businesses and political leadership, asking all to join efforts to accelerate progress toward inclusion and gender equality.

Over the past few months, there have been a number of initiatives in the region to raise awareness of Women Deliver 2019.  We hope that through these events, conference delegates articulate the region’s perspectives in Vancouver and connect the region with stakeholders from around the world.  

We can all promote gender equality in our daily lives. We can cultivate inclusive attitudes and combat discrimination at work, among friends and on social media. We can push for positive change by supporting the rights of women, girls and other marginalized people. The world needs us all in this good fight.

 

Antoine Chevrier - Ambassador of Canada to Ethiopia and Djibouti, and Canada’s Representative to the African Union.

Lisa Stadelbauer - High Commissioner of Canada to Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda; the Ambassador-designate to Somalia, Burundi; and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Nairobi.

James Christoff - Ambassador of Canada to South Sudan

Pamela O’Donnell - High Commissioner of Canada to Tanzania, Zambia and Seychelles; Ambassador-designate of Canada to Comoros