Canada Supports Women's and Girl's Rights

Ottawa, Ontario - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced support for women's and girls' rights through funding to the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

"Protecting the rights of women and girls is an essential part of Canada's international development approach," Minister Oda said. "Without their basic rights, women and girls can never realize their full potential and fully participate in society."

With $5.85 million in support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), UNIFEM will work with local governments and organizations throughout Asia, as well as in Kenya.

CIDA will provide $3 million in funding to UNIFEM over three years in order to support the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the establishment of the ASEAN Commission for the Protection of Rights of Women and Children, as well as the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights.UNIFEM will also provide technical assistance to the Kenyan government and non-governmental organizations to develop institutional policies and legal frameworks, increase women's participation in governance, and ensure their equal access to public services with $350,000 in support provided over one year through CIDA's Democratic Governance Fund in Kenya. An additional $2.5 million will support the continuing work of UNIFEM over a two-year period.

"This day marks a momentous occasion and displays a renewal of the collaborative relationship that exists between UNIFEM Canada and the Canadian Government," said Almas Jiwani, President of the Canadian National Committee of UNIFEM. "Once again, Canada is a leader in the international community, helping to raise much needed attention and support for the rights of women and girls today and tomorrow."

UNIFEM is the women's fund at the United Nations, dedicated to advancing women's rights. It provides financial and technical assistance to innovative programmes and strategies that foster women's empowerment. UNIFEM works with national governments and non-governmental organizations in more than 100 countries.

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Jessica Fletcher
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534