Minister Bibeau speaks to International Women’s Day

Statement

March 8, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today issued the following statement:

“The tide of women’s voices being heard in the #MeToo and now #Time’sUp movements is not going away, and the time has come for a tectonic shift toward gender equality around the world. Women and girls suffer gender-based violence in societies torn by war, as well as those living in peace.

“Canada is fully committed to advancing gender equality and preventing sexual and gender-based violence here at home and abroad.

“Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day this year is #MyFeminism. Through this theme, we recognize the tireless efforts that hundreds of thousands of women and girls make in this country and around the world to build better lives for themselves and generations to come, in some cases putting their own safety and security in jeopardy in the process. Canada is committed to amplifying their voices and promoting their leadership at all levels.

“We know that the most effective way to eradicate poverty is by empowering women and girls to improve their lives and their communities. That is why Canada adopted a Feminist International Assistance Policy last year: to focus our development efforts through a feminist lens.

“Through our Women’s Voice and Leadership Program, we have allocated $150 million over five years to help women’s civil society organizations and movements in developing countries that promote the rights of women and girls and increase their social, economic and political power. Rooted in their communities, women’s organizations play a key role in defining needs and priorities, challenging the status quo and holding governments accountable. In Haiti, I recently announced that the program will support up to 30 local organizations and women’s rights advocacy networks.

“As we think about this year’s theme, I encourage all of you—entire families, communities and governments—to engage in empowering women and girls so they can reach their full potential and actively contribute to development and peace in the world. As this implies, men and boys must help change discriminatory laws and cultural norms so we can put an end to inequalities and live in a more just, inclusive and prosperous world.”

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