Minister Bibeau announces pan-African initiative in support of women’s rights

News release

August 14, 2018 - Freetown, Sierra Leone - Global Affairs Canada

Today, while meeting with representatives of women’s organizations in Sierra Leone, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development, announced $7 million in funding over five years to support a pan-African women’s voice and leadership initiative. Women’s movements and women’s rights organizations on the African continent are key agents of change that strengthen the rights of women and girls and help societies achieve gender equality.

Canada’s support for the Shaping our Futures: African Women’s Voice and Leadership project will improve the financial, technical and organizational capacity and sustainability of local women’s organizations in Africa and enhance their ability to deliver quality services and advocacy.

The new funding will also increase the capacity of regional, national and sub-national women’s rights platforms, networks and alliances to effect gender-sensitive policy change and implementation.

The African Women’s Development Fund, based in Accra, Ghana, will lead this project.


“I am so proud that Canada is strengthening and supporting grassroots women’s groups in Africa. This is exactly what Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy is all about. Women’s rights organizations and movements are the driving force behind continental and national action on gender equality.

“Canada supports woman advocates and activists across the African continent. They understand the challenges that women and girls face and bring about real change.”

- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development

Quick facts

  • Launched in 2017 as part of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, the Women’s Voice and Leadership Program responds to the needs of local women’s organizations and movements in developing countries that are working to advance the rights of women and girls and promote gender equality.

  • In 2017, Canada committed $150 million in funding over five years to the Women’s Voice and Leadership Program.

Associated links


Justine Lesage
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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