Backgrounder - Empowering women to build equal and peaceful societies

Backgrounder

The Government of Canada is taking action to implement the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda and will contribute more than $4 million to Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOPs) projects, as well as more than $23.5 million to Women’s Voice and Leadership (WVL) Program initiatives.

Women, peace and security

The WPS agenda is at the heart of Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy, which includes its Feminist International Assistance and Defence policies.

Creation of an office and the appointment of an ambassador for women, peace and security

Canada will create an office for WPS and will appoint an ambassador to provide advice on how we can improve on our implementation of Canada’s National Action Plan on WPS and meet the expectations it sets out.

Canada to co-chair Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network in 2020

The Women, Peace and Security Focal Points Network (WPS-FPN) seeks to strengthen the advancement of the WPS agenda through the exchange of best practices and lessons learned between government and civil society representatives, as well as by improving the coordination of funding and assistance programs.

Canada has been selected to co-chair the WPS-FPN in 2020—the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, on women, peace and security. Canada has invited Uruguay to co-chair the network in 2020.

Spain initiated the FPN, and was the first to chair it, in 2017. Germany chairs this year, Namibia in 2019, Canada in 2020 and Switzerland in 2021. The outgoing, sitting and incoming chairs form a troika, which is responsible for providing guidance to the network on operations and substantive issues. Canada will join the troika in January 2019.

Peace and Stabilization Operations Program projects

Canada’s PSOPs supports projects and initiatives in the areas of conflict prevention, dialogue, mediation, stabilization, peacebuilding and post-conflict recovery. The projects announced today directly respond to the objectives set out in ‎Canada’s National Action Plan on WPS.

Nobel Women’s Initiative - Women Peacebuilders Network on the Korean Peninsula

Funding announced: $160,440
Time frame: One year, fiscal year 2018 to 2019

This project seeks to strengthen the active and meaningful participation of women in the peace process on the Korean Peninsula. Canada’s funding will support collaborative network of women peacebuilders from Northeast Asia and other key stakeholder countries through round table discussions, networking, training and identifying champions for women’s inclusion in peace processes.

Global Network of Women Peacebuilders - Bringing the WPS agenda to the local level

Funding announced: $659,176
Time frame: One year, fiscal year 2018 to 2019

This project seeks to foster the active and meaningful participation of women in Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Nigeria and Ukraine in the implementation of UNSCR 1325, on women, peace and security, as well as in peace processes and peacebuilding.

Women mediators - Enabling the full potential of women in peace processes

Funding announced: $967,506
Time frame: One year, fiscal year 2018 to 2019

This project aims to prepare women from conflict-affected francophone Sahel countries for their meaningful participation in current or future peace processes. The project will provide technical training to women leaders who have distinguished themselves in their communities through political, economic or social involvement.

UN Women - Supporting the investigation of sexual and gender-based crimes

Funding announced: $1,388,657
Time frame: Three years, from 2016 to 2019

Canada is helping to improve the international community’s capacity to investigate and prosecute incidents of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in conflict-affected states. Canadian funding is being used to deploy specialized forensic, legal and other experts to investigate SGBV cases in Myanmar, Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Burundi, Yemen and Kosovo and to work with the International Criminal Court. The nearly $1.4-million increase allows for additional investigations and evidence-gathering efforts. This funding is in addition to the $2.1 million announced in November 2017 and the $550,000 announced in March 2018.

MADRE - Afro-Colombian community initiative for sustainable and inclusive peace in Colombia

Funding announced: $617,774
Time frame: Two years, from 2017 to 2019

The objective of this project is to support Afro-Colombian communities’ rights in the implementation of the Colombian peace agreement, specifically the ethnic chapter of the agreement, which provides a set of principles, safeguards and guarantees that seek to ensure respect for the communities’ rights and restore those rights that have been violated as a result of the conflict.

UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples - Support for the UN Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples

Funding announced: $250,000
Time frame: One year, fiscal year 2018 to 2019

Indigenous peoples are among the most vulnerable during conflicts because of the poverty, political marginalization and systematic discrimination that too many still face. Though significant in numbers, they are often invisible victims. Canada’s support will enhance their meaningful participation in key UN bodies as well as within their communities, and will support the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Women’s Voice and Leadership projects

The WVL Program supports local and regional women’s organizations and networks that are working to promote women’s rights and advance women’s empowerment and gender equality in developing countries.

As part of the WVL program, Canada will work with partners to: 1) improve the management and sustainability of local and regional women’s rights organizations; 2) enhance the performance of women’s rights organizations’ programming and advocacy to advance gender equality and empower women and girls; and 3) increase the effectiveness of local and national women’s rights platforms, networks and alliances to affect policy, legal and social change.

The following provides a list of the partners and funding for the 4 WVL projects announced today:

  • WVL initiative in Afghanistan - The Asia Foundation
    Funding announced: $8.4 million
    Time frame: Five years, from 2018 to 2023
  • WVL initiative in Sri Lanka - The Asia Foundation
    Funding announced: $3 million
    Time frame: Five years, from 2018 to 2023
  • WVL initiative in Bangladesh - Manusher Jonno Foundation
    Funding announced: $7 million
    Time frame: Five years, from 2018 to 2023
  • WVL initiative in Peru - CUSO International
    Funding announced: $5.25 million
    Time frame: Five years, from 2018 to 2023

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