Canada announces new funding for Journalists for Human Rights to support objective, credible and fact-based reporting on the rights of women and girls in developing countries

News release

May 3, 2019 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

A free press is indispensable to democratic life. It helps set the public agenda, it provides a forum for informed debate, and it acts as a watchdog over governance processes and human rights violations.

Today, on World Press Freedom Day, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced $11.7 million over four years for Journalists for Human Rights to help the media protect the rights of citizens, in particular, the rights of women and girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and the Middle East.

In partnership with respected Canadian media organizations, the Canada World: Voice for Women and Girls project will provide training to journalists, public authorities and civil society groups on the ethical and responsible inclusion of a gender-sensitive human rights approach in media activities. This project will foster more informed, credible, fact-based public dialogue on issues affecting women and girls from a human-rights perspective.

The project aligns with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and will complement other Canadian-led initiatives to strengthen women’s rights organizations, including the Women’s Voice and Leadership initiative.


“To achieve true gender equality, women must feel empowered to raise their voices. Women bring a unique perspective and voice to anything they do and this is no different in the media sector. When women’s voices are heard, different stories start to be told. We get closer to hearing the whole story.”

- Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality

Quick facts

  • Of the 95 media outlets in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2014, only one was run by a woman, and in 2013, only 16% of print journalists were women.

  • In 2015, the Media Council of Kenya found that only 7% of news articles were written exclusively by women. A 2016 study concluded that coverage of women’s issues largely remains negative and stereotypical, portraying women as victims.

  • A 2018 UNESCO study on Gender and the Media in Jordan found that the percentage of women’s appearances in the media (print, broadcast and online) is less than 10%.

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