Canada’s Women Deliver 2019 legacy: historic investments for gender equality 

News release

June 6, 2019 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Global Affairs Canada and Women and Gender Equality Canada

Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women, girls and transgender, non-binary and two-spirit people to realize their full potential is essential to strengthening the economy and building a healthier, more secure future in Canada and around the world. That is why Canada is working together with partners at home and abroad to take concrete action in making gender equality a reality for everyone, everywhere.

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, concluded her participation at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia—the world’s largest conference on the health, rights and well-being of women and girls.

During the conference, the Government of Canada made historic and innovative investments to advance gender equality in Canada and globally, solidifying Canada’s leadership on women’s rights and gender equality.

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, announced that the Government of Canada will raise its funding to reach $1.4 billion annually by 2023 to support women and girls’ health around the world.

The Government of Canada will also launch a $325-million call for proposals over the next five years that will fund projects that improve the quality of, access to and demand for integrated reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, services and information in vulnerable communities around the world. It will support projects that seek to address and overcome the underlying social norms, practices and barriers that cause gender inequality. Further information on this call will be available in the coming weeks.

Minister Monsef announced the Government of Canada’s intention to work with the Equality Fund to establish an innovative global platform bringing the granting, philanthropic and investment worlds together to mobilize unprecedented levels of resources for women’s rights organizations and movements in developing countries. This partnership will be established with a $300-million commitment from the government.

The Minister also announced up to $30 million of funding to the Community Foundations of Canada, Canadian Women’s Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada to advance gender equality efforts by women’s organizations in Canada. These organizations will match federal funding.

In addition, the Minister announced funding up to $750,000 to build upon the Feminists Deliver conference, which will help drive real progress for women in British Columbia.

The commitments made by Canada and the activities that took place throughout the week helped raise the standard for action on advancing gender equality both domestically and internationally, which will help continue to build momentum toward achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


“There is power when more than 8,000 people from around the world come together to find solutions to address the barriers holding back progress for women, girls and transgender, non-binary and two-spirit people. Hosting the Women Deliver 2019 Conference in Canada will leave a legacy of action for gender equality in Canada and around the world.

“Canada is leading in this important work, but we know that we still have much work to do. This week, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls presented its final report, and we were again reminded of the systemic and institutional failures that have led to the murders of so many Indigenous women and girls in our country.

“Canada is committed to ending this ongoing tragedy and helping to ensure that current and future generations of Indigenous women, children, families and LGBTQ and two-spirit people are safe and have an equal and fair chance at success. By working collaboratively with partners, we are taking concrete steps to make gender equality a reality for everyone, everywhere.”

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

“This week we took an important step toward transforming the power dynamics that hold girls and women back. The thousands of change makers with us in Vancouver, and the more than 100,000 participating in the global dialogue around the world, will leave this conference with new ideas, inspiration and solutions to advance gender equality. I would like to thank Canada for being a wonderful host country—from its bold commitments to its welcoming spirit. Canada has been an incredible partner in our work to create a more gender equal world.”

- Katja Iversen, President and CEO of Women Deliver

Quick facts

  • For Canada, the Women Deliver 2019 Conference is more than a conference; it is a movement for transformational change that inspires everyone, everywhere to take action. That is why the Government of Canada contributed to making the conference accessible and inclusive for feminist organizers and individuals from across the country and around the globe, including Indigenous organizations in Canada.

  • While at the conference, Minister Monsef participated in conference sessions as well as pre-conference events and community-led activities in Vancouver. These engagements included the Indigenous pre-conference on the very real challenges that Indigenous women face in Canada, meetings with local grassroots advocates at the Feminists Deliver conference, engaging in Longhouse Dialogues and discussions with the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health.

  • Minister Monsef met with Melinda Gates, co-chair and founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank; Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer of Unilever; Janet Camilo, Minister of Women of the Dominican Republic; and Diene Keita, Minister for Cooperation and African Integration of Guinea.

  • The Minister also met with a delegation of permanent representatives to the United Nations, hosted by Marc-André Blanchard, Ambassador of Canada to the UN. They included Earle Courtenay Rattray, Ambassador of Jamaica to the UN; Maria de Jesus dos Reis Ferreira, Ambassador of Angola to the UN; Marie Chatardová, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the UN; Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, Ambassador of Ghana to the UN; Katalin Annamária Bogyay, Ambassador of Hungary to the UN; Sidibé Fatoumata Kaba, Ambassador of Guinea to the UN; Darja Bavdaž Kuret, Ambassador of Slovenia to the UN; Amal Mudallali, Ambassador of Lebanon to the UN; Jean-Claude Félix do Rego, Ambassador of Benin to the UN; Martin Garcia Moritán, Ambassador of Argentina to the UN; and Milica Pejanović-Durišić, Ambassador of Montenegro to the UN. 

  • Held every three years, Women Deliver is the world’s largest gathering on gender equality and the health, rights and well-being of women and girls. This year’s theme is Power, Progress, Change.

  • This year’s conference brought together more than 8,000 world leaders, advocates, academics and journalists from more than 165 countries. An additional 100,000 people participated virtually. 

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