Minister Monsef brings together youth, Indigenous leaders and ministers from around the world to advance gender equality

News release

Ministers commit to a legacy of action for gender equality

June 5, 2019 - Vancouver, British Columbia - Global Affairs Canada

Advancing gender equality and empowering women and girls is the most effective way to eliminate poverty and create a more just, prosperous and peaceful future that will benefit Canadians and the world.

Today, as part of the Women Deliver 2019 Conference, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, wrapped up the Ministerial Forum.

The forum included Indigenous leaders, ministers representing over 20 countries, representatives from the United Nations and other organizations, and youth. The rich diversity of perspectives sparked vital discussions on how to transform and challenge the power dynamics that hold women and adolescent girls back and explored actions required to nurture women’s and girls’ agency and advance gender equality.

Over three sessions, the forum brought together 25 ministers, eight Indigenous leaders from Canada and 25 youth leaders to have an open and honest dialogue on the barriers to gender equality, as well as the key issues affecting the health, rights and well-being of adolescent girls.

Ministers made concrete commitments to create a legacy of action to advance the rights of girls, adolescent girls and women around the world. Minister Monsef committed to use her power to continue to engage with youth and leaders who are driving change at home and abroad. Through Canada’s newly launched Equality Fund and a historic investment to promote the health and rights of women and girls around the world, Minister Monsef is continuing to advance the Government of Canada’s leadership role in promoting gender equality globally. She also proposed to take the outcomes of the forum to the 2019 G7 Development and Education Ministers’ Meeting in France.


“Leaders and youth must work together to propel real and rapid progress on gender equality. This forum capitalized on that synergy.

I look forward to bringing the outcomes of our discussions to the 2019 G7 Development and Education Ministers’ Meeting next month so that we can continue to press for equality for everyone, everywhere.”

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

Quick facts

  • Canada is hosting the Women Deliver 2019 Conference from June 3 to 6, 2019, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

  • The Women Deliver 2019 Conference, held every three years, is the world’s largest gathering on gender equality and the health, rights and well-being of women and girls.

  • A ministerial forum, organized by the host country of a Women Deliver conference, is a key element of the gathering.

  • Ministers in the forum included representatives from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Panama, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Tanzania, Tunisia and the United Kingdom. 

  • Canadian Indigenous leaders who participated included Deborah Baker, Councillor of the Squamish Nation; Kluane Adamek, Yukon Regional Chief, Assembly of First Nations; Francyne Joe, President, Native Women’s Association of Canada; Kim Beaudin, National Vice-Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples; Melanie Omeniho, President, Women of the Métis Nation; Ruth Kaviok, President, National Inuit Youth Council; Denise Larocque, Mi’g maq Nation Representative, Quebec Native Women; and Jocelyn W. Formsma, Executive Director, National Association of Friendship Centres.

  • Other participants included Katja Iversen, President and CEO, Women Deliver; Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women; Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund; Julia Gillard, Chair of the Board, Global Partnership for Education; Joel Spicer, President and CEO, Nutrition International; and Danièle Henkel, CEO and founder of Danièle Henkel Enterprises.

  • A total of 25 young people from Canada and around the world also took part in the Ministerial Forum.

  • Minister Monsef will participate in the G7 Development and Education Ministers’ Meeting on July 4 to 5, 2019, in France.

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