Canada announces support to empower women in Southeast Asia and help build sustainable peace 

News release

December 7, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

In Southeast Asia, women face rising extremism and targeted violence as COVID-19 exacerbates existing conflict and fragility.

Today, the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, announced that Canada is providing $8.5 million over 5 years, beginning in 2020, to UN Women to empower women, prevent violence and promote social cohesion in Southeast Asia.

The Minister made the announcement at the virtual high-level global conference Strengthening Women’s Role in Building and Sustaining Peace: From Commitments to Results, hosted by Vietnam and the United Nations.

Canada’s financial commitment will help address gender equality and discrimination against women and girls in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, advance Canada’s women, peace and security agenda, and build sustainable peace and security in Southeast Asia.

Canada’s support will advance the empowerment of women in peace and security efforts by promoting their participation and leadership in peacebuilding.

In selected countries, activities will include engaging communities and youth to challenge social norms and boost community-led initiatives to prevent and address conflict and contribute to building sustainable peace (for example, by supporting and accompanying women’s organizations as they engage in and influence peace processes).


“Women’s voices and leadership make a difference and bring lasting change that benefits everyone in their communities. By fully engaging women, we can achieve sustainable peace and security in Southeast Asia.”

- Karina Gould, Minister of International Development 

Quick facts

  • The global conference in Vietnam includes the participation of senior UN officials; representatives of UN member states, international and regional organizations, international financial institutions and women’s organizations; and other stakeholders. Participants will reflect on current gaps and challenges and make commitments to accelerate action for sustainable peace beyond 2020.

  • Jacqueline O’Neill, Canada’s Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security, will also participate in the conference, leading a session entitled The Future of Women in Peacekeeping.

Associated links


Guillaume Dumas
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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