Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly and Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women


November 25, 2023 -  Ottawa, Ontario -  Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development, today issued the following statement on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women:

“Today, as the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence international campaign begins, we are reaffirming Canada’s unwavering commitment to eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls. 

“Every woman has the right to live free from violence, regardless of her age, race, social or economic status.

“Globally however, an estimated 736 million women and adolescent girls—1 in 3—are subjected to physical or sexual violence at least once in their life.

“In times of conflict, natural disasters and humanitarian crises, violence is only exacerbated and women and girls are disproportionately impacted, when 7 out of 10 women are exposed to sexual and gender-based violence. These acts of violence have long-term negative health, social and economic effects that span generations and lead to more cycles of violence and abuse.

“Ensuring accountability for crimes of gender-based violence is crucial for delivering justice to victims and survivors and preventing further violations. Canada supports efforts to ensure justice for all victims and survivors.

“Canada’s Feminist Foreign Policy and Feminist International Assistance Policy are centred on building a more gender-equal world by promoting rights-based and inclusive initiatives and supporting efforts to end sexual and gender-based violence and harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

“To that end, Canada is providing $35 million over 5 years to the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage and has provided $14 million to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women since 2019. In 2021-22, more than 42 million people were reached through Canada-funded projects that help prevent, respond to, and end, sexual and gender-based violence, including child, early and forced marriage and/or female genital mutilation.

“Addressing sexual and gender-based violence is also a key component of Canada’s broader sexual and reproductive health and rights investments under our historic $1.4 billion 10-Year Commitment to Global Health and Rights.

“Women’s rights are human rights. We must ensure that these rights are protected and respected. We must UNITE! to end sexual and gender-based violence everywhere and ensure that survivors receive the justice and support they need and deserve.

“Today, we encourage everyone to join the conversation on social media and speak up against gender-based violence using the hashtags #ItsNotJust and #16Days.”


Isabella Orozco-Madison
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Alex Tétreault
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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