Minister Monsef leads Canadian Delegation to the 62nd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

News release

March 12, 2018 – New York City, New York – Status of Women Canada

Canada is deeply committed to working with its partners to improve the lives of women and girls in Canada and around the world. In this spirit, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, will lead the Canadian delegation to the 62nd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), being held from March 12 to 23, 2018 in New York City.

The Canadian delegation is comprised of federal ministers, including the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, as well as a Senator and Members of the House of Commons, representatives from provinces and territories, and representatives from non-governmental organizations. This year also marks the first time that National Indigenous leaders and representatives were invited to join and provide advice to the Canadian delegation. Together, they will work collaboratively to address the priority theme at this year’s UNCSW: “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.”

During the UNCSW session, Minister Monsef will underscore Canada’s commitment to achieving gender equality through the empowerment of women and girls from coast to coast to coast, including by preventing and addressing gender-based violence, improving women’s economic security and prosperity, and encouraging women in leadership. She will also meet with her G7 counterparts and members of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council, as Canada has made gender equality and the economic empowerment of women a key focus of its G7 Presidency this year. Last month the federal government tabled Budget 2018 – Equality + Growth: A Strong Middle Class. The budget’s title reflects its recognition that when we invest in women, we strengthen the economy for everyone. It supports the Government of Canada’s feminist agenda and provides leadership in addressing some of the long-standing barriers to gender equality.

Minister Monsef and the members of the delegation will co-host and participate in a number of different meetings and events during the session. This includes Minister Monsef holding a forum with youth leaders from Canada and around the world to hear about their priorities and their innovative solutions to advance gender equality. Other meetings will focus on issues ranging from rural women and girls, Indigenous reconciliation, violence against women, engaging men and boys on gender equality, and gender budgeting. Ministers will also undertake bilateral discussions with their international counterparts and discuss some of the most critical issues facing women and girls in the world today.


“It is a profound privilege to once again lead the Canadian delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The United Nations plays an invaluable role in bringing the international community together to drive social progress around the world—progress to which Canada is committed. I am very proud to represent a feminist government that is devoted to remaining a leader in global efforts on gender equality, and I look forward to sharing Canada’s compelling story about our work to advance this important goal. I am also excited to connect with world leaders to discuss how we can work together to seize the possibilities that exist in the wake of the #MeToo movement. Finally, given the theme of UNCSW this year, I hope to share my own experiences as an elected official that represents a mixed rural-urban riding, and learn from others about how to most effectively address challenges and leverage opportunities that exist in our rural communities, in particular, those faced by women and girls.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women

“I am honoured to return to the UN Commission on the Status of Women and to be part of this year’s Canadian delegation. We know that the voices of women and girls, including Indigenous women and girls, too often go unheard. We are committed to making progress – real progress – towards ending the unacceptable rates of violence that result when Indigenous women and girls are powerless. This week, in partnership with female Indigenous leaders and other nations, we are increasing awareness, and working with Indigenous leadership to help empower Indigenous women and girls and bring an end to this cycle.”

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs

“Through our feminist foreign policy, Canada is demonstrating its strong commitment to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. This coming week, at the United Nations, I look forward to discussing the recently-launched Elsie Initiative, which aims to increase the role that women play in peacebuilding, peacekeeping and humanitarian work.”

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Foreign Affairs

“Canada recognizes that rural women in developing countries play a key role in reducing poverty and hunger around the world. This is why Canada has adopted a Feminist International Assistance Policy that prioritizes the improvement of economic opportunities for rural women and investing in climate-smart agriculture and local women-led agricultural businesses to promote growth that works for everyone.”

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, P.C., M.P.
Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Quick facts

  • Canada was elected to hold a seat on the UNCSW Commission for the 2017 – 2021 term. This provides Canada with a valuable opportunity to shape the Commission’s work on issues that affect women and girls globally.

  • Canada was a founding member of the United Nations. In times of global uncertainty, it remains an important institution in which Canada can play a vital role, advancing and protecting human rights for everyone, especially women and girls.

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Associated links


Célia Canon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Status of Women

Nanci-Jean Waugh
Director General
Status of Women Canada

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