Statement by Minister Ien, Head of the Delegation of Canada, to UNCSW 67th Session


March 9, 2023 – New York (New York) – Women and Gender Equality Canada

– Check against delivery –

I would like to begin by acknowledging that we are on the traditional territory of the Munsee Lenape, while also recognizing that some attendees are joining this meeting from traditional Indigenous territories from around the world. I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the land on which you are living and working.

Thank you to the Commission on the Status of Women for organizing this year’s event.

And I am honoured to be making this statement on behalf of Canada.

The relationship between technology, education, innovation, and their part in advancing gender equality brings with it many questions, challenges, and opportunities.

We have seen how communities, organizations, member states, and global networks can come together in some of our most challenging times. But these crises, compounded with the digital age, have exploited pre-existing, systemic, and discriminatory practices.

In many regions around the world, women and girls do not have the same access to technology – which directly influences their ability to succeed in social, economic and political spheres.

Women and girls with disabilities, and racialized and Indigenous women also experience discrimination and exclusion from technology, which lessens their ability to succeed in an increasingly competitive world.

Unfortunately, we have also seen a rise in disinformation, violence, and hate speech that disproportionately affects women and LGBTI communities in online and offline contexts. The widespread use of technology to spread hate and harassment towards these groups, especially in media and politics, has had a devastating impact on their safety and representation in public discourse.

It should be very clear to everyone that online violence does not simply stay online.

Both domestically and globally, we must work together to remove these barriers and enable all citizens to rise above these challenges, and to excel in a world that is driven by innovation and technology.

Domestically, Canada continues to invest in education, entrepreneurship and leadership in ways that reflect its diverse population. This includes ensuring equal pay for work of equal value, and affordable and available childcare. It means ensuring women and girls are supported through the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy, which will increase women-owned businesses' access to financing, talent, and expertise.

Globally, Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy helps to build a more inclusive and prosperous world by prioritizing innovation through a feminist intersectional approach. We are encouraging innovative solutions to address development challenges and building partnerships with women’s rights organizations through the Women’s Voice and Leadership program.                     

Canada is also taking action to address harmful content online, with the goal of developing legislation. Further, Canada’s Federal Gender-Based Violence Strategy, and 10-year National Action Plan to End Gender Based Violence are frameworks designed to adapt, evolve, and address emerging issues to create a Canada free of gender-based violence.

These initiatives are complemented by efforts within, including…  

-        the 2SLGBTQI+ Federal Action Plan;

-        the National Action Plan on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls;

-        and the Federal Pathway to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Canada also continues to implement Indigenous-led approaches to address gender-based violence, while working closely with community-based organizations, experts, and international partners. 

Our Indigenous-led approach is guided by leaders like Chief RoseAnne Archibald, Canada’s first woman National Chief from the Assembly of First Nations, who has asked me to share a few words with everyone here today.

Chief Archibald asks that the international community stand with the Indigenous peoples of Canada to honour the rights and aspirations of Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people. She also highlighted the colonial legacy of countries including Canada. She calls for justice for their lost loved ones, healing for their families, and prevention for future generations. 

We take Chief Archibald, and other national Indigenous leaders calls seriously, and we will continue amplifying the lived experiences and expertise of individuals, in all of their intersections of identity, while also ensuring equal access to the benefits of an increasingly digital world.

We must recognize the essential roles that diverse women play as active contributors to the digital age; and support them in their advocacy, while defending against forces that seek to strip away this hard-earned progress.

As member states, we can do more to make technology enabled-learning accessible, safe and effective, which will reduce poverty, improve social determinants of health, and support economic growth.

At this year’s session of the Commission on the Status of Women, and following International Women’s Day, I look forward to working with civil society and member states to make concrete gains for women and girls in the realm of digital access, innovation, and education.

Thank you.


Page details

Date modified: