This past week I attended the 60th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York.
I lead a strong Canadian delegation of four federal cabinet ministers, five provincial cabinet ministers and many grassroots organizations from across the country.
I welcomed the opportunity to discuss issues facing women around the world with the international community, and am proud of Canada’s reengagement at the United Nations with a renewed approach to advancing gender equality on the international stage.
We also welcomed Prime Minister Trudeau, who continued to speak about the importance of gender equality and the importance of involving men and boys in conversations about issues facing women.
The Canadian delegation had many sharing and learning opportunities, including an insightful and thoughtful panel of international female Indigenous leaders on the topic of ending violence against Indigenous women and girls, featuring Canada’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould and Dawn Lavell-Harvard of the Native Women’s Association of Canada.
We attended and hosted a number of discussions with many countries on the subjects of violence against women, reproductive rights, economic empowerment and gender equality.
As part of Canada’s commitment to advancing gender equality globally, we will be seeking election to the UNCSW for the 2017-2021 term. Gaining a seat will further Canada’s ability to shape the Commission’s work to promote gender equality around the world.
It was clear in discussions with many countries – from New Zealand to Mexico – that women around the globe face similar challenges.
However, it is also clear that we can achieve our shared goals through continued collaboration and honest and open communication.
As we move forward, there is still much work to be done, but the Government of Canada is committed to working with all of our partners in Canada and around the world to ensure that women and girls are empowered and can achieve their full potential.