Gender Equality or equality between women and men includes:
- promoting the equal participation of women and men in making decisions
- supporting women and girls so that they can fully exercise their rights
- reducing the gap between women's and men's access to and control of resources and the benefits of development
Gender equality is still out of reach for most women worldwide.
Women continue to have fewer rights, lower education and health status, less income, and less access to resources and decision-making than men. Nevertheless, women's critical roles in food production, income generation, management of natural resources, community organization and domestic responsibilities are essential for sustainable development.
If equitable and sustainable progress is to be achieved, women's status must be improved, their rights must be respected, and their contributions must be recognized.
The international community has made important commitments to women's rights and Gender Equality, including:
- the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
- the Beijing Platform for Action
- the Millennium Development Goals — particularly MDG 3 - to promote gender equality and empower women
- the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
Canada has played an important role in advocating for and implementing these commitments, and launched an Action Plan for the Implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security in October 2010.
Canada has been a world leader in integrating gender equality analysis into its international development programs. Gender Equality continues to be a crosscutting theme throughout Canada's programs. Gender equality results are systematically and explicitly integrated across all international development programs.
The promotion and protection of women’s rights and gender equality are also central to Canada’s foreign policy. For more information, see Canada’s commitment to gender equality and the advancement of women’s rights internationally.
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