Canada supporting greater equality between women and men in eight Southeast Asian countries

Parliamentary Secretary Lois Brown announces new funding that will help ensure women have access to equitable justice systems

August 12, 2014 – Surrey, British Columbia – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Today, following a round table with Nina Grewal, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood—Port Kells and Asian diaspora communities on current development issues, Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced Canada’s support to a project aimed at improving equality between women and men before the law in eight Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Burma, Thailand and Vietnam.

The project will help ensure women have access to competent and impartial judicial and adjudicatory mechanisms equally and without discrimination, and that government and civil society experts can develop and implement legislation that is respectful of the United Nations Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

“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,” said PS Brown. “Canada is proud to help achieve greater equality between women and men before the law in these Southeast Asian countries.”

The Convention recognizes that access to justice is not only a fundamental right in itself, but it is also an essential prerequisite for the protection and promotion of all other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. It also recognizes women’s right to participate as equal partners, decision makers, and beneficiaries of the sustainable development of their societies.

“Canada is recognized as a world leader in the promotion and protection of women’s rights,” said MP Grewal. “With today’s announcement, we are signalling that Canada will be working with its partners to address discrimination against women in Southeast Asia.”

Later during the day, PS Brown will meet with representatives of the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation, as well as other Canadian regional councils and coalitions representing more than 400 member voluntary organizations committed to achieving sustainable global development. Discussions will include the programming that the councils undertake across Canada and current development issues.

Quick facts

  • Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1981, which set international standards for eliminating gender discrimination.
  • At the United Nations, Canada has worked to make women’s human rights a strong focus of the Commission on the Status of Women and the Human Rights Council.
  • Canada is a world leader in the promotion and protection of women’s rights and gender equality. These issues are central toCanada’s foreign and domestic policies, and gender equality results are systematically and explicitly integrated into DFATD’s international development projects and programs.
  • Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but also its achievement has enormous socio-economic ramifications. Empowering women fuels thriving economies, spurring productivity and growth.

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Contacts

Sandrine Périon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie 
343-203-6238
sandrine.perion@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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