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Elimination of violence against women and girls

Violence against women and girls takes many forms and affects every society. One in three women experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, mostly by an intimate partner. Violence against women and girls is a form of gender-based violence.

Canada condemns all forms of violence against women and girls. At the UN (Commission on the Status of Women, General Assembly and the Human Rights Council) and in other forums, Canada supports resolutions to eliminate violence against women and girls.

Canada’s work at the UN has contributed to developing a strong Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women. It has established and renewed the mandate for a UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences.

Canada was instrumental in including sexual and gender-based crimes in the draft Statute for the International Criminal Court and for raising issues of sexual and gender-based violence in digital contexts in multilateral forums. Canada is an international leader in global efforts to end child, early and forced marriage both at the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council.

Canada supports the efforts of women’s rights organizations and women human rights defenders. Preventing and responding to all forms sexual and gender based violence, including harmful practices is a priority for Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.

Canada is committed to helping countries implement the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Violence against women and girls violates their human rights— in every context:

It is an obstacle to gender equality, development, prosperity, peace and security.

Canada’s international humanitarian assistance supports the prevention of and response to sexual and gender-based violence. As part of this approach, Canada is a member of the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies.

The Call to Action is a collective of states, UN organizations, and civil society organizations who aim to address the increased risk of gender-based violence (GBV) in humanitarian settings by driving change and fostering accountability from the humanitarian system from the onset of a crisis.

From 2019-2020, Canada served as the lead of the Call to Action and launched the current 2021-2025 Roadmap. The roadmap seeks to mobilise partners to reinforce collective commitment and action to end GBV in humanitarian emergencies.

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