Canada supports women empowerment in Southeast Asia

Canada is providing 8.5 million CAD (6.6 million USD) over 5 years, beginning in 2020, to UN Women to empower women, prevent violence and promote social cohesion in Southeast Asia, Canadian Minister of International Development Karina Gould announced on December 7.

The minister made the announcement at the virtual high-level global conference “Strengthening Women’s Role in Building and Sustaining Peace: From Commitments to Results”, hosted by Vietnam and the United Nations.

Canada’s financial commitment will help address gender equality and discrimination against women and girls in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states, advance Canada’s women, peace and security agenda, and build sustainable peace and security in Southeast Asia.

Canada’s support will advance the empowerment of women in peace and security efforts by promoting their participation and leadership in peacebuilding.

In selected countries, activities will include engaging communities and youth to challenge social norms and boost community-led initiatives to prevent and address conflict and contribute to building sustainable peace.

She said that women’s voices and leadership make a difference and bring lasting change that benefits everyone in their communities.

The global conference in Vietnam includes the participation of senior UN officials; representatives of UN member states, international and regional organisations, international financial institutions and women’s organizations; and other stakeholders. Participants touched upon current gaps and challenges and made commitments to accelerate action for sustainable peace beyond 2020./.