Canada Announces New Support For Women’s Empowerment In Middle East And North Africa

Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Canada’s contribution of $16.3 million to further support women’s empowerment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through a project implemented by the Forum of Federations.
The project, Empowering Women for Leadership Roles in the MENA Region, will help more than 5,400 women in Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco increase their participation and representation at all levels of government, including in parliaments, local governments, women’s coalitions, civil society organizations and academia. By improving their skills in such areas as public speaking and management, as well as their familiarity with political systems, this project will empower women to take leadership roles in parliaments and participate in decisions that will have an impact on their lives and their communities.

Parliamentary Secretary Goldsmith-Jones made the announcement at the Women in Parliaments Global Summit in Amman, Jordan. The Global Summit presents a unique opportunity to discuss and engage in dialogue on the most pressing issues regarding the role and importance of female decision makers in today’s parliaments.



“Canada is committed to promoting greater gender equality and more inclusive governance. Women’s participation in political spheres and decision-making spaces is essential to ensuring that democracies are truly representative. More women in leadership positions means a more balanced view on policy. And it tells young girls and boys that power can, and should, be held equally.”

– Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

“The Forum of Federations thanks the Government of Canada for generously supporting this important project, which will encourage gender equality and women’s empowerment in political participation. With this announcement, Canada continues its role as a global leader in promoting and encouraging women’s leadership around the world.”

– Rupak Chattopadhyay, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Forum of Federations

Quick facts

There are an estimated 9,000 woman parliamentarians around the world. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2015, the average participation rate for women in the parliaments of Arab countries is 7 percent compared to the global participation rate of 25 percent. In MENA region countries, only 25 percent of women are employed in the workforce compared to 50 percent globally.



Written by PH

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