December 5, 2017

Canada adopts a Feminist International Assistance Policy

Canada adopted a Feminist International Assistance Policy to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls as the most effective way to reduce poverty and build a more inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world.

PolicyOn May 18, 2016, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, launched a public consultation as part of Canada’s review of its international assistance. This review was to establish an international assistance policy and funding framework that would be focused on helping the poorest and most vulnerable people, and supporting fragile states, while advancing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

After a year of consultations involving more than 15,000 people in 65 countries (see CWY’s recommendations for the review), Minister Bibeau presented in June Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy.

This policy seeks to reduce extreme poverty and build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world. With an emphasis placed on women and girls, the Government of Canada plans to apply a feminist lens to all of its international assistance activities. It recognizes that promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls is the most effective approach to achieving this goal. This policy also supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which aim to eradicate poverty by 2030. They have chosen to focus on Goal 5 of the SDGs, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and is also aligned with the Paris Agreement on climate change, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment.

Canada World Youth, as it has done in the Youth Leaders in Action and Internship Programs,  has already been applying this policy and continues to do so through its EQWIP HUBs Program by assuring that young women have access to specialized training, adapted financial services, and relevant market information in preparing them for jobs in the formal sector as well as self-employment. Its strategic goals are to assure women’s representation on decision-making and advisory mechanisms as well as reducing barriers and challenges to young women’s access to sustainable livelihood resources, training and services.

The government is presently in the process of meeting with volunteer cooperation organizations on how to implement this new policy. CWY has offered the support of its alumni network in the 69 countries to help GAC communicate the process involved in working with the new policy.

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About Canada World Youth

Canada World Youth is dedicated to enriching the lives of youth aged up to 35 who want to become informed and active global citizens. CWY offers international transformative learning experiences focused on building knowledge, leadership and skills through participation in sustainable community-driven projects. For more than 40 years, 38,000 youth and 12,000 host families have participated in CWY programs, in Canada and abroad.

CWY is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency as a charitable organization (#118973999RR0001).

Source : Mary McGee, Communications Officer, Canada World Youth, 514 931-3526 # 336,

Interviews and information (photos available):

Mary McGee
1 800 605-3526 #336
514 931-3526 # 336