Largest gathering on gender equality and well-being of women and girls | Daily News


Women Deliver 2019 begins in Vancouver, Canada

Largest gathering on gender equality and well-being of women and girls

Canada is hosting Women Deliver 2019, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights and well-being of girls and women – in British Columbia, from June 3 to 6, 2019.

Canada extended a warm welcome to the dynamic group of delegates from Sri Lanka including Chandrani Bandara, Minister of Women and Child Affairs and Dry Zone Development. The Sri Lankan delegates, each of whom is passionate about advocating for the rights of women and girls will unite with other diverse voices of more than 8,000 individuals — world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists, youth and journalists from more than 160 countries, with an additional 100,000 people joining virtually.

The High Commissioner of Canada, David McKinnon, met with the delegates prior to their departure to hear their views on gender equality and what can be done to make it a reality in Sri Lanka and around the world. It was also an opportunity to learn about the work that led them to be in Vancouver as they look to foster gender equality globally.

Women Deliver 2019 Conference will serve as a catalyst to achieve gender equality and address barriers for those most affected, including Indigenous populations, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ2I community, refugees, those living in developing countries and women of colour.

As part of the conference, Maryam Monsef, the Canadian Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, will host a Ministerial Forum to bring together more than 20 ministers from partner countries, Indigenous leaders, and youth. The forum allows Ministers to engage with global experts on key issues affecting the health, rights and well-being of girls and women.

Sri Lanka will be well represented at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference. Among the key speakers are Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Envoy on Youth, and Anoka Primrose, Social Entrepreneur. The delegation from Sri Lanka includes seven youth advocates who have been selected based on their work and commitment towards gender equality and women’s empowerment. This work includes sexual and reproductive health and rights, prevention of gender-based violence, women’s economic empowerment, peace and reconciliation, education, disability and human rights. In addition, representatives of Sri Lankan think tanks and women’s rights organizations will attend the conference.

Canada and Sri Lanka have a long tradition of working together to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. Currently, in partnership with UNFPA, Canada supports the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, other relevant government entities, the National Human Rights Commission and women’s rights organizations in their response to SGBV and to increase collaboration to enhance women’s equality and empowerment. Canada also partners with The Asia Foundation to support local women’s rights organizations and networks in Sri Lanka through the Women’s Voice and Leadership Project.

On May 2, 2019, Minister Monsef announced 21 new projects with Canadian small and medium organizations, including two projects in Sri Lanka that will aim at improving gender equality and reducing violence against girls and women. The Women Deliver 2019 Conference will contribute to strengthen this collaboration in favour of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls of Sri Lanka, which will contribute to long-term prosperity of all Sri Lankans.

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