February 27, 2012 OTTAWA - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, will lead a Canadian delegation on the international stage to champion rural women's role in communities across Canada and internationally.
"Women in rural, remote and Northern communities play a key role in Canada's economic prosperity," said Minister Ambrose. "It is an honour to lead the Canadian delegation to this important international event and to champion the role of rural women in Canada and abroad."
Minister Ambrose is leading the Canadian delegation to the 56th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), being held from February 27 to March 9, 2012, in New York.
Recently Minister Ambrose launched a call for proposals for projects to address issues of violence and economic security affecting women and girls living in rural and remote communities and small urban centres.
"Our government is committed to supporting grassroots projects that improve the lives of women and girls across Canada," said Minister Ambrose. "We're proud to work with community organizations across Canada to help end violence against women, increase women's economic prosperity and promote women in leadership roles. I look forward to announcing these projects in the coming months."
In addition to Minister Ambrose as Head, the Canadian delegation to the UNCSW this year is composed of representatives of the Government of Canada, the provincial and territorial governments of Nova Scotia and Yukon, as well as the following representatives from four non-governmental organizations: Ms. Amber Fletcher, Chair and Co-Founder of the Women's Information Network of Saskatchewan; Ms. Marie Kenny, President-Elect of the Federated Women's Institutes of Canada; Ms. Judy Unterschultz, Executive Director of Multicultural Heritage Centre and Co-Founder of Agriculture for Life; and Ms. Shannon Joseph, Policy Advisor, Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
While at the United Nations, Minister Ambrose will also take the opportunity to promote the International Day of the Girl, which will take place for the first time on October 11, 2012. Minister Ambrose played a leadership role, along with Plan Canada, in the UN's recent proclamation of this annual event to empower girls as citizens, leaders and powerful motivators of change.
Internationally, Member States will address the priority theme, The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges. The review theme is financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women. Panel discussions and high-level round-table sessions will be held throughout the UNCSW to address these themes.
Canada's domestic theme for International Women's Day 2012 is Strong Women, Strong Canada – Women in Rural, Remote and Northern Communities: Key to Canada's Economic Prosperity.
The UNCSW, a commission of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, is the principal global policy-making body at the UN dedicated to gender equality and the advancement of women. Canada has participated in the UNCSW since its creation in 1947.