Government of Canada supports Equal Voice in mentoring women leaders of tomorrow

    OTTAWA, Feb. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The federal government is pleased to
support Equal Voice/A voix égales as it launches Experiences, a partnership
project to attract girls and young women to the democratic process. The
announcement was made by the Honourable Helena Guergis, Minister of State
(Status of Women), at the Métropolitain Brasserie Restaurant during a
welcome-back reception hosted by Equal Voice/A voix égales for the women
members of Canada's 40th Parliament.
    The project will focus on increasing the democratic participation of
girls across Canada by introducing them to role models and mentors, nurturing
their political literacy, and inspiring them to become the political leaders
of the future.
    "If we are to have more women in public office, we must spark their
interest while they're still young - ideally, between 12 to 18 years of age,"
said Minister Guergis. "As part of the Experiences partnership initiative,
young girls will be able to speak to political mentors from all parties and
from all levels of government to learn about how they can become actively
involved in democratic institutions and in political life."
    "Thanks to the support of the Government of Canada and Minister Guergis,"
said Ms. Donna Dasko, Acting National Chair of Equal Voice/A voix égales, "we
can build gender equality in public office through strategic early
intervention, knowing that the girls of today will step forward as the leaders
of tomorrow."

    Equal Voice/A voix égales will receive $1,208,404 over 28 months for
Experiences. The project will increase democratic participation among girls
and young women by:

    - introducing girls aged 12-18 and young women aged 18-25 to positive
      role models and mentors; and,
    - nurturing their political literacy and inspiring them to become
      political leaders in the future.

    Funding for the Experiences project comes from the Women's Partnership
Fund of the Women's Program of Status of Women Canada.
    Status of Women Canada is a federal government agency working to promote
the full participation of women in the economic, social and democratic life of

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    For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to


    Funding for the Experiences project comes from the Women's Partnership
Fund of the Women's Program of Status of Women Canada, a fund of $3.7 million
for contributions to collaborative projects that involve non-governmental
organizations in partnership with public institutions and other levels of
government. To qualify, the initiatives must work toward the equality and full
participation of women in the economic, social and democratic life of Canada.
    The Experiences initiative involves a number of key partners, each of whom
will make a contribution to support the project's success:

    - Merck Frosst Canada, the Canadian subsidiary of a major international
      research-driven pharmaceutical company, is the Premium Sponsor in the
      development of the Experiences project;
    - CANARIE Inc., of Ottawa, Canada's advanced network organization, will
      provide videoconferencing technology;
    - Media Awareness Network (MNet), of Ottawa, is Canada's online source of
      media and Internet education resources for parents, teachers,
      librarians and researchers, and will contribute $5,912 in-kind;
    - Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI), a member-based
      economic development corporation, is contributing $10,000 in-kind;
    - the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), the national voice of
      municipal government, is contributing $25,000 in-kind;
    - in 2010, Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada (GGC) will celebrate
      its 100th anniversary. As Canada's original girl-driven organization,
      Guiding remains at the forefront of offering girl-centered programming.
      GGC has contributed $50,000 in-kind;
    - Historica Foundation of Canada, which engages Canadians in the stories
      of our history that define our identity and shape Canada's future, is
      contributing $18,000 in-kind;
    - the Antigone Foundation, a non-profit organization that encourages
      young women to get involved in leadership, politics and activism, is
      contributing $6,600 in-kind;
    - Canadian Women in Communications (CWC), which raises the profile of
      women working in the communications field, will bring significant
      profile and visibility to the project, through its network of women
    - YWCA Canada, the country's oldest and largest multi-service women's
      organization, is contributing $57,500 in-kind;
    - the Canadian Teachers' Federation, the unified voice of teacher
      organizations in Canada, is contributing invaluable support and
    - TakingITGlobal, a social network connecting to the global issues, is
      contributing $4,000 in-kind.

For further information:

For further information: Elyse Newbert, Special Assistant,
Communications, Office of the Minister of State (Status of Women), (819)
956-4000; Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director General, Communications and Strategic
Planning, Status of Women Canada, (613) 995-7839

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