MONTREAL, Feb. 9, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of International Development Week (IDW) as decreed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Rights & Democracy proudly joins the celebrations to present its programmes around the theme determined for this year: "The empowerment of women and girls." For several years now, Rights & Democracy's programmes focus on women's rights, allowed women to better understand their rights and to empower them both economically and socially.
Rights & Democracy is also continuing its efforts to increase women and girls' influence in politics. "In addition to conveying positive role models for girls, the political involvement of women is also a key consideration to empowerment, as some studies have shown that having more women in decision-making positions is a necessary condition to ensuring gender equality," says Gérard Latulippe, President of Rights & Democracy.
Rights & Democracy's continuous and prioritized work to empower women and promote their rights are reflected, among others, within the following projects:
- In Bolivia, a project to promote the political participation of women. In a country where the majority of the population is indigenous, the project places an emphasis on training indigenous women leaders who wish to run for public office, and on fostering intercultural dialogue among indigenous and non-indigenous women involved in local politics. Overall, 3929 women, including municipal councilors from Indigenous Peoples communities, receive technical assistance to better govern at the municipal level and to have their demands accepted.
- Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)'s project empowers women to engage in the second cycle of the electoral process. This is done through a three-pronged approach; a series of awareness workshops will be conducted for women to promote their equal participation as citizens, encourage their engagement in the political process, inform and empower potential women candidates to register for the March provincial elections and 2013 local elections, and to support the development of a women-led election observation effort in the Eastern provinces of DRC.
- Launched in 2007, the project A Measure of Equality for Afghan Women: Rights in Practice aims to support the process of family law reform to bring it in line with the Constitution of Afghanistan and the obligations under international human rights treaties. Another portion of the project is to increase awareness for Afghans on women's rights in the context of Islam, through an extensive tailored training programme.
- Rights and Democracy supports Kay Fanm (Women's House) in its work to promote and defend the rights of women and girls, especially the victims of gender violence in Haiti. Medical care, psychosocial activities, counseling and support to education and training, allow these girls to overcome their trauma, to regain their confidence and become better equipped for their future.
Specifically, Rights & Democracy's Student Network delegation at Université Laval (Quebec City) is organizing a series of lectures and presenting a photo exhibition marking year one of the Arab Spring. For more information on this event, please visit Rights & Democracy and/or CIDA's website, or to learn more about our projects please visit Rights & Democracy's website at www.dd-rd.ca.
For further information:
Jean-François Gagnon, Communications Officer
Rights & Democracy
(514) 283-6073, extension 255