The Hon. K. Kellie Leitch Delivers Strong Message to United Nations on the International Day of the Girl

NEW YORK CITY, Oct. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - During an address to the United Nations Third Committee on the Advancement of Women, the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, made it clear that the promotion and protection of women's and girls' human rights are central to Canada's domestic, foreign and development assistance policy. Minister Leitch was in New York to mark the second annual International Day of the Girl.

"Canada's support for the rights and issues of women and girls is unwavering," said Minister Leitch.  "Canada does not shy away from tough conversations about the importance of the full and equal participation of women and girls in all aspects of social, economic and political life, the elimination of violence against women and girls, or their economic independence and political empowerment. This is because Canadians know that all of these factors contribute to a more stable, democratic and economically prosperous world."

Canada is a strong supporter of the six UN Security Council Resolutions on women, peace and security, including the importance of full participation of women in all decision-making processes, peace processes and all aspects of conflict resolution. The Government is equally committed to the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence and the protection of women's and girls' rights in fragile and conflict-affected communities. Sexual and gender-based violence is a violation of the rights of both women and girls, and a barrier to peace and development. To this end, Canada has provided over $13 million since 2012 in support toward ending sexual violence and encouraging the full participation of women in emerging democracies. 

In addition, last month at the United Nations, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced over $200 million in support for nine projects around the globe. These cover a range of issues that will improve the health of mothers and children, and will strengthen immunization efforts in developing countries.

"The tragedy is that many women and children in developing countries are victims of disease, poor nutrition and inadequate care," said Minister Leitch. "As a Doctor and Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon, I know that these are often entirely preventable situations and improving child and maternal health is a flagship priority for Canada."

Canada continues to work domestically on promoting and protecting the rights of all women. The Government has worked to prevent violence against women in all communities, on engaging men and boys in these efforts, and on addressing sexual violence at colleges and universities. Since 2007, Status of Women Canada has provided more than $62 million for projects to prevent and end violence against women and girls. The Government of Canada continues to work in partnership with stakeholders at the local level to increase the economic security of women and girls in communities across Canada, including increasing women's representation in the skilled trades, entrepreneurship and other non-traditional occupations.

"Our Government is focused on engaging girls and young women in leadership roles, creating jobs and supporting economic prosperity," said Minister Leitch. "By supporting and encouraging more girls and young women to consider a career in the skilled trades, engineering or small business, we can close the skills gap that Canada and much of the industrialized world are currently facing." 

International Day of the Girl takes place each year on October 11th. This day promotes equal treatment and opportunities for girls around the world in areas such as law, nutrition, health care, education, training, and freedom from violence and abuse. It is celebrated during Women's History Month in October. The theme for Women's History Month 2013 is Canadian Women Pioneers: Inspiring Change Through Ongoing Leadership. Throughout October, the Government of Canada is highlighting Canadian women as pioneers in many fields of endeavour.




SOURCE: Status of Women Canada

For further information:

For media inquiries only: 

Barbara Mottram
Director of Communications
Office of the Hon. Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C.,
O. Ont., M.P.
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women
Tel: 819-953-5646
Fax: 819-994-5168

For all other inquiries, contact:

Nanci-Jean Waugh
Director General, Communications and Public Affairs
Status of Women Canada
Tel: 613-995-7839

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For a backgrounder on Women's History Month, news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to

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