July 5, 2019 – Paris, France – Global Affairs Canada
Canada is committed to advancing gender equality and ensuring that girls, adolescent girls and women have access to quality education, especially in conflict and crisis situations.
On July 4 to 5, 2019, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, attended G7 development ministerial meetings in Paris, France, where she met with her development counterparts and with education ministers from other G7 countries. The Minister discussed ways to fight inequality and reiterated the importance of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment to build a more peaceful, more inclusive and more prosperous world.
While in Paris, Minister Monsef also met with education and finance ministers from the G5 Sahel countries and Senegal and announced 25 new education projects, predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa. These projects are aligned with the Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls and Women in Developing Countries, a key outcome of the 2018 G7 Summit in Charlevoix. These projects aim to dismantle barriers and improve women and girls’ equitable access to a quality education; to invest in quality education systems; and to support skills development and sex-disaggregated education and gender equality data, especially for women and girls in fragile, conflict and crisis situations, including in refugee-hosting countries. The results will lead to improved learning outcomes and employability among women, adolescent girls and girls, including those with disabilities.
These projects will adopt a safe and inclusive education approach that will advance gender equality and support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The projects demonstrate strong alignment with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and its six action areas.
Over the course of the two days of meetings, the G7 development heads of delegations endorsed four declarations calling for attention to gender equality and youth and women in fragile and conflict-affected states, particularly in the Sahel. Ministers emphasized the need for strong partnerships and innovative approaches to tackle fragility, poverty and financing for sustainable development, and to enhance the effectiveness of G7 development cooperation efforts, with a focus on rural youth employment in the Sahel region. They also released three joint declarations on education focusing on advancing gender-responsive education-sector planning, ensuring greater coordination on technical vocational education and training, and bringing greater attention to the education challenges facing girls and boys in the Sahel.
“In the 1920s, the Ghanaian scholar James Emman Aggrey said, ‘If you educate a man, you simply educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a whole nation.’ Investing in women and girls’ education benefits everyone. As we learned at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference last June, if half of the world’s population is held back from reaching their full potential, we all pay the price. Canada and its partners continue to work together to ensure that the world’s women and girls are given equal access to quality education and learning opportunities.”
– Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality
- Girls in conflict-affected areas are nearly two and a half times as likely to be out of school as boys. Adolescent girls in conflict-affected areas are nearly 90% more likely to be out of secondary school than adolescent girls in stable, developing countries.
- Compared to other global regions, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of out-of-school children and youth as well as the greatest gender disparities.
- The Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls and Women in Developing Countries was a key outcome of Canada’s G7 presidency in 2018. This galvanized global action to address barriers and improve the quality of education and skills development for girls and women in fragile, conflict and crisis situations.
- Canada committed $400 million as part of the $3.8 billion mobilized in Charlevoix to support quality education for women and girls living in crisis, conflict-affected and fragile states. To date, Canada has allocated $265.2 million to this commitment, with projects announced today totalling $143.7 million.