Ontario Shows Leadership on Women's Issues at the United Nations
Minister MacLeod joined the Canadian delegation at the Commission on the Status of Women
NEW YORK CITY — Ontario's Government for the People is strongly advocating for gender equality with a commitment to end violence against women and sex trafficking. The Honourable Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, joined the Canadian delegation in New York City this week at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women to highlight the inequities faced by women and girls at home and abroad.
"I was proud to speak up for equality with my fellow Ministers," said MacLeod. "We need strong women to support vulnerable women but just as importantly we need strong men to support vulnerable women."
The Commission on the Status of Women is held annually by UN Women, the branch of the United Nations that is exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The annual two-week session provides an opportunity for representatives from forty-five Member States and civil society organizations to discuss progress, gaps and next steps in the fight for gender equity.
MacLeod, who has long been an advocate of women's issues in the Ontario Legislature, and is leading work with federal-provincial-territorial colleagues to coordinate efforts to end sex trafficking, attended and spoke at a variety of events, including a Ministerial roundtable on women's representation in the workforce, a session on social protection systems and access to public services for survivors of human trafficking and a youth circle on Indigenous rights in Canada.
"We heard from a range of worldwide experts from all walks of life, but we were all united in our commitment to a society without prejudice that holds endless possibilities for our women and girls," said MacLeod. "These discussions will help inform our government's continued commitment to creating a safer Ontario, a more responsive system for survivors of violence and trafficking, and to changing attitudes that give rise to violence against women."
Ontario's Government for the People has been working to support women and help them build a brighter future by:
- Improving supports in rural and remote communities for women who are victims of violence and sexual exploitation;
- Engaging private sector partners in efforts to increase women's representation in STEM and the skilled trades;
- Investing in various helplines such as Talk4Healing, an Indigenous Women's Helpline, which provides 24/7 culturally-relevant crisis support and referral services over the phone.
- 2019 marked the 63rd session of the Commission of the Status of Women.
- Canada was elected to be a member of the Commission in 2016 and is serving in this capacity from 2017 to 2021.
- Ontario’s Government for the People is currently investing over $176M in funding for the prevention of violence against women and supporting victims.