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Canada announced support to improve access to education for women, girls

AT News Report

KABUL: 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, Paris, France – Global Affairs Canada said in a statement.

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.

Canada’s $400-million commitment to women and girls’ education in fragile, conflict and crisis situations, in support of the G7 Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls and Women in Developing Countries, has resulted in the following initiatives:

Building Resources Across Communities (BRAC) – $5 million (2019/20 to 2021/22) to address barriers, increase access to quality education and improve learning outcomes and employability for girls and women in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. The project will reach vulnerable Indigenous and Bengali girls, female adolescents and women through support to 100 primary and 50 secondary schools and for skills training and community mobilization.

BRAC Afghanistan – $12 million (2019/20 to 2020/21) to ensure that Afghan girls, adolescent girls and young women have access to safe, quality education in rural and remote areas of Afghanistan. By funding community-based education programming in the hardest to reach areas, the project will address barriers to girls’ enrollment and retention in schools and engage communities to support girls attending school.

Canadian Red Cross – $7.5 million (2019/20 to 2021/22) to provide menstrual hygiene management support; safe and hygienic water, sanitation and hygiene facilities; and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) awareness and training to 9,000 school-aged girls and young women in 40 schools in West Gogrial state in South Sudan. The project will also provide SGBV awareness and training to boys, male teachers and community members in and around those same schools.

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