Canada supports women in parliaments in the Middle East and North Africa

Canada supports efforts to see more women in leadership roles in the Middle East and North Africa. It is well known that having more women in decision-making roles improves the quality of life.

Women in Parliaments Global Summit in Jordan

Group of Participants at the Women in Parliaments Summit in Jordan

Arab women make up approximately 49 percent of the population in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region; however, they remain an untapped resource. Despite their high levels of education, these women hold only seven percent of parliamentary seats across the Arab world as a whole, and their participation in the workforce is about half that of the global average.

Evidence shows that women’s involvement in decision-making and leadership roles helps improve all aspects of social, economic and political life. Yet in many countries, equal access to leadership roles, especially political roles, can be more difficult for women to achieve.

Canada recognizes the effects of inequality and is committed to helping women and girls achieve equal access and opportunities, knowing that an inclusive approach fosters democratic societies and generates economic prosperity.

At recent Women in Parliaments Global Summit held in Amman, Jordan on May 4-6, 2016, Canada was proud to be represented by Parliamentary Secretary Pam Goldsmith-Jones and to stand with women from all over the world to celebrate and commit to promoting women’s rights.

This summit was the first of its kind held in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Established to advance society by building a network among women in parliaments, the Women in Parliaments (WIP) Global Forum reaches out to all female parliamentarians at the national level. The WIP Global Summit in Jordan presented a unique opportunity for participants to discuss the most pressing issues on the global agenda and engage in dialogue about the role and importance of female decision-makers in today’s world.

As part of Canada’s participation at the summit, a new project entitled Empowering Women for Leadership Roles in the MENA region was announced.

In partnership with the Forum of Federations, this project will assist more than 5,400 women in Jordan, Tunisia and Morocco to enhance their leadership skills and public speaking and management abilities, which will empower them to take more active roles in business and political life.

Canada’s representative to the summit, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pam Goldsmith-Jones, spoke about the importance of women in leadership positions and how women in these roles help develop representative democracies that serve men and women.

Parliamentary Secretary Goldsmith-Jones emphasized how women’s participation in political spheres helps shape more balanced policies and provides strong role models for future generations.

Canada is committed to helping build more inclusive societies in the MENA region that includes women as equal decision-makers.

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