International Assistance: Now Time to Act on Feminist Commitments

The release of the Government of Canada’s long-awaited international assistance policy marks an important shift in how this country will focus its development and humanitarian efforts.

CARE Canada applauds the Canadian government’s commitment to gender equality and women’s rights, but cautions such pledges must now be met with action to make a real difference for women and girls worldwide.


“Defeating global poverty means defeating gender inequality and social injustice. That’s why we’re encouraged Canada is focused on ensuring women’s voices are heard loud and clear in its international assistance.

Improving gender equality and women’s rights takes much more than bold words and good intentions. It will require hard work to push this agenda through.

Success will also hinge on institutional changes so we can better evaluate whether we are making a real difference in the lives of the world’s most vulnerable women and girls. It must also be properly funded so we can support feminist commitments.”

Jacquelyn Wright, vice president of International Programs, CARE Canada

“In CARE’s submission to these consultations, we called for gender equality to not only be a target of programming efforts, but integrated across the board. We are pleased to see the government take this approach in their new strategy and optimistic about the potential it brings.

Gender equality cannot be achieved overnight. CARE’s evidence shows that it takes between five to ten years to see deep change in complicated areas such as gender-based violence or men’s engagement. For these efforts to be sustainable they must be coupled with flexibility to allow women, adolescent girls and others at the grassroots level to learn and teach us what works best.”

Margaret Capelazo, gender advisor for CARE Canada

“My experience in Zambia shows that women hold the key to transforming their communities.

Yet, despite remarkable progress in development in recent years, women still have lower literacy, workforce participation, and access to vital services, resources and the protection of their human rights.

This represents a vast potential that can help catapult our country forward. When women are treated not as victims, but as powerful agents of change, they can change the world.”

Christine Munalula, program manager – gender, CARE Zambia


CARE has spokespeople available to comment on the International Assistance Policy. This includes our vice president, gender advisor and CARE Canada’s government relations advisor currently in Zambia.

To arrange an interview, contact:

Darcy Knoll
Communications Specialist | CARE Canada | 613.228.5641