Toronto, ON, March 1st, 2019 – Women’s rights organization Crossroads International congratulates the Hon. Maryam Monsef on her appointment today as Minister of International Development. Her inspiring personal story and her government service as Minister for Women and Gender Equality fits perfectly with building Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and supporting Canadians who volunteer overseas to further human rights and alleviate poverty.
“We are looking forward to collaborating with Minister Monsef in service of women’s rights in the South,” said Patricia Erb, Interim Executive Director of Crossroads International. “The Minister has a track record of speaking up for vulnerable communities and this is a moment in history when we need more voices speaking up for justice and gender equality in particular, and then following through with concrete action to create real change.”
The organization also wishes to acknowledge and thank Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau for her service as International Development Minister. Her contribution to advancing women’s rights in the South is a fine legacy. “It was a pleasure to have worked with the Minister and her staff on this file.” said Ms. Erb.
As a Canadian-based international volunteer cooperation with more than 60 years of experience in the South, we are acutely aware of the type of strategies that can seed change in cultural, legal, and political contexts that are very different from our own. In many countries where Crossroads works, societal attitudes towards women and an absence of legal protections threaten the safety and well-being of women and girls. Consider, Burkina Faso has a 52% child marriage rate; one in three women experience sexual abuse in Ghana; and in Tanzania, its President recently declared women who use birth control “lazy” and threated to ban girls who become pregnant from attending school.
Canadian volunteers are working with our partners in some of the poorest countries in the world to advance rights, reduce poverty, and increase access to justice for thousands of girls and women. These Canadian volunteers have donned the mantle of global citizenship and they are changing lives.
“Canada has become a world leader in the advancement of women’s rights. But there is still so much to do,” said Ms. Erb. “We will be reaching out to Minister Monsef very soon to begin this important work together.”
About Crossroads International
Crossroads International is a leader in international cooperation and has been fighting inequality for 60 years. Crossroads works in some of the world’s poorest nations in Southern Africa, West Africa, and South America, with local partner organizations to create decent jobs and to empower women to become leaders and live free from violence. Every year, we engage experienced volunteers and staff North and South who apply their expertise locally to address global issues. Together we are leveraging knowledge, expertise, and dollars to create a more just and equitable world.
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