In a news release from Global Affairs Canada dated 29 June 2023, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada announced a new grant arrangement with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) stating,
“Canada firmly believes that promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls is the most effective approach to eradicating poverty and building a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world”
This new grant agreement with COL is to implement a project called Empowering Women and Girls in the Commonwealth. The Minister made the announcement in the presence of COL’s Board of Governors, President and CEO and staff in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The $6 million project, between fiscal years 2023 to 2025, will support women and girls from disadvantaged communities in Bangladesh, Malawi, Mozambique, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Specifically, it will use open, distance and technology-enabled learning to provide 75,000 women and girls with education and skills development that will support sustainable livelihoods.
“This innovative project is a concrete example of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy in practice. I am proud that the Commonwealth of Learning, which is based in British Columbia, will be leading this transformational initiative.”
– Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
In thanking Minister Sajjan for this grant, Professor Asha Kanwar, COL’s President and CEO added, “We are grateful to the government of Canada for promoting women’s empowerment not just here but also in countries where girls grow old before their years. We share this priority and by focusing on leading paradigm shifts, COL can become an effective instrument for Canada to reach the last person in the queue.”
Image caption: the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan with Professor Asha Kanwar, (third from left) and COL’s Board of Governors.