GENDER EQUALITY: More than Ever at the Core of CCISD's Activities

Gender equality has been an integral part of CCISD’s projects for over 30 years and continues to be a central element of the organization’s practices. Thanks to dedicated partners, CCISD succeeds in implementing an equality strategy into all its projects, therefore supporting the empowerment of women and girls. Convinced of the positive effects of equality on the health of populations, the organization continues to strengthen its efforts so that they may all benefit from a more equitable access to care suited for their needs, as well as greater autonomy in every aspect of their life, especially with regards to their health.

At the beginning of 2018, CCISD hired a Gender Equality and Human Rights Advisor, an excellent addition to the team that will help strengthen the organization’s interventions in many areas. CCISD is also involved in various working groups, both at the national level and in Quebec, in order to support and promote gender equality.

As an active member, CCISD has contributed, earlier this year, to the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children Health’s (CanWaCH) efforts to develop indicators that will be used to aggregate Global Affairs Canada’s (GAC) sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) outcomes. Every project developed by CCISD this year, including ones launched in Benin and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will contribute to collecting a large amount of international SRHR data that may be used by GAC. 

In addition, CCISD sits on the organizing committee for the Canadian Conference on Global Health, which will examine the theme of ‘’Fragile Environments and Global Health’’. In this context, CCISD stresses the importance of putting gender equality issues at the forefront of the conference since it is a great opportunity to influence researchers, practitioners and decision-makers from the health and the international cooperation sectors.

CCISD has also supported the discussions surrounding the preparation of the civil society workshop held prior to the Women Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Montreal on September 21st. Through this contribution, the CCISD team wanted to put women’s health on the agenda of the United Nations’ political discussions. CCISD will also make a short presentation on SRHR at the Comité Québécois Femme et développement’s annual meeting in October 2018, in order to stimulate reflection on Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance policy (FIAP) and on sexual and reproductive rights of women and adolescent girls.

Canada’s FIAP promotes a human rights-based approach, which allows CCISD to support gender equality through the right to health, the right to human dignity and respect for privacy, the right to self-determination, the right to non-discrimination, the right to information and the right to live in a healthy environment. Among other things, CCISD supports the training of healthcare workers on human rights protection, and contributes to increasing population’s access to health services that promote human dignity, privacy and gender equality. 

Through this all, CCISD promotes gender equality as a key issue for prosperity, as well as peace and worldwide security.