October 05, 2011 17:06 ET

Minister Oda Concludes Successful CIDA-UN Women Conference on Women's Economic Empowerment

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 5, 2011) - Today, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, wrapped up a successful Conference on Women's Economic Empowerment co-hosted with UN Under-Secretary-General Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women. The conference brought together entrepreneurs, policymakers, researchers, and industry and business leaders to identify concrete ways to support economic opportunity and security for women.

"Canada believes in enabling women in developing countries to be full participants in their country's economic growth," said Minister Oda. "Over the past two days, a diverse group of women and men have identified tangible actions to get women equitable access to credit, implement fair labour laws and social protection systems, and enable business environments that meet the needs of women entrepreneurs. These actions will enable women to make a significant contribution to a country's economic growth."

At the conference, Minister Oda and Ms. Bachelet announced that CIDA and UN Women will collaborate on developing a Web portal on women's economic empowerment. The Knowledge Gateway on Women's Economic Empowerment will connect women entrepreneurs, practitioners and policy thinkers from around the world through an online one-stop service providing the latest, most up-to-date information, technical resources and best practices on business and economic opportunities.

"The Gateway will offer concrete information for women seeking opportunities to further their entrepreneurship, employment or policy making," said Minister Oda. "The Gateway will help set women on the road to opportunity and prosperity."

"Women's equal participation in decision making helps provide equal access to and control over the resources and benefits of development and improves economic prosperity," said Minister Oda. "This information hub will benefit women entrepreneurs and create more and better jobs for women."


The Government of Canada identified sustainable economic growth as a priority area of focus for Canada's international assistance to achieve concrete results that will make a significant difference in reducing global poverty. Women's critical roles in food production, income generation, natural resource management, community organization, and domestic life are essential for sustainable development. Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), places a particular emphasis on women's economic empowerment as an important ingredient in producing sustained economic growth in developing countries more broadly.

At the CIDA–UN Women Conference on Women's Economic Empowerment, CIDA committed to work with UN Women to develop a visible, easily accessible Web portal that will cover key thematic issues related to women's economic empowerment. This Knowledge Gateway on Women's Economic Empowerment will:

  • Provide an online one-stop source of information that will connect key actors in the field, particularly women entrepreneurs, as well as practitioners and policy thinkers from around the world;
  • Connect women who are entrepreneurs and policy makers across the developing and developed worlds ;
  • Offer support and information for women seeking to improve their lives and their communities, whether through entrepreneurship, employment or other economic activities;
  • Increase collaboration, facilitate innovation and encourage knowledge creation and information sharing by providing a mechanism for on-going learning and exchange among users on issues that are critical to advancing women's economic empowerment;
  • And provide a virtual library of the latest publications and resources on women's economic empowerment.

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