WACC welcomes Canadian action plan on gender equality as opportunity to advance communication for all
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Handwritten sign that reads "women's rights are human rights"

WACC welcomes Canadian action plan on gender equality as opportunity to advance communication for all

WACC welcomes the strong commitment to gender equality signalled by the Canadian government with its release of Foundations for Peace: Canada’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security – 2023 to 2029.

With its emphasis on the need for women’s inclusion and meaningful involvement in building peaceful societies, the 6-year strategy aligns with WACC’s core conviction that there can be no peace and security without communication for all.

The Government of Canada recognises the fundamental human right of gender equality as a cornerstone of peace and prosperity and an essential part of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, said WACC General Secretary Philip Lee.

“This right is anchored in women’s right to communication.”

Gender justice has long been a cornerstone of WACC’s mission to promote communication rights, he noted, with WACC’s Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) leading worldwide efforts to advance gender equality in and through the media since 1995.

As the Canadian government highlights with Foundations for Peace, the current geopolitical context — with violence, climate change, displacement, and other challenges disproportionately impacting women and girls — demands greater inclusion of their voices, Lee said.

“WACC advocates the full and equal participation of women in public communication so that their multiple and complex interests, experiences and realities become part of the public agenda.”

This work has been increasingly focused on ensuring women’s communication rights in the digital space, rights that the Canadian government rightly states are threatened by rising gendered aggression and hate online, the general secretary observed.

“WACC prioritizes engaging a range of rights-based, ecumenical, and developmental partners in a broad coalition to end gendered cyberviolence,” Lee said.

He reported that WACC’s tried-and-true GMMP media monitoring methodology has been adapted for social media while the launch of a joint Gender and Media initiative with the World Council of Churches aims to transform all forms of media to advance women’s full and equal access, representation, and dignity for all.

“WACC welcomes the Government of Canada’s commitment to leading multilateral action that supports women as full participants in society and as agents for peace, security, and a fairer and more prosperous world,” Lee said.

“We urge other governments to follow suit and civil society organisations to find opportunities to collaborate to advance gender equality and empower all women and girls.”

Image: Alexander Shelegov via Canva.com

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