1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites
Group picture of women ministers meeting in Montreal, Canada
Image: Getty Images/AFP/M. Ouellet-Diotte
Politics

Canada holds women-only foreign ministers forum

Timothy Jones
September 22, 2018

Top female diplomats from around the world have gathered in Montreal for a first-of-its-kind meeting. Foreign ministers from almost 20 countries will discuss topics including security and gender-based violence.

https://p.dw.com/p/35KYv

Women foreign ministers from around the world have kicked off a two-day conference in Montreal, Canada, that is aimed at highlighting women's key role in politics and decision-making processes.

The meeting is being co-chaired by Canada's top diplomat, Chrystia Freeland, and the foreign affairs representative of the EU, Federica Mogherini, who at the opening both expressed hope that the meeting would set a precedent for growing cooperation between women ministers.

Women are "key to finding solutions to the political, economic and social challenges facing our societies," Freeland said in her opening remarks on Friday, as reported by the Agence France-Presse news agency.

"When we are all involved in the decision-making process, our societies become stronger, our economies and our middle class become more prosperous and our countries safer," she added.

The agenda is scheduled to cover topics including international security and peace, promoting and strengthening democracy and the elimination of gender-based violence.

Read more: Human development progress overshadowed by inequality

How far have women come in Germany?

Benefiting all of society

Mogherini also stressed the all-around benefits to societies when women have full access to decision-making positions in all spheres.

"It is not just an issue of equal rights ... it is working to avoid a clear waste of human capital this world cannot afford any more," she said.

Read more: To combat climate change, increase women's participation

The conference, which ends on Saturday afternoon, is also being attended by female top diplomats from Andorra, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Kenya, Namibia, Norway, Panama, South Africa, Rwanda, Saint Lucia and Sweden.

Altogether some 30 women hold positions as ministers for foreign affairs around the world.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made gender equality a high priority on his government's agenda, and Canada's Cabinet has an equal number of women and men for the first time in the country's history.

Read moreGender gap report: Equal pay now 217 years away 

Series: "Don’t call me bossy" – Toys

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

Skip next section Explore more
Skip next section Related topics

Related topics

Skip next section DW's Top Story

DW's Top Story

The first Chinese "spy balloon"

US says another Chinese balloon spotted near Latin America

Skip next section More stories from DW
Go to homepage