UN Women Canada AwardEach year, the UN Women Canada Award (previously UNIFEM Canada Award) is given to honour an individual who has contributed significantly to one or more of the following goals, through their career, volunteer activities or other endeavours including:
Current Recipients (2011):
Tribute : Belinda Stronach, CEO , The Belinda Stronach Foundation
Belinda Stronach is a community, business and public leader who cares deeply about Canada and the broader issues of quality of life both at home and abroad. She is the former Vice-Chairman of Magna International, a company she had led as CEO earlier in the decade. In 2006, Belinda co-founded Spread the Net, a national grassroots fundraising campaign together with Canadian television personality Rick Mercer focusing on eradicating malaria in the developing world. She is also the Director of the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. and a Director of Millennium Promise Canada and in present times after years of being active in a variety of philanthropic efforts, she founded The Belinda Stronach Foundation, which aims to advance human potential and achievement through individual empowerment and social change and particularly focuses on girls empowerment.
Moving from business success and community involvement, Belinda entered public life and served as Member of Parliament for Newmarket-Aurora (Ontario) until October 2008. While in office, she served in three portfolios, namely; Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Minister responsible for Democratic Renewal, and Minister responsible for Service Canada.
In 2011, Belinda Stronach's extensive work to alleviate poverty and realize the potential of girls and women through her work as Chair of the Belinda Stronach Foundation, Spread the Net Campaign and advancement of Women in Politics was recognized through the UN Women Canada Award Tribute .
Recognition of Special Contribution: Joy Smith, MP , St Paul - Kildonan
MP Joy Smith is the Member of Parliament for St. Paul – Kildonan. Since being elected, Mrs. Smith has led the discussion on human trafficking at a national level which has resulted important changes in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. One of her major achievements was the unanimous passing by the House of Commons in 2007 of her Private Members Motion M-153. Mrs. Smith has also been acknowledged for securing federal funding to fight the trafficking of aboriginal women and children from First Nations communities from across Canada. In September 2010, Mrs. Smith released a proposal for a National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking called Connecting the Dots. This proposal has been strongly endorsed by law enforcement, agencies and victims groups across Canada and adopted by the Conservative election platform in the recent election. In 2011, UN Women National Committee Canada recognized Ms. Smith's extensive work with bettering the lives of women in Canada and the world through the Recognition of Special Contribution Award.
Recipient for 2009: Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean C.C, C.M.M , C.O.M , C.D (The Governor General of Canada)
In a ceremony at Rideau Hall on June 2nd 2010, the Governor General of Canada,Honorable Michaëlle Jean will receive UNIFEM's most prestigious award for promoting gender equality. Her Excellency is viewed by the Board of Directors and the President of UNIFEM Canada as the ideal candidate because of her extensive involvement in advancing the issue of gender equality in various capacities around the world. According to the award citation by The President of UNIFEM Canada, Almas Jiwani stated that: "Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean has reached the pinnacle of humanitarian achievement equivalent to few. She stands ready to champion women, girls and their families, not just in Canada but in countries throughout the globe. Yet she remains ever so humble of her accomplishments. This humility, strength, and leadership are three pillars of her commitment to empowering women.”
Click Here to read more about Honorable Michaelle Jean's Award citation press-release for this award.
Recipient for 2008 -- LOUISE FRECHÉTTE
Former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Ms. Louis Frechétte received UNIFEM's most recent award. She was provided this honor for her extensive involvement in advancing the issue of gender-equality in the various umbrella organizations of the United Nations.
Recipient for 2007-- NURJEHAN MAWANI
At a November 27, 2007 banquet attended by more than 200 representatives of Ottawa's legal community, government officials, NGOs and private industry members, Nurjehan Mawani was presented with the 2007 UNIFEM Canada Award, at a banquet on November 27, 2007. In her distinguished career as a civil servant, Ms. Mawani held a number of senior posts, including Chair of the Immigration and Refugee Board where she issued ground breaking guidelines for the treatment of refugee claimants fearing gender related persecution. For the past two years, Ms. Mawani has worked in the Kyrgyz Republic in Central Asia , as a representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
Her speech was entitled Transforming Women's Lives and Fragile Societies – Empowerment Through Education.
Recipient for 2006-- CAROLYN MCASKIE
Carolyn McAskie's distinguished career of public service culminated in her appointment as United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support in 2006, a post closely aligned with the Peacebuilding Commission which will aim to help post-conflict countries avoid sliding back into war. She had served as the senior UN envoy to Burundi and head of the UN peacekeeping operation there, and had ensured that women had a place at the table in peace negotiations. Prior to joining the UN, Ms. McAskie had a 30-year career with the Federal Government of Canada in the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
Recipient for 2005-- SALLY ARMSTRONG
Amnesty International award winner, journalist, documentary filmmaker, author and human rights activist Sally Armstrong, is currently a contributing editor at Maclean's magazine Canadian Journalism Foundation. She is author of Veiled Threat: The Hidden Power of the Women of Afghanistan and The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor: First Woman Settler on the Miramichi. Her most recent book Bitter Roots, Tender Shoots, The Uncertain Fate of Afghanistan's Women will be published in 2008. Sally's documentary work includes They Fell From the Sky and The Daughters of Afghanistan.
Recipient for 2004-- MARGOT FRANSSEN, O.C.
In her role as President of Body Shop Canada, Margot Franssen is a leader in using business as a platform for positive social change. The first store opened in 1980 and helped Canada to grow into one of the top markets for The Body Shop International. Her record of social activism continues to be impress, working for corporate social responsibility and the promotion of human rights and animal protection. She has raised public awareness of violence against women, self esteen and body image issues.
Recipient for 2003-- DR. MICHAEL KAUFMAN
Dr. Kaufman is a speaker, writer, and consultant on gender issues. He delivers both keynote talks and interactive workshops for international organizations, including UNIFEM, governments, and non-governmental organizations; for corporations and professional firms; trade unions and professional associations; universities and high schools. He provides individual gender sensitivity coaching and he is a consultant and writer on a wide range of gender issues. Dr. Kaufman was a founder of the White Ribbon Campaign, through which men may show their solidarity with women and concern for issues of gender equality and abuse of women, by wearing a white ribbon, especially on March 8, International Women's Day. The campaign, a Canadian creation, has spread to many countries throughout the world, largely due to Dr. Kaufman's efforts.
Recipient for 2002-- HON. FLORA MACDONALD, C.M.
Flora MacDonald, with Dr. Norma Walmsley, was a Founding Honorary Chair of the Canadian Committee for the United Nations Development Fund for Women, in 1995. A former Secretary of State for External Affairs, she has been tireless in her international humanitarian work and is the recipient of numerous Canadian and international awards. She continues to support and defend women's development in Afghanistan and other Asian countries through frequent personal visits and her video reporting.
Recipient for 2001--MURIEL SMITH O.C.
Muriel Smith was elected to the Manitoba legislature for the first time in the 1981 election and served in the Government of Howard Pawley as Minister of Economic Development, and as the first woman in Canada to serve as a Deputy Premier of Manitoba. Her other positions include; Minister of Community Services, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women and Minister of Labour and Housing. She later became Vice President of the United Nations Association in Canada, and has remained active in her work for affirmative action and the social and economic advancement of women. She has contributed annually to the work of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women as a Canadian NGO delegate. In 2007, she received the Governor General's Award in Consideration of the Person's Case.
Recipient for 2000--PAMELA WALLIN QC
Pamela Wallin, a former broadcaster and Canadian diplomat, is currently the Senior Advisor on Canada-US relations to the President of the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas in New York. In Canada, she serves on several corporate boards, including CTVglobemedia. She is the Chancellor of the University of Guelph and a co-Chair of the National Strategy Council for the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and a Board member of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. She was appointed to the Independent Panel on Canada's Future Role in Afghanistan 2007 and remains very active in promoting the interests of women in Canada and abroad.