The projects were announced today by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney and Minister of State (Status of Women) Helena Guergis. They are being coordinated by the Canadian Council of Muslim Women.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada will provide $441,000 for a project called “MY CANADA.” It gives Muslim youth across Canada the opportunity to participate in activities such as multi-faith sessions for Muslim and non-Muslim youth in schools and community centres to teach peace building and inter-cultural dialogue and conflict resolution skills. It also encourages integration and active participation in Canadian society.
“This project demonstrates the importance of promoting common understanding and mutual respect – the basic building blocks to achieve peace and stability here in Canada and elsewhere in the world,” said Minister Kenney. “It will also allow the Muslim community to share its experience with discrimination with other religious communities.”
Status of Women Canada will provide $314,000 for a project called “Being a Canadian Muslim Woman in the 21st Century.” It will focus on equipping young Muslim women to lead and participate in a number of workshops with their educators and non-Muslim and male peers to discuss discrimination, violence and human rights.
“This Government is committed to ensuring women have the opportunity to participate in Canada’s social, economic and democratic life,” said Minister Guergis. “Through this project, Muslim girls will learn valuable leadership skills and gain a knowledge of their rights on gender and racial equality, which will leave them better equipped to eliminate potential violence in their lives.”
“We are grateful for the funding, which will assist us to foster Canadian Muslim youth’s active engagement and participation so that they can develop their sense of identity and sense of belonging,” said Alia Hogben, Executive Director of the Canadian Council for Muslim Women. “This will be achieved by their involvement in their local communities with other youth of different religions and cultural backgrounds.”
The Canadian Council for Muslim Women is a national non-profit organization of women committed to the equality, equity and empowerment of Muslim women. It is based in Kingston, Ontario. The Council will be working in partnership with the Afghan Women’s Organization of Toronto and a national youth organization called YOUCAN.