Michèle Stanton-Jean, Representative of the Government of Québec to UNESCO.
Seventeen women from Québec in the group
Some forty young women, including seventeen from Québec, representing about ten states were part of the delegation formed by the International Youth Offices of Québec (LOJIQ) – an agency under the Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade - in collaboration with the France-Québec Youth Office (OFQJ).
A white paper on feminine Francophonie
The young women submitted a white paper to the Forum this morning entitled Un genre de Printemps – 40 voix pour une Francophonie au féminin The title plays on the multiple meanings of the French word “genre,” which include “gender,” and can be loosely translated as “a gender-based spring - 40 voices for a feminine Francophonie). The document contains proposals that emerged from onsite meetings and workshops that the women attended in conjunction with the Forum.
“This forum has been helpful in using facts and figures to demonstrate the need for true equality between women and men as a prerequisite for development,” noted Ms. Beaudoin.
During a panel discussion on girls’ education, Ms. Michel denounced forms of violence in Aboriginal communities and emphasized “respect and the right to exist in our differences.”
Universal principle of women’s rights
Some 500 participants from 77 countries attended the first Forum. They called upon heads of state and government to take every measure to ensure that the universal principle of women’s rights, as defined by the Charter of the United Nations, is fully implemented in all aspects of daily life.
Held at the initiative of the French Minister for La Francophonie, Yamina Benguigui, the Forum received support from numerous partners, including the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), UNESCO, UN Women, France, Québec and TV5 Monde.