Minister Leitch met Nobel Peace Prize winner and attended 2015 Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit; promoted Canadian efforts on women in the economy; and highlighted Canada’s leadership in fighting early, child and forced marriage
January 14, 2015– Delhi, India – Employment and Social Development Canada
Today, the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, concluded a successful working visit to India. In Delhi, the Minister met with her Indian counterparts, the ministers responsible for labour and women’s issues. The Minister and her counterparts discussed issues such as eradicating child labour, efforts to combat violence against women and girls, and how to best encourage more women to join India’s growing economy.
In Ahmedabad, Minister Leitch participated in the 7th annual Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit on January 11 and helped lead the Canada Country Seminar where she promoted Canada’s strong business climate and promoted the country as a place for companies to grow, prosper and create jobs. She also spoke about the importance of corporate social responsibility and how companies and the communities in which they operate can both benefit from responsible business practices. Minister Leitch also met with representatives from grassroots organizations to discuss women’s empowerment and other labour-related issues.
Minister Leitch also met with Ms. Tine Staermose, Director of the International Labour Organization Decent Work Team for South Asia. The Minister and the Director discussed results of a Canadian-funded project focussing on reducing vulnerabilities and promoting decent work, and the overall labour situation in India and in the South Asian region.
A special highlight of the Delhi component was the Minister’s meeting with Mr. Kailash Sathyarti, the co-recipient of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. Minister Leitch and Mr. Sathyarti discussed several issues such as promoting women’s rights and the need to fight harmful and barbaric practices such as early, child and forced marriage. The Minister congratulated him on his Nobel win and thanked him for his work in promoting the advancement of women and basic human rights, both in India and around the world.
- The focus of this year’s Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit is inclusive and sustainable business development. The summit, which is primarily an investor’s forum, includes discussion on topics that touch on the Minister’s mandate for Status of Women and Labour.
- Minister Leitch promoted the role of women in the economy in India and encouraged them to pursue a greater role in the Indian labour market.
- Canada’s delegation to India encouraged more Indian investment in Canada and encouraged Indian business leaders to look at opportunities to expand into Canada and grow their businesses.
- Minister Leitch highlighted the importance of ending child labour and rooting out barbaric cultural practices, such as child and early forced marriage, to ensure that women and girls enjoy greater rights and freedoms.
“Our Government is proud to work with domestic and foreign stakeholders to encourage responsible business practices while promoting Canada abroad as a strong, stable and prosperous place where businesses can grow and thrive. We continue to work with our international partners, like India, to ensure that working conditions are fair and safe, fundamental rights are respected and vulnerable workers are protected. We will also continue to promote the importance of more women participating in the labour market, and the need to protect and defend the rights of women and girls.”
– The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women
Director of Communications
Office of the Hon. Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, P.C., O.Ont., M.P.
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women