Government of Canada

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development, Canada

“I am honored to become a new SheDecides Champion.

Guided by Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, I am firmly committed to advancing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). As Canada’s Minister of International Development and as a SheDecides Champion, I commit to promote an intersectional approach to advancing gender equality in order to be inclusive and reflective of the diversity of women’s and girls’ lived experiences throughout their life cycle.

I welcome the opportunity to connect and work with all stakeholders, including youth, to close gaps in SRHR for women and girls worldwide, helping to give a voice to the poorest and most vulnerable. I see an opportunity to both share and disrupt power, advocating for and with those who do not have the space to speak up, including youth, Indigenous and LGBTQ2I+ people.

As a Champion, I will work to advance rights-based and comprehensive SRHR priorities, including in gap areas such as safe abortion and post abortion care, comprehensive sexuality education, SRHR advocacy, family planning and sexual and gender-based violence. In my professional and personal capacity, I will raise the profile of the SheDecides movement and promote its vision and objectives. And most importantly, I will use this opportunity to listen and to learn from a diverse group of leaders and activists who are connecting, shifting power and subverting norms, standing up and acting so that “only SheDecides about her body, life and future”.

She Decides Canada Ahmed Hussen

Anita Vandenbeld

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development

Ms. Vandenbeld is an international expert on democracy and human rights. She has worked in over 20 countries on inclusive governance and women’s leadership, including with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Democratic Governance Group in New York. There, she managed a multi-partner international network that aimed to promote women's political participation.

Ms. Vandenbeld was also a senior advisor with the UNDP in Bangladesh, and with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Mission in Kosovo. In 2008, she was awarded the Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal in recognition of her work in Kosovo. In addition, Ms. Vandenbeld served as resident director for the National Democratic Institute in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, worked with OSCE in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and worked with the Canadian Parliamentary Centre on post-conflict democratic development in the Balkans. She also conducted a study on women’s leadership for UNDP in Vietnam and trainings on women’s leadership in Haiti.

Born and raised in Alberta, Ms. Vandenbeld obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Calgary before completing a Master of Arts in History at York University.