On October 13, 2018, Ms. Christiane Pelchat was presented with the Women in Action Award by Danielle Lamy, President of CECI, and Claudia Black, Executive Director of CECI, for her significant contribution to the cause of gender equality.
Christiane Pelchat dedicated her life to promoting and upholding women’s rights, in Quebec as well as in various African countries. A public servant, a women’s rights lawyer and a consultant in international development, she was President of Quebec’s Conseil du statut de la femme from 2006 to 2011 and the Quebec Delegate General in Mexico from 2011 to 2014. Ms. Pelchat also volunteered with CECI in Senegal from 1998 to 2000.
“For my very first assignment abroad, I was a volunteer with CECI, this extraordinary organization that has been in existence for 60 years already. I am incredibly moved to receive the Women in Action Award 2018 this evening,” she declared during the ceremony in her honour.
Ms. Pelchat is currently a member of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), an American organization whose mission is to promote democratic governance across the world, where she acts as an expert adviser on issues of democracy, women’s rights and good governance, for countries such as Guinea, Burkina Faso, Benin, Mali and Haiti.
A fellow at the Montreal Institute of International Studies (IEIM), she is currently working on projects of good governance and democracy in Haiti, including in her role as chair of the Serge Marcil Foundation. The work of the Foundation, named after her husband who lost his life in Haiti’s earthquake of 2010, has allowed for the reconstruction and management of an orphanage that was destroyed that same year. She also played a role with the UMQ in 2017 as a technical adviser for the implementation of the Municipal Cooperation Program (PCM) between Haiti and Canada. This year, eager to get back in the field and wishing to continue her work helping society’s most marginalized people, who often happen to be women, she joined the NOVAlex legal clinic, offering services to low income individuals, nonprofit organizations and start-ups that are admissible for pro bono work.
The panel of judges for the CECI Awards was impressed with Ms. Pelchat’s unique trajectory and her career dedicated to gender equality, which all started abroad on a volunteer assignment with CECI. Through this award, they wish to recognize her invaluable engagement to the realization of social justice and women’s rights.