“Everyone benefits from a more gender equal world, but little progress on gender equality can be made without a strong focus on the health and wellbeing of women and girls, especially their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Organizations like Women Deliver understand this, which is why I’m so proud to announce that Canada will host their next conference in 2019.”
These are the words of the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, on June 13th as he announced that his country will host the next Women Deliver Conference. The conference is scheduled to run from June 3-6, 2019 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Canada has already pledged $20 m to donate from 2017 to 2020 to assist Women Deliver in their courageous global mission.
Canada’s support promises to focus on comprehensive sex education, investing in family planning services, and strengthening reproductive health services. They will implement programs that provide work to prevent and respond to sexual and gender based violence, including child marriage and female genital mutilation.
The conference is held every three years, and brings together world leaders, activists, government officials, parliamentarians, NGO representatives, and business people to discuss gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, and human rights. The donations will help them support the health, wellbeing, and civil rights of women and girls.
The last conference was held in Denmark and boasted 6,000 participants. It was the largest gathering on women’s health, rights, and wellbeing in the last decade. Three years ago, their discussion centered around how to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the most efficient way to benefit women and girls.
Canada has also begun a new Feminist International Assistance Policy, launched on June 9, 2017. Because of this, Canada announced the new Women’s Voice and Leadership Program, which will give $150 m over a five year period to local women’s organizations in developing countries.
The importance of this cannot be overstated, as the prime minister has declared this a global issue, and promises to help women not just in Canada, but everywhere. This contribution will mark Canada as a leading donor to women’s rights organizations in developing nations.
This is not the first time the prime minister has spoken out for female empowerment. On International Women’s Day, he marked the occasion by pledging $650 m to use in the following three years towards global sexual and reproductive health initiatives.
In his speech that day, Trudeau gave his country some much needed motivation for everyone to contribute to this cause.
“Today, I remind Canadians that we all have a role to play in the fight for gender equality, and that we all benefit from a more gender equal world. Women and men, girls and boys, we must all step up and speak out, because half of the population cannot solve a problem that affects us all.”
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