By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Tuesday announced that the Government of Canada will raise its funding to reach $1.4 billion annually, starting in 2023, to support women and girls’ health around the world.
A ten-year commitment, this historic investment will support sexual and reproductive health rights and maternal, newborn, and child health – with $700 million of the annual investment dedicated to sexual and reproductive health rights, as of 2023.
The Prime Minister who made the announcement at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference, which Canada is hosting this week in Vancouver, noted that advancing gender equality is key to strengthening the middle class, growing the economy, and building a better world.
He further said that Canada is a champion for gender equality at home and abroad, adding that investing in women and girls’ health, and protecting their sexual and reproductive health rights, is a critical part of that.
He stated also, that this investment will advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, promote sexual and reproductive health rights, and build on Canada’s leadership on global gender equality.
The funding will help make sure women and girls around the world have access to the quality health services they need, including safe and legal abortion, and support women’s right to make their own decisions about their bodies. From providing comprehensive sexual education, to supporting maternal and neonatal care, the investment will advance the rights and health of women and girls around the world.
Women Deliver is the world’s largest gathering on the health, rights, and well-being of women and girls. As this year’s host, Canada is continuing to take action on gender equality, and bringing together advocates from around the world.
At the conference, the Prime Minister took part in the opening plenary and a panel discussion. The Prime Minister honoured the work and leadership of gender equality activists and advocates. He stressed the importance of governments stepping up to support feminist advocates on the frontlines, both in Canada and around the world.
During the conference, the Prime Minister met with the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, and the President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde. He also met with local feminist advocates and organizations.
According to Prime Minister Trudeau, “Advocates like those at Women Deliver are leaders in the fight for gender equality and women’s rights – and as a government, we have to stand with you as a partner and an ally. Today, our government is committing $1.4 billion annually to support women and girls’ health around the world.
“All women, no matter where they live, should have access to the safe, quality health care they need. By investing in sexual and reproductive health rights, and maternal, newborn, and child health, we can build a more just, equal, and prosperous world.”
For her part, the President/CEO of Women Deliver,Katja Iversen, noted that, “This is a historic investment in girls and women, which will pay dividends for years to come. Not only will this investment save and better lives, but it will create a ripple effect that will lift up individuals, communities, countries, and whole economies”.
She applauded Prime Minister Trudeau and Canada for this bold step and the commitment to a more gender equal world.