At the G7 summit, the Trudeau government announced that it raised over $3.8 billion with the help of other countries to help the world’s poorest girls go to school. Canada invested $400-million as a part of a 3-year commitment, and G7 partners with the World Bank contributed as well.
In a news conference on 9 June, Marie-Claude Bibeau, the International Development Minister stated that she visited refugees all over the world and saw how many women and girls suffer and live in a harsh environment:
“These mothers all share the same dream — they see their kids in school, for them to have hope in their future,” stated Bibeau.
A coalition of 30 non-governmental organizations asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to raise (as the chairman of the G7 this year) US$1.3 billion in three years, so the fact that they raised over $3.8 billion is great news.
Education Is Important, But So Is Sexually Reproductive Health
The coalition includes groups like World Vision and Save the Children, who publicly praised the Canadian for their efforts on Saturday. Some of the organizations hoped that Canada would also contribute towards sexually reproductive health, which is an area the US is reluctant to fund.
Caroline Riseboro is the president of Plan International Canada, explaining what would investment in sexually reproductive health mean:
“This would include comprehensive sexuality education, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the need to address the most difficult barriers for girls who are already pregnant, married, or at risk of early and forced marriage.”
Oxfam Canada’s policy manager, Diana Sarosi added that by addressing the sexually reproductive needs of girls and women will help them stay in school.
She stated that girls and women that “don’t have access to contraceptives and appropriate hygiene products and facilities, cannot afford school fees, are forced into marriage at an early age… they will not be able to attend school or take advantage of their education.”
The Future of Earth’s Children
The president of UNICEF Canada, David Morley responded that girls in crisis should be educated, and it would be a “smart choice for the future of millions of children,” but it only is a piece of the puzzle that is international development:
“UNICEF believes that the right to education is as fundamental as the right to food or shelter, and provides girls with the skills they need to break the cycle of crisis and poverty.”
Among Trudeau’s themes for Canada’s G7 chairmanship was the issue of gender equality and empowering women and girls.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.