Every three years, Women Deliver hosts the world’s largest conference to discuss and advocate for the health, rights and well-being of women and girls. This June, over 8,000 world leaders, advocates, academics, and journalists from around the globe descended upon Vancouver, BC to focus its collective energy and expertise around the theme “Power, Progress, Change.”
It was at this event that our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced Canada’s historic investment to promote the health and rights of women and girls around the world.
As a bit of background, in March 2017, Canada committed $650 million over three years to address gaps in sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world. Faze was lucky enough to attend the conference this year to witness the big announcement: that the Government of Canada will increase its funding to $1.4 billion annually, starting in 2023. This is a ten-year commitment with $700 million of the annual investment dedicated to sexual and reproductive health rights.
Prime Minister Trudeau said, ““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.” He went on to say, “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.”
This funding will help to ensure that communities of women and girls around the world have access to the quality health services they need, including safe and legal abortion, as well as supporting a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her body. It will also help provide much-needed comprehensive sexual education, and support maternal and neonatal care.
Did you know:
- Every two minutes, a woman dies from complications from pregnancy or in childbirth. Most of these deaths are preventable.
- In developing countries, 214 million women have an unmet need for modern contraception.
- Each year, 25 million unsafe abortions take place due to stigma and restrictions to access of safe medical treatment.
Katja Iverson, the President/CEO of Women Deliver said, “This is an 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. I applaud Prime Minister Trudeau and Canada for this bold step and the commitment to a more gender equal world.”
The Government of Canada also announced at the conference that it will work with the Equality Fund, which is a consortium of Canadian and international organizations with expertise in international development, investment, and philanthropy that support women’s organizations and movements. This innovative, ‘first of its kind’ partnership will contribute to bridging the funding gap faced by women’s organizations and movements working to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in developing countries. The Equality Fund consortium has already raised 100 million from Canadian and international philanthropic foundations and has the ambition to leverage more than 1 billion in assets working for gender equality. Canada has committed up to $300 million to the fund.