A day after opening the Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government is raising its funding to $1.4-billion annually to support women and girls’ health in Canada and around the world.
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The annual funding will begin in 2023 and is being called a “historic investment” that will support sexual and reproductive health rights, as well as maternal, newborn, and child health.
“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,” said Trudeau, in a statement.
“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 and rights, and maternal, newborn, and child health, we can build a more just, equal, and prosperous world.”
A set amount of the funding — $700 million annually — will be allocated towards sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The federal government says the funding will ensure “women and girls around the world
have access to the quality health services they need, including abortion, and support
women’s right to make their own decisions about their bodies.”
The Trudeau government has been vocal in speaking out about the importance of protecting the reproductive rights of women in Canada.
Last month, Canada’s Minister of Women and Gender Equality, Maryam Monsef, penned a letter to Conservative MPs who participated in March for Life anti-abortion rallies.
Monsef addressed the letter to 12 Conservative MPs stating that “by attending anti-choice rallies, sponsoring screenings for anti-choice films, or by empowering conservative politicians who ‘pledge to fight to make abortion unthinkable in our lifetime,’ the Conservative Party of Canada is demonstrating their willingness to reopen this debate and roll back women’s rights and autonomy.”
In her letter, Monsef stated that “Canadians — and Canadian women in particular — deserve to know whether or not Conservative Party of Canada would take us backwards by restricting a women’s right to choose.”
Trudeau opened the Women Deliver Conference yesterday and took part in a discussion on the main stage with high-profile attendees, including President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Sahle-Work Zewde, the first female president of Ethiopia.
The Women Deliver Conference takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre through to June 6 and brings together a roster of global leaders and advocates for gender equality and women’s rights including, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Melinda Gates, and Tarana Burke.