Trudeau kicks off worlds largest womens rights conference in Vancouver – Daily Hive

Trudeau kicks off world\s largest women\s rights conference in Vancouver - Daily Hive
Hatred of women creeping into public debate, Trudeau tells equality conference
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Vancouver Monday afternoon to help kick off the official opening of the Women Deliver 2019 global conference, a four-day summit described as "the world's largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women."

Trudeau was introduced by Katja Iversen, president of Women Deliver, as a "fellow feminist."

"Progress can backslide. We're seeing it happen. Gender equality is under attack. I can only imagine how hard it is to be a feminist on the front-lines," Trudeau said.

Trudeau didn’t mention abortion in his comments, but his remark about a woman’s right to choose what she wants to do with her body recalls an issue that is gaining new attention in both Canada and the U.S.

Trudeau, who describes himself as a feminist, formed Canada's 1st gender balanced cabinet in 2015. He's recently had to defend those credentials after ejecting Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from the Liberal caucus amid turmoil over the government's handling of the SNC-Lavalin case.

Speaking in French for part of his remarks, Trudeau told an audience at the Women Deliver 2019 conference in Vancouver on Monday that there’s more work to do to advance the rights and equality of women.

Theres a free outdoor celebration of gender equality in Vancouver this week

As he addressed the crowd on Monday, Trudeau talked about the role of social media in spreading "abhorrent" views and pushing them into the public arena.

"Individuals and interest groups are trying to roll back women's rights, and politicians are giving into the pressure, shamefully campaigning to undo women's hard won victories," he said.

Trudeau spoke about the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls inquiry's report, which was delivered to the federal government today, citing the key finding that the treatment of Indigenous people amounted to "genocide."

The Women Deliver Conference is taking place in Vancouver this week and brings together 6,000 world leaders, influencers, academics, advocates, and change-makers with the goal to advance progress for girls and women around the world.

"For too long Indigenous women and girls have experienced violence at a rate that is staggering compared to non Indigenous women," Trudeau said, to some cries of "shame" and "so do something about it" from the audience.

The conference is expected to draw 7,000 delegates from 160 countries to the Vancouver Convention Centre West.

There will be a selection of local food trucks on site — including Chickpea, Urban Wood Fire Pizza, Aloha Poke, Reel Mac & Cheese, and Rocky Point Ice Cream.

Twenty-nine year old Sara Eftekhar of Vancouver was part of a small group of young leaders invited to sit down for a series of three-minute meetings with senior ministers from 21 countries to talk about the gender equality challenges they face.

A free outdoor celebration of gender equality and womens rights is taking place in Vancouver this week.

"What struck me the most was how shocked the other ministers were about the issues of gender equality that we face here in Canada […] that there's racism and discrimination in our justice system for women who are marginalized," she said.

There will also be performances from Chantal Kreviazuk, Fionn, Old Soul Rebel, Kimmortal, and Laydy Jams.

"It was interesting to see their reaction, from Fiji or from Afghanistan, that we have similar issues in Canada."

On Sunday, Maryam Monsef — Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality — pledged $30 million for three womens organizations. The matching partnerships were made with Community Foundations of Canada, the Canadian Womens Foundation, and Grand Challenges Canada.

Canada invests $300 million in fund supporting womens equality

Onyinye Edeh, 30, is from Nigeria and travelled from her home in Washington D.C. to attend the conference. On Tuesday she'll be speaking about the importance of sexual education for girls to achieve the sustainable development goals laid out by the United Nations in 2015.

Ahead of International Womens Day, Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced the first investments from the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy — a $2-billion investment that aims to double the number of women-led businesses in Canada by 2025.

"Tomorrow my message would be that we should not make assumptions about what comprehensive sex education is about, but we should really understand that it's supposed to be comprehensive in the sense that it talks about cultural values, assertiveness, negotiation and biology," she said.

Support equality globally – BC News

On Sunday, Canada's gender equity minister, Maryam Monsef, made a pre-conference announcement of $300 million to kickstart a new platform that aims to change the way the federal government finances women's organizations in Canada and abroad.

The Women Deliver Conference takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre through June 6 and brings together a roster of global leaders and advocates for gender equality and womens rights including, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Melinda Gates, and Tarana Burke.

The conference first started in 2007 with a focus on addressing high rates of maternal mortality worldwide.

Trudeau spoke at the opening of the Women Deliver 2019 Conference, which brings together over 6,000 world leaders, influencers, academics, advocates, and change-makers, with the goal to advance progress for girls and women around the world.

Michelle Ghoussoub is a journalist with CBC News in Vancouver. She has previously reported in Lebanon and Chile. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @MichelleGhsoub.

Sunday’s pre-conference consisted of breakout sessions on Indigenous midwifery and maternity care to caregiving and sexual well-being, as well community visits and field trips to the Musqueam Nation, Squamish Nation and Aboriginal Mothers Centre in East Vancouver. Knowledge keepers from the Squamish nation, community health leaders, academics, and prevention and support coordinators were among the speakers.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

“For way too long, the global discussions on gender equality came from affluent corners of the world, and from affluent people and groups, without the voices and the contributions and the leadership of the women who have, traditionally, had the least access to the institutions of power, but who are often the most affected,” said Katja Iversen, president and CEO of Women Deliver.

Canada announces new funding model to support womens equality globally

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta looks on as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses a panel at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference in Vancouver, Monday, June 3, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)

“Girls and women from Indigenous communities across the globe are already change-makers. They aren’t victims and vulnerable. They are powerful and they should be among the decision makers and the people who make the budgets and the programs and the policies that serve their needs and promote the best for all of us.”

Melinda Gates: Why Kenyan women need more cash in their hands

VANCOUVER — Gender equality is under attack and, in the age of social media, its never been easier to taunt and spread abhorrent views, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a global conference on the issue Monday.

She says it brings together 11 organizations from the philanthropic, non-profit and financial sectors, including the Canada-based Match International Women’s Fund, the African Women’s Development Fund and Oxfam Canada in hopes of creating a perpetual and sustainable mechanism for funding gender equality.

Trudeau, who was in Vancouver for the opening address of Women Deliver 2019, said that hatred is creeping in the public debate, with interest groups trying to roll back womens rights, while politicians are giving into the public pressure.

"The rights we enjoy in Canada, and the rights so many have enjoyed around the world, are not guaranteed. Progress can backslide," Trudeau said.

At the other end of the spectrum, Chad came out at the bottom of the list, with a score of 33.4 out of 100. Other countries in the bottom 10 of the index included Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Yemen, Congo, DR Congo. All those countries also appeared on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's 2018 list of fragile states.

"Were seeing it happen. Gender equality is under attack, and I can only imagine how hard it is to be a feminist on the front lines."

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the report's contributors, said the findings should act as a "wake-up call" for policymakers. But she also highlighted the work that some of the least developed countries have made in recent years, saying that it provided hope for greater progress going forward.

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau Says Gender Equality Under Attack, Warns of Declining Womens Rights

The prime minister didnt say what he was referring to, although last week he said he planned to talk to U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence about the growing number of American laws that restrict abortion.

The Trump administration has also reinstated a policy known as the "global gag rule," which bans U.S. federal funding for non-governmental organizations abroad that provide abortion services. Shortly after the U.S. adopted the rule in 2017, the Trudeau government committed $650 million for sexual and reproductive health and rights worldwide.

The report shows there's still a long way to go to achieve gender equality on a global level, said Alison Holder, director of Equal Measures 203, who called on governments and businesses to take coordinated action. That includes allocating more funds to equality programs and improving data, the report suggested.

Trudeau said the history of womens rights shows that every step forward is met by another push back, and women are still routinely facing misogyny, racism and hatred.

"Thats a daunting reality to face. My friends, we are not powerless. Its up to us to fight back," he said.

Separately, the government is also entering into three partnerships domestically, committing $30 million in collaboration with Community Foundations of Canada, the Canadian Women's Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada. Each of those organizations have promised up to $10 million to match the government funding, to a combined total of around $60 million. 

He also spoke to the crowd about the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, saying Canada can and must do better to end violence against all women.

On Sunday, Gender Equality and International Development Minister Maryam Monsef announced her government's $300 million contribution to kickstart a new platform that she said will provide help to women's organizations in Canada and internationally. 

Despite the brief outburst, the crowd loudly applauded when he acknowledged that the report concluded that violence against Indigenous women amounted to nothing less than a genocide.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

"Let me be clear, our government will always be your partner, willing to admit when mistakes are made and working very hard to build a better future for all our children," Trudeau said.

When the prime minister marked International Women's Day, critics questioned Trudeau's feminist credentials because of allegations from a former female cabinet minister and MP about his treatment of them.

"My friends, I know and you know that we cant take our foot off the pedal, not even for a moment. Theres simply too much at stake. Canadas leadership isnt going anywhere."

The partners will decide how and when to direct money to different projects. Over the next 15 years, Monsef said the fund is projected to mobilize $1 billion to various causes. It has already raised $100 million.

Women Deliver is a global advocate for gender equality and the health, rights and well-being of girls and women. The four-day conference is billed as the worlds largest event advocating for those rights.

The conference was attended by world leaders, including the presidents of Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia, who joined Trudeau for a panel discussion following his speech.

Panel moderator Lyse Doucet, a BBC journalist, commended Trudeau for being one of the first world leaders to describe himself as a "feminist" and bring in a gender-equal cabinet.

But she noted he had a "tough year," given that he brought "tough women" into his cabinet, and asked how it had affected his feminism.

Former cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott were kicked out of the Liberal caucus this year after they alleged the Prime Ministers Office had pushed for Quebec engineering firm SNC-Lavalin to avoid a criminal trial.

"Feminism and diversity and inclusion is not about making things easier. It often makes things a little more difficult," he said. "To have strong voices sticking up for different perspectives means youre going to get challenged, means you get to challenge back, and you get to try and figure out what the right path is forward.

"No one person has the monopoly on all the right answers, regardless of their gender, regardless of their background, regardless of their position as prime minister."

The federally funded commission tasked with documenting the causes of missing and murdered against Indigenous women and girls has suggested 231 recommendations to address the issue.