Will Canada Deliver? Reinforcing Canadian leadership on investing in women and girls
This spring will be a critical time for Canada. Over the next 2 months, before political parties are in full-swing for the upcoming federal election, the Canadian government has an opportunity to show its leadership and deliver on its commitment to advancing the health and rights of women and girls around the world. Let’s seize these next few months and take action to ensure Canada steps up and pledges towards sustainable and concrete solutions that empower women and girls.
May key dates to watch for
RESULTS Pacific Conference May 3 – 5, Victoria, B.C.
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week May 6 – 12
G7 Health Ministers Meeting May 14 – 16
World Health Assembly May 20 – 28, Geneva
Menstrual Hygiene Day May 28
Women Deliver Conference June 3 – 6, Vancouver, B.C.
From June 3 to 6, 2019, Canada will be hosting Women Deliver, the largest global conference on gender equality. The world will be watching as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, parliamentarians, private sector, civil society and youth from around the world come together for this truly global moment. As advocates, we know that this is more than a conference: it is an opportunity for the Canadian government to show its leadership by making funding and policy commitments to improve the lives of women and girls around the world. Canada can lead by committing financial support to the Global Financing Facility and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. With the world watching, Canada needs to walk the talk – let’s remind our leaders of this.
When you invest in women, you invest in an entire community. Susan Achieng, the founder of Inua Kike, a community-based organization in Kenya is proof of this! She’s working to give a second chance to young and single mothers to achieve an education and pursue a career – helping lift them and their families out of poverty.
Historically, the Canadian government has made major global investments in maternal, newborn and child health, including the 2010 multi-billion-dollar Muskoka commitment. But in 2020, the Muskoka Initiative funding will run out, and the people living in extreme poverty cannot afford a gap in assistance. The global community has made significant strides in women’s, adolescents’ and children’s health. Since 1990, maternal mortality has dropped by 44% and child mortality under the age of 5 has decreased by 58%. As we celebrate these achievements we must be mindful that the work is not over.
With the Women Deliver Conference and federal election both rapidly approaching, let’s remind leaders of the importance of committing to long-term, sustainable and increased health investment that fill critical gaps in gender equality and rights.
“When the world invests in girls and women, there’s a ripple effect and everybody wins. Let’s invest in gender equality and the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women because it’s the right thing to do, and because it’s the smart thing to do.” – Katja Iversen, CEO of Women Deliver
- Global Financing Facility (GFF)
In late 2018, Canada generously committed to make a new multi-annual pledge to the GFF. Canada started by committing $50 million of the $240 million that was asked by civil society. It is important that we push Canada to make the full pledge by June 2019.
- Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Our collective advocacy actions so far have led to the MP Global Fund letter being signed by 27 MPs and Senators, including New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh. We don’t yet know when Canada will announce its pledge to the Global Fund and we will continue to keep up the pressure until it commits! Consult all of the actions taken so far: Members of Parliament meetings, letters to the editor, published social media posts and emails sent to MPs from all three major parties.