Prime Minister Trudeau announces that Vancouver will host the 2019 Women Deliver conference
Thank you, Marie-Claude. Thank you not only for your kind introduction, but also for the hard work you do every day as our Minister for International Development and la Francophonie. We’re also joined by our extraordinary Minister for the Status of Women, Maryam Monsef, who makes sure that every day all of us push for a better world. I want to thank Katja Iversen, president and CEO of Women Deliver for being here today, and of course I need to thank my wife and my inspiration, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, for being here with us as well.
Catch up. You might be wondering why we chose this place to make today’s announcement. The truth is, I can’t think of a better place to share today’s news than right here at the monument that celebrates Canada’s Famous Five.
These five women, like many generations of strong women who followed them, were unwavering advocates for Canada’s women and girls. They believed that women could and should be equal participants in public service and that women were no less qualified to serve than men, and in many cases more qualified. And they were right.
Half of the positions in our cabinet are now held by women. They are part of the group of people responsible for establishing the priorities of our government and for making decisions. And the Leader of our Government in the House of Commons, the first woman in the history of Canada to hold that position. In the local assemblies and provincial or territorial legislatures, in the House of Commons and the Senate, women are following in the footsteps of the Famous Five, who worked tirelessly to build a world where every person truly has a real and fair chance to succeed. As a government, we are working hard to ensure that Canadian women get the support they need to succeed.
Whether it’s with the Canada Child Benefit, which grants on average $9,000 per year, tax-free, to nearly 90% of families headed by a single mother. Whether it’s with our investments to open up high-quality, affordable daycare spaces or with the efforts we’re making to prevent and respond to gender-based violence… We’re following through on our promises and we’re showing an entire generation of Canadian girls and boys what it really means to be a feminist.
But I don’t want to leave anyone with the impression that our work is anywhere near done. Here and around the world we need to take a stronger stand in defence of human rights, especially those of women and girls. The right to access the same opportunities available to men and boys, including the right to a good education and to good well-paying jobs. The right to decent health care and the freedom to make their own choices when it comes to their sexual and reproductive health and rights. The right to be full and equal participants in their households, in their communities, and in their economies.
These are the things that Katja and Women Deliver advocate for every single day. They’re not alone.
Last week, Minister Bibeau introduced Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. This policy reaffirms Canada’s commitment to reducing poverty and inequality. It places gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls at the heart of our efforts. The allocation of $650 million to address persistent gaps in women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights is one of the key elements of that policy. We took this approach because we are convinced that the best way to build a stronger, safer and more prosperous world is to support women and girls. In the words of Women Deliver, when the world invests in women, everyone wins.
Today, I am happy to announce that Canada will host the next Women Deliver conference, in Vancouver, in June 2019.
Today I am excited to share the news that Canada will be home to the next Women Deliver conference to take place in Vancouver in June of 2019.
As I know well, Vancouver is one of Canada’s most exciting, most diverse, and most forward-looking cities, making it the ideal place for a global gathering like the Women Deliver conference. The conference brings together more than 6,000 leaders, influencers, advocates and activists from more than 160 countries, with another 100,000 people joining in online. It’s a chance for people to meet and mobilize, to listen and to learn, especially from those whose perspectives are not always given the attention they deserve. Indigenous peoples, young people, and survivors of violence and conflict.
The Women Deliver conference doesn’t just inspire and motivate the people who attend, it reminds all of us of our responsibility to take care of each other and the need to continue to work together so that women and girls around the world are given every opportunity to succeed.
In addition to hosting the 2019 conference, Canada will be providing $20 million over three years, starting this year, to support Women Deliver and its global advocacy work.
This support will help Women Deliver continue its efforts to improve the health, rights and well-being of women and girls, with a focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights, including in fragile and humanitarian settings.
Emily Murphy, the first of the Famous Five, said this: “Whenever I don’t know whether to fight or not, I fight.” By working continuously to protect and promote the health, rights and welfare of women and girls, Women Deliver continues that fight. I am proud that Vancouver will be hosting this major event of global importance. And I hope that, along with me, you will do everything you can to ensure that the 2019 Women Deliver Conference is the best one yet.