Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks during a Women Deliver kickoff event
Hello everyone. It’s great to be back home in Vancouver to talk about advancing gender-equality in Canada, and around the world. I want to thank Women Deliver’s incredible team for putting this event together and for all the important work that they do every single day to make our world more equal. For the past ten years, Women Deliver has been raising awareness and finding lasting solutions to the issues that overwhelmingly affect women and girls.
Thanks to the investments of Women Deliver in sexual and reproductive health services, more women can now plan their futures. Thanks to the support of your organization towards women’s education, young girls throughout the world now have the skills and tools they need to succeed. And thanks to your efforts towards eliminating gender-based violence, lives have been saved and the voices of survivors are being heard. Whether it’s increasing the representation of women in politics or encouraging their participation in the economy, Women Deliver is seeking to close the gaps that still exist in our societies, gaps that prevent families, communities and entire countries from finding success. Here in Canada, we know that we cannot realize our full potential without the full participation of all of our citizens, and even though we have made significant progress in terms of making Canada a more equitable country, there’s still a lot of work to do here at home and abroad.
That’s why I can’t think of a better host for the next edition of the Women Deliver conference, than Canada.
In June 2019, Vancouver will welcome the world’s largest conference on gender-equality, and the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women. Like Canadians, Women Deliver believes that there is strength in our differences. We believe that the diversity of opinions, of backgrounds, and of beliefs ultimately leads to better outcomes. And incomes too, actually when you get down to it…
The event brings together organisations and individuals from all walks of life who want to make a positive difference in their communities, who believe in women as agents of change. Risk-takers and problem-solvers who are bridging gaps, breaking down barriers, and delivering real results for women everywhere. And while 2019 might seem far away, we can’t forget the important work that must be done every day to ensure that women and girls are living the life they want for themselves. So I want to invite the people of Vancouver and indeed all Canadians to shine a light on gender-equality in the lead up to this conference. Whether it be at school, at work, or at the dinner table, I invite you to take action and address the inequalities that linger, and the injustices that endure. At home, Sophie and I are proud, not only to be raising our daughter to be a feminist, but also our sons.
We teach them that gender-equality is everyone’s business, that it’s on all of us to make equality our reality. To raise our kids as feminists is to honour their future because they have the power to shape it for the better.
So I invite you to ask yourselves: what does a gender-equal Canada look like? What steps can we take no matter how small, to bring that picture to life? These are important conversations we need not only to be having, but also to be acting on and living.
For corporations, this could mean making a commitment to examine how empowering women enhances their global value. For teachers, this could mean teaching students about the women who were left out of the pages of our history textbooks, and let their stories inspire new projects. You get to decide. My friends, my fellow feminists, we find ourselves at an interesting point in time; by all standards, the world is a better place for women and girls than it once was. But while our victories should fuel hope and optimism for the future, they should in no way distract from the battles we are still fighting and the progress we must still be making. We cannot afford to become complacent. We cannot allow inaction to stomp our momentum, or let our ambition be bounded by our borders.
So join us here in Vancouver for the 2019 Women Deliver Conference. Be a part of the conversation and the solution. Once again, I want to thank Women Deliver for welcoming us here today, and thank you all for being here with us.
Thank you everyone for all the work you have done, all the work you are doing, and mostly all the work we are going to do together to make gender-equality a reality.
Thank you my friends. Thank you.