Prime Minister Trudeau delivers remarks at the W7 in Ottawa
Good afternoon everyone. Thank you all for being here and for joining us in Ottawa this week. I know many of you came from great distances and I truly appreciate your commitment to this important work we’re doing together.
First, allow me to point out that it is an honour for me, personally, to be in the company of a group of leaders as accomplished and inspiring. Each of you are taking part in the W7 for a particular reason, and I hope that you will feel supported throughout the process. I will not talk for very long because I know that time is limited, and I really want the discussion to develop naturally and in a collaborative fashion.
But ultimately I want to spend today learning from all of you. But I would like to say this before we begin. While we have a long way to go on the road to true gender equality, the things we have accomplished so far are thanks to the bold feminist leadership found in grassroots organizations here and around the world. And it’s through the strength of your example that Canada has decided to incorporate gender equality as a key theme across the entirety of the G7 this year.
With the appointment of the Gender Equality Advisory Council, co-chaired by Isabelle Hudon and Melinda Gates, Canada is using our G7 presidency to challenge the status quo. We want to ensure that supporting and empowering women and girls is central to the decisions we make. As we know, women’s equality is a huge driver of economic growth that works for everyone. And as we look to the future, the empowerment of women and girls will strengthen our communities in unparalleled ways. Last year, Italy took important steps to lead on this front and Canada is building on those efforts now in 2018. With the creation of the council, we hope to set... to mainstream discussions around gender and set a precedent for the G7 going forward.
This Advisory Council needs the perspectives of the W7 members, people like you, who lead and fight this fight every day. And I am happy to know that you are meeting tomorrow to share your ideas. As members of the W7, you are leaders in Canada and around the world. We want to and indeed must understand your vision for a more feminist G7 and what a more equal world can achieve. By working together, we can ensure that this year’s G7 is inclusive and, above all, responsible. We cannot do it alone. The only way to get where we need to go is by listening to you. And I am determined to be your ally in this fight.
As prime minister I’ve tried to lead an active, inclusive feminist government, and we’ve implemented... we’re implementing pay equity legislation, supporting girls’ education, challenging the world’s CEOs to hire, promote, and retain more women, and still we know there is much more work to do. So I thank you for pushing us and for never allowing anyone to get complacent. True gender equality is the ultimate goal, leading to economic growth that works for everyone and we cannot rest until we achieve it.
So for me today is about listening and learning and taking your ideas to the G7. I want to hear your thoughts on how to best move forward on issues like gender-based violence, the gendered impacts of climate change, and unpaid care work. I also want to hear how we can best incorporate intersectionality into our G7 discussions, always mindful that there are inequalities between women and that many face additional barriers due to their sexuality, gender identity, race, religion, among other things. So let’s work together today, tomorrow, throughout the G7 and over the years to come.
If the global community has made significant progress, it’s in large part because of your efforts and partnership. You have given a voice to the voiceless, and your influence will be felt for generations to come. While we are getting ready to launch the discussion today, I would like to thank you for your perspectives, your passion and your dedication.