“OTTAWA — Canada’s feminist prime minister took full advantage of International Women’s Day to remind his supporters of his much-emphasized commitment to gender equality.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kicked off the day by announcing $650 million in funding for women’s sexual and reproductive health rights around the world, following it with a noon-hour speech and Q and A with 338 women who came from across the country to see what it would be like to be an MP.
The Trudeau government also tied International Women’s Day to their announcement that they plan to eliminate elements of the Criminal Code that are no longer in force following court rulings, including the provision banning abortions.
In the reproductive health funding announcement, Trudeau and International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau emphasized the Canadian government’s feminist view and belief in women’s right to choose when and with whom they want to have children.
The money will be provided from 2017 to 2020 and comes from the existing international development budget, but is not coming out of the $3.5 billion dedicated to maternal, newborn and child health programming set up under the previous government, an official said.
The funding will provide sexuality education, reproductive health services — including abortion services where they’re legal — and family planning and contraceptives. It will go to programs to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence, including child and early forced marriage, female genital mutilation and cutting, and post-abortion care, according to a news release.” Source : CTV
More: “”We know there’s a lot more to do… Canada was doing good things before, but was missing these essential elements of defend the reproductive rights of women,” Trudeau said in French.
“Recognizing people’s rights is fundamental in any free society. The right of women to choose when, how, with whom to start a family is one that we all must fight for and defend,” Trudeau added in English.
Approximately 225 million women and girls around the world want to use contraceptives but don’t have access to them, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Letting women choose how many children to have is a key factor in reducing poverty.
The UNFPA says if all women with an unmet need for contraceptives were able to use them, it would prevent 24 million abortions, 14 million of which would be unsafe, 6 million miscarriages, 70,000 maternal deaths and 500,000 infant deaths.
Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for adolescent girls, the UNFPA says, and their babies face a higher mortality rate. Most of the women with unmet contraceptives needs live in the world’s 69 poorest countries.”