Earlier today, the Canadian government announced plans to commit $650 million to women's health and reproductive rights. The federal move came in accordance with International Women's Day, and is currently being initiated as a three-year strategy. Prime Minister Trudeau and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau spoke to press on Wednesday, and reiterated that the funding would be placed into sexual education, family planning, and health services for women across the country and around the world.
In an official statement, Ottawa revealed that the investment is a way for Canada to continue its leadership on the issue of women's rights, by improving accessibility and emphasizing the importance of health education. “Today’s announcement demonstrates Canada’s leadership in empowering women and girls and promoting gender equality around the world," Justin Trudeau told media. "This investment will support millions of women and girls to have the opportunity to be leaders in their communities and lead healthy and productive lives.”
According to Parliament's press release, 225 million women globally are still unable to access modern contraceptives, while the developing world's mortality rate during pregnancy is frighteningly high in girls aged 15-19. This is something that Canada is hoping to combat through its own initiatives. “Canada is committed to leading global action in support of sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls," stated Bibeau, the Minister of International Development. "Women's rights begin with the right for all women and adolescents to be in control of their bodies and make their own decisions."
Canada will immediately begin action in funding women's health services, and will also join the Family Planning 2020 program, which will help women around the world have access to contraceptives and sexual education. For more information, you can read the federal announcement here.