As we mark International Women’s Day, CARE Canada welcomes the Government of Canada’s funding announcement in support of sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement of $650 million over three years to support women and adolescent girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights represents a significant contribution, at a time when women’s rights being challenged around the world.
“As we celebrate women today, we cannot ignore the fact that too many women and girls are denied the right to basic health care or the ability to make decisions that impact their lives. Canada’s investments in sexual and reproductive health are much needed, particularly as other governments scale back such vital support," said Jacquelyn Wright, vice president of international programs for CARE Canada.
"The money announced today, however, must be part of an overall increase to Canada’s existing international assistance budget. CARE Canada will be looking towards Budget 2017 and the release of the Government’s new International Assistance Policy to ensure Canada’s international assistance builds on these important investments and is increased overall.”
This money will help plug the $600 million (USD) annual funding gap caused by the United States Administration’s reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, also known as the Global Gag Rule, and sets an important precedent within the international community.
CARE is encouraged by Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau’s emphasis on women’s full and equal participation, the role of local women’s organizations, sexuality education, access to safe abortion and post-abortion care, and the connection between sexual and reproductive health and rights and the economic development of communities and nations.
In order to reach the world’s most marginalized women, CARE believes that Canada’s support should include a focus on women and girls in humanitarian settings, where less than 50 per cent of funding requests have been met over the last 12 years.
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