CARE Canada Statement: Speech from the Throne

OTTAWA, 24 NOVEMBER 2021 – With yesterday’s Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada continues to acknowledge that Canada’s own recovery as interconnected to the recovery of people and communities everywhere. Nearly two years into the pandemic, Canadians know the ways in which crises intersect with poverty and injustice to discriminate against vulnerable communities, delaying the end of the pandemic here at home and around the world.

Only 5% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. In 24 low- and middle-income countries where CARE has data, there are gender gaps in access to vaccines: women are less likely to be vaccinated, and less likely to feel vaccines are safe.

Indeed, women—especially those from marginalized groups—continue to be disproportionately impacted by the compounding crises of COVID-19, climate change, conflict, gender-based violence, unpaid care work, and hunger.  At the same time, women-led and women’s rights’ organizations continue to lead on the frontlines of global challenges in their communities around the world. Focused investments in women’s leadership in Canada and globally will be essential to drive a just and inclusive pandemic recovery.

CARE Canada welcomes the Government’s priority commitments to increase Canada’s international development assistance budget every year through 2030 to invest in sustainable, equitable and feminist development that benefits the most vulnerable and promotes gender equality, under the leading framework of the Feminist International Assistance Policy. Investing in women’s leadership, and specifically women’s rights to safety, health, and dignified livelihoods will drive pathways forward out of the pandemic, everywhere.

We support the Government on these key feminist priorities for women’s leadership. Following the Speech from the Throne, we look forward to the upcoming fall economic update, Ministerial mandate letters, and, crucially, Budget 2022 as key opportunities to deliver on these urgent priorities. Now is the time for partnership among all parties and sectors, and we are eager to work with the Government to deliver on its mandate commitments to Canadians and to people around the world, to end the pandemic and build forward a gender-just future.