Last weekend, Canada played host to the 44th annual G7 Summit. International leaders from seven of the world’s most advanced economic nations (Canada, France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, Italy and the United States) and members of the European Union arrived in Quebec on June 8, ready to get to the business of solving pressing global problems. You may have heard some negative things about the two-day event—including a number of reported “clashes” between U.S. President Donald Trump and other international leaders (ahem, Justin Trudeau) over things like trade and climate change—but did you know the summit also produced one massive victory for women and girls around the globe?
The UK, Germany, Japan, the EU and the World Bank partnered with Canada—who alone contributed $400 million—to collectively raise over $3.8 billion (CAD) which, according to the PM’s website, will help provide training for teachers, equip women and girls with job-related skills and support developing nations committed to creating equal opportunities for girls to complete up to 12 years of schooling.
According to UNICEF, half of the world’s population of girls are currently out of school and 32 million girls who *should* be in secondary school, are not. The organization also states that giving women and girls access to education could lead to drastic decreases in child marriage and child mortality rates. So, like we said, *massive* victory.
In a statement that was also published on his website, the PM reiterated the importance of the cause. “We need to work together to ensure all women and girls have access to quality education and modern skills training. From primary school to secondary school and beyond, women and girls in crisis and conflict situations must have the same opportunities to succeed,” he said. “Investing in their education is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. Given the chance, we know women and girls will drive positive change, and help build better lives for themselves, their families, their communities, and, in turn, the world.”
Activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai, who last April pressed the PM to make girls’ education a central theme during this year’s Summit, even took to her Twitter to thank the PM for his efforts.
— Malala (@Malala) June 9, 2018
In April, Trudeau was challenged by 30 non-governmental organizations to raise $1.3 billion as this year’s G7 chairman. Exceeding that challenge by $2.5 billion, it has—according to the Canadian government—become the largest investment into education for women and girls in crisis.
5 Things We Learned from Malala’s Speech to Parliament + Video!
“There’s Nothing to Be Scared Of”: Malala Yousafzai Reminds Us Why She’s a Feminist Hero
Malala Yousafzai Is Becoming an Honorary Canadian Citizen Today