Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, responds to Tanya Burr and ONE Campaign, claiming “poverty is sexist”


If you’ve been following Tanya Burr and her work with the ‘Global Goals’, you may remember her working with the ‘ONE Campaign’ and signing a letter about poverty being sexist to be sent to world leaders. Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has written in response and says “I agree wholeheartedly: poverty is sexist.”

The original letter, which Burr along with many others encouraged people to sign, discussed how poverty is in fact sexist.

“Some 62 million girls are denied the right to education. Half a billion women can’t read. 155 countries still have laws that discriminate against women.”

“Last year, you signed up to end extreme poverty, and because poverty is sexist, you promised to tackle the gender inequality that keeps people poor.”

The letter called upon world leaders to deliver funding this year at the Nutrition for Growth and Global Fund Summits, policies which support female economic empowerment and better data on the girls and women we cannot see and don’t know exist.

As a feminist himself, Trudeau wrote a response to the letter from One Campaign.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am writing back to let you know that I wholeheartedly agree: Poverty is Sexist.

“Women and girls are less likely to get an education, more likely to be impoverished, and face a greater risk of disease and poor health. I am grateful to groups like ONE, who work toward ending extreme poverty and gender inequality around the world, while also holding global leaders accountable.

“I accept your challenge to lead. As a feminist, I know that women must be treated equally everywhere. That is why, as one of my first actions as Prime Minister, I named a gender balanced Cabinet. It is my hope that this will set an example for governments around the world.”

He then went on to discuss how the government of Canada is playing part in making a change.

“The Government of Canada is taking another important and concrete step: we will host the Global Fund replenishment conference in Montreal in September. We have also raised our contribution by 20% to $785 million CDN.

“Investing in the Global Fund – which fights HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis – is critical, particularly for young women, who account for a shocking 74% of all new HIV infections among adolescents in Africa. Canada’s increased investment means more mosquito nets and medicine, and greater access to treatment and therapy, all of which will help the Global Fund meet its ultimate goal of saving an additional eight million lives and averting an additional 300 million new infections by 2019.”

The full letter can be found on ONE Campaign’s website where the Canadian prime minister goes into greater detail as to how he plans on helping as a leader.

This is the first response to the letter and Justin Trudeau encourages people to keep reaching out to more world leaders.

Featured image credit: Tanya Burr

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