A piece of news that seems to be getting lost in the G7 summit fallout is one that is a major win for women.
One of the themes implemented by chairman Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at this year’s annual summit, which brings the seven countries with the largest advanced economies in the world together, was gender equality and empowering women and girls.
Over $2.9 billion was raised at the annual G7 summit in a major effort to improve education for women and girls across the globe. Unfortunately, the U.S. didn’t contribute money towards the cause at all, a spokesperson for the Canadian prime minister’s office confirmed.
According to UNICEF, 32 million girls who should be in lower secondary school aren’t. When girls are allowed to continue their education, child mortality and child marriage rates go down, while gross domestic products go up.
The money raised at the summit will help go towards helping educate more than 8 million children and teenage girls in these positions. Additionally, the funding will equip women and girls with the skills needed for the jobs of the future and provide training for teachers in these developing countries. Malala Yousafzai called it a “significant” step for women, and said it “gives all of us the chance to create a safer, healthier, and wealthier world.”
"Investing in their education is not just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do,” Trudeau added after making the announcement at the summit. “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."
On top of not pledging any money to the cause, President Donald Trump was late to the summit's gender equality breakfast late, creating a disruption while Gender Equality Advisory Council co-chair Isabelle Hudon was speaking.
Since Trump was sworn into office, women’s rights have taken some serious hits. From his administration’s cuts to women's healthcare, protections against workplace discrimination, and efforts to close the gender wage gap, to this latest showing of disregard for global women’s education efforts, the administration has made it clear that the empowerment and advancement of women aren’t top priorities.
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