Canada announces ground-breaking support for SRHR

 

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will increase its investment in global sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) to $700 million a year by 2023 and maintain this support until 2030 as part of a new $1.4 billion global health initiative, launched in response to calls from Action Canada and allies across the sector.

The commitment prioritizes investment in the most neglected and stigmatized areas of SRHR: comprehensive contraceptive care, safe and legal abortion, and adolescent SRHR (including comprehensive sexuality education) and support for advocacy.

“Canada is putting its weight behind the sexual and reproductive rights of women, girls and other marginalized groups at a time of push-back against these issues around the world,” says Sandeep Prasad, Executive Director of Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights.

The investment in neglected areas of SRHR will empower 18 million women globally—the same number of women in Canada—with critical, life-saving, and empowering services and information (services and information to which they are entitled under international human rights law). It represents a long-term commitment that will align Canada’s development efforts towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and position Canada as a leader willing to uphold and defend the rights of women and girls.

“This is an important way in which Canada is setting itself apart from the US,” says Prasad. Adding that, “We are a country willing to invest in some of the most neglected and stigmatized issues in this area, taking an approach that is meaningfully rooted in evidence and human rights.” 

“The commitment is about rights, not politics,” says Prasad. “The vast majority of Canadians understand that our future depends on our ability to have control over our own body. This investment is about ensuring that all people have the power, means and knowledge to make fundamental decisions about their sexuality, their health, and their future.”

The investment reflects Canadians’ broad support for access to comprehensive and integrated sexual and reproductive health and rights, including abortion care.

People in Canada have been vocal in their response to push-back on abortion in the US. In just 48 hours, Action Canada’s #CommitToResist campaign received endorsement from over forty of Canada’s most influential organizations, representing over one million Canadians.

The commitment comes following the work of a broad and diverse community of partners, allied organizations, and advocates working locally, nationally, and globally on a common agenda to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Action Canada, in collaboration with the Future Planning Initiative and Thrive coalition partners, have worked over the last year to make the case and make this happen. We will continue to work with the Government of Canada to support the effective implementation of this commitment and the sexual health and rights of all people in Canada and around the world. 

 

MEDIA CONTACTS

Sarah Kennell
Director of Government Relations
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
613-620-2316
[email protected]

Ani Colekessian
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights
Director of Communications
613-241-4474 ext 7
[email protected]

Posted on 2019-06-04
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