We made our demands very clear before the 2016 Federal Budget. We wanted to see feminism in action. We wanted Trudeau to Put Sexual Rights Back in the Budget. There are many things to celebrate in this budget.
From much-needed investments in Domestic Violence supports, to the launch of the inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, as well as an increase to Canada’s aid budget. These commitments signal a renewed interest in advancing feminist goals.
But Abortion is nowhere to be seen in the 2016 budget. There is no money to bring the provinces and territories together to talk about gaps in access to Abortion. There is no money to update Canada’s guidelines for comprehensive pro-choice sexuality education that includes diverse gender identities or and consent, nor is there funding to address rising rates of STIs among young people. Funding for women’s shelters is long overdue, and must be accompanied by investments in sexuality education, which could have generational impacts on violence prevention. On the global stage, we’re excited about the opportunity to consult with the government on its future development policy, but know that policy alone isn’t sufficient. We need increased funds for projects that support access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, including safe abortion. The small increase in ODA outlined in this budget will only take us so far.