So Much Good News for a Change! – Nobel Women’s Initiative

Human Wrongs Watch

By Nobel Women’s Initiative*

12 June 2019 — With thousands of people from around the world coming together at the Women Deliver conference (us included!) beginning on June 2nd in Vancouver, there was bound to be some major developments! Here’s your quick rundown on the most important stories to come out of the past two weeks.

After much anticipation, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that Jacqueline O’Neill has been named Canada’s first-ever Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security! Sending a huge congratulations fo Jacqueline, whose decades of experience makes her the perfect candidate for this vital job.

The role was announced by Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, last year in Montreal at the first Women Foreign Ministers Meeting.

Read more about Jacqueline and her exciting new role on our website!


The Equality Fund

Last week Canada’s minister of gender equality, Maryam Monsef, announced the single largest government contribution made to women’s rights in history!

The Equality Fund is a unique investment of $300 million to support feminist organizations and movements around the world. It brings together 11 organizations including the Canada-based The MATCH International Women’s Fund, the African Women’s Development Fund and Oxfam Canada.


1.4 Billion Dollars for Women’s Health

Following the Equality Fund announcement on Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Gender Minister Maryam Monsef also announced 1.4 billion dollars in funding for women and girls’ health around the world. This includes 700 million dollars allocated for sexual and reproductive needs — the largest investment of its kind ever made.

National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Final Report

After more than two years Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) released its long-anticipated final report to the federal government of Canada.

The report calls for reform by the government, the police, and the Canadian public to help address endemic levels of violence, defined as a “Canadian genocide”, against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

“Today’s racist government laws, policies and actions have proven to be just as deadly for Indigenous peoples as the genocidal acts of the past.” – Pam Palmateer, Mi’kmaw citizen and Ryerson professor and lawyer.

While the content of the report is comprehensive, many Indigenous activists now question whether or not the 231 recommendations outlined by the Inquiry will actually be put into action. Mohawk activist and research fellow Courtney Skye writes that Canada must reckon with its history of colonialism and how it has contributed to violence against Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people.

And while most of the media attention was directed toward the use of the term “genocide”, Indigenous feminist and lawyer Naomi Sayers calls attention to another important word, not explicitly defined in the report—exploitation.

The Normandy Manifesto for World Peace

Nobel peace laureates Jody Williams and Leymah Gbowee joined fellow laureates Mohamed ElBaradei and Denis Mukwege, Master of New College of Humanities Anthony Grayling, and President of SFG Sundeep Waslekar, to issue the Normandy Manifesto for World Peace.

The statement calls for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction and new conception of security based on universal human rights and rule of law.


The Karen Takacs Award

Last, but most certainly not least, the Karen Takacs Award, presented by Canadian Council for International Co-operation, is a symbol of feminism, collaboration, advocacy, mentorship and resilience. We are so proud that this year’s recipient is our very own Executive Director, Liz Bernstein!

The award was accepted on behalf of our dear colleague Ohmar, a human rights activist and the founder of Progressive Voice. She also added that Liz is one of her biggest mentors. Congratulations Liz, you inspire us everyday!

“We have the tools we need to strengthen our movements for feminist transformation, for a Canada and world of peace and equality. It’s not rocket science. We’re always #BetterTogether!”         – Liz Bernstein.

2019 Human Wrongs Watch

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