At this year’s G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Canada rallied international support for girls’ education. Under its leadership, G7 countries also committed to address barriers to education, including poor health care and a lack of health education, which can result in sexual risks, early pregnancy, and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Good health is crucial to ensuring 12 years of quality education and breaking the cycle of poverty. In the developing world, up to 500 million school days per year are lost due to poor health, often from preventable conditions. As Norway’s Minister of International Development Nikolai Astrup wrote recently in an article for Global Citizen, “Ensuring good health is a human rights issue — and a gender equality one.”
But Canada’s current funding for global health initiatives is expiring in 2020 — so now is the time to call on Canadian leaders to renew their commitment to enhancing the opportunity for women and girls to survive and thrive across the lifecycle, which would also address health-related barriers to education.
Join Global Citizen in calling on Canada to build on its 2018 G7 legacy by committing new and additional aid to women and children’s health over five years. This should include $240 million CAD for the Global Financing Facility (GFF), which helps countries that are most in need end preventable maternal and child deaths and improve the health of every woman and every child.
All women and girls deserve equal opportunity to survive and live healthy lives so they can complete their education and pursue their dreams. And when we invest in their well-being, we help create the conditions needed to end extreme poverty.