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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Sept. 21, 2017.
Mary Altaffer/AP
Girls & Women

Trudeau’s Words on Women’s Equality at Davos Are Must-Read

The G7 will take place in Charlevoix, Quebec, this year, and women and girls will be at the heart of all discussions — something Prime Minister Trudeau stressed in his address at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday.

More than that, Trudeau announced that the co-chairs for the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council will be Melinda Gates and Isabelle Hudon.

“In Canada, like all over the world, much of the economic and labour force growth we've experienced over the last many decades is because of women entering into – and changing – the workforce,” he said.

Take Action: Tweet at Influential Companies to #BuyWomenOwned

The prime minister made his remarks at the WEF in front of leaders from around the world, ranging from education advocate Malala Yousafzai to British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

He called on everyone to act on his words immediately.

“I’m talking about hiring, promoting, and retaining more women,” he said. “And not just because it’s the right thing to do, or the nice thing to do, but because it’s the smart thing to do,” Trudeau said.

Read More: Melinda Gates and Justin Trudeau Just Had A Conversation About Feminism And It Was Great

Trudeau has been focused on the empowerment of women and girls since taking office in 2015, but he notes there is room for improvement in Canada.

He referenced a McKinsey study that estimates that narrowing the gender gap in Canada could add $150 billion to the economy by 2026.

He also noted that increasing the share of women in leadership positions from 0 to 30% leads to a 15% boost to profitability.

Read More: What Canada's Female-First Foreign Aid Policy Really Means for Women

Trudeau addressed pay equity, but pointed out that other issues like family planning, promotions, and job security, and announced that the federal government will be moving forward with legislation to ensure equal pay for work of equal value.

“Me Too, Times Up, the Women’s March – these movements tell us that we need to have a critical discussion on women’s rights, equality, and the power dynamics of gender,” he said. “As leaders, we need to act to show that truly, time is up.”

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