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ONE reacts to the G7 Summit

“The Trudeau government has put together a series of meaningful steps forward for girls and women.”

QUEBEC CITY, Canada (June 9, 2018) — The ONE Campaign, the international policy and advocacy organization co-founded by U2 lead singer Bono to fight extreme poverty and the spread of preventable diseases in Africa, released the following statements:

Bono, the lead singer of U2 and the co-founder of The ONE Campaign, said:

“Despite the disruptions, Canada has prevailed to make sure that gender equality and girls education have for the first time been the subject of a serious conversation — and it’s not just words, there’s now real money on the table — new money from Canada to ensure that even the world’s most vulnerable girls get an education, and finance from across the G7 for smart investments in women-run businesses that will help fuel a new front in the global economy.”

Gayle Smith, the chief executive officer of The ONE Campaign, said:

“Every girl and woman deserves the opportunity to thrive, no matter where she lives. Poverty is sexist, and world leaders have a responsibility to use gatherings like the G7 summit to work together to do something meaningful about it. The G7 is a platform to address the disparities and hurdles that cause too many women to be denied the chance to get an education, earn an income, start a business, and economically contribute to their communities.

“In spite of all the distraction and disruption, this year’s summit made progress in the pursuit of the economic empowerment of girls and women everywhere. While we had hoped for more, Prime Minister Trudeau’s government has put together a series of meaningful steps forward for girls and women.

“The commitment by the development finance institutions (DFIs) of the G7 countries to mobilize US$3 billion by 2020 to support women’s economic empowerment is a great achievement. By leveraging private-sector investment and focusing on finance, markets, leadership, and products and services to support the economic empowerment of women, the G7 DFIs will help more women than any one DFI — or any one country — could do on its own.

“The commitment of US$2.9 billion to education, with a focus on girls, is warmly welcomed. Every dollar that helps get a girl the education she needs to thrive is a good one, and with 130 million girls out of school, the commitments made in Charlevoix are a positive step forward. The leaders’ expressed intention to prioritize the education of girls and young women in crisis and conflict situations is also most welcome.

“It should not go without notice that this G7 summit prioritized the rights and empowerment of women as one of its focus areas and ‘mainstreamed’ gender across all the other focus areas. Prime Minister Trudeau deserves credit for making sure women were on the agenda.

“And finally, the sheer volume of robust recommendations made by Prime Minister Trudeau’s G7 Gender Advisory Council illustrates an important point: gender equality is complex. The amount of work still to be done is considerable. Achieving gender equality isn’t just a matter of education or private finance or health care or legal rights or banking access — it’s all of these, and a whole lot more.

“The challenge of gender equality is also too big for any one government to address on its own — we must take advantage of multilateral moments like G7 summits to work together.

“What’s most critical now is the path forward. These steps must be the first, not the last. How are the G7 governments going to move forward on them? Will they use moments like the G20 Summit, UNGA, Women Deliver, the OGP Summit, and next year’s G7 in France to make progress in individual areas? Without a coordinating body, who will drive this forward? And who will ensure accountability and measure progress? History will tell.”