April 23, 2018 (Ottawa) As Justin Trudeau prepares to host G7 leaders in Charlevoix in June, the first- ever feminist summit on its sidelines—W7: Feminist Visions for the G7 – kicks off in Ottawa this week, bringing together some 70 women from 20 countries to tackle the pressing global issues of our time.
The W7 brings together a diverse group of feminist activists from around the world, all trailblazers in their communities. Their voices, perspectives and leadership are essential to ensuring that marginalized voices can engage in policy-making processes and that the outcomes of this year’s G7 respond to the realities of women around the world. Women, in all their diversity, have been at the forefront of innovative solutions to poverty, inequality, war and conflict and climate change. Over the two-day summit, these leading activists will articulate a feminist vision for the G7 and provide clear recommendations on how to ensure responses to today’s challenges have a firm commitment to the realization of women’s rights and gender equality.
“Despite the power of the #MeToo movement and decades of progress on women’s rights, the global gender gap remains huge,” said Julie Delahanty, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada. “On top of this, hard-fought feminist gains are being threatened all over the world. Canada’s W7 is about giving a platform to feminists with innovative ideas about global issues and pushing the G7 to tackle critical problems it has so far failed to address.”
What makes this W7 different is who will be at the table. Though women have been included in past summits, it has been limited to those women from the business and finance sectors. These women don’t necessarily reflect the lived experience of poor and marginalized women who have the most to gain or lose from shifts in government policies. G7 priorities must factor in the lived experiences of women, and take into consideration the full range of women living in G7 countries and globally.
“It’s not just a matter of ‘add women and mix,’” said Paulette Senior, President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation. “We look forward to hearing and learning from feminists who have deep experience in solving problems and leading change in their communities. Research shows that when women’s diverse voices are at the table, both the discussion and outcome are more effective and inclusive.”
The W7’s final communique and recommendations will be shared with Prime Minister Trudeau and his cabinet as well as other G7 leaders and the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council.