People's Stories Democracy

Canada shows leadership at G7 meeting to invest in education for women and girls in crisis
by ReliefWeb, CBC News, agencies
La Malbaie, Quebec - June 10, 2018
Gender equality is a fundamental human right and a top priority for Canada and its G7 Presidency. To make gender equality a reality, all women and girls around the world must have equal access to quality education and learning opportunities. When women and girls have an equal chance to learn, grow, and succeed, they help build an economy that works for everyone.
Canada, along with the European Union, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, have announced an investment of nearly $3.8 billion Canadian, toward improving access and reducing barriers to quality education for women and girls in crisis and conflict situations in countries around the world.
The Canadian announcement represents the single largest investment in education for women and girls in crisis and conflict situations to date. It has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of millions of the world’s most vulnerable women and girls.
The investments will support global action to:
Help equip women and girls with the skills needed for the jobs of the future; Improve training for teachers to provide better curriculum for women and girls; Improve the quality of available data on women’s and girls’ education; Promote greater coordination between humanitarian and development partners.
It will support innovative education methods, especially for vulnerable and hard to reach groups, including refugees and displaced people, and will offer greater support for developing countries in their efforts to provide equal opportunities for girls to complete at least 12 years of quality education, from primary to secondary school.
Canada will work with its G7 partners along with others to support women’s and girls’ education around the world, and help make sure the voices of women and girls are included when decisions are made on education and employment.
“We need to work together to ensure all women and girls have access to quality education and modern skills training. From primary school to secondary school and beyond, women and girls in crisis and conflict situations must have the same opportunities to succeed. Investing in their education is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. Given the chance, we know women and girls will drive positive change, and help build better lives for themselves, their families, their communities, and, in turn, the world.” — Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
Quick Facts
Of the total funding announced today, international partners committed to make the following investments:
Canada is investing $400 million over three years, in addition to the $180 million provided in January 2018 to the Global Partnership for Education for 2018-2020. The European Union is investing 72 million euros over three years. Germany is investing 75 million euros. Japan is investing $200 million in girl’s and women’s quality education, including in emergencies or in conflict-affected or fragile states.
The United Kingdom is investing £187 million, which builds on the pledge of £212 million to get almost one million girls in developing countries across the Commonwealth learning. The World Bank is investing $2 billion over five years. In February 2018, France committed to provide 200 million euros to the Global Partnership for Education to support girls’ education and help strengthen education systems in developing countries.
At the end of 2016, globally there were 65.5 million forcibly displaced people, over half of whom were under 18 years of age, with little to no access to quality education and learning opportunities.
Girls are more likely to be taken out of school due to displacement-related poverty, more likely to be forced into early marriage, and are disproportionately affected by gender and sexual-based violence.
Canada which holds the G7 Presidency for 2018, is committed to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment during its tenure.
* CBC News: How right-wing populist leaders are eroding democracy:

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NGOs set out expectations before Paris humanitarian conference on Yemen
by ReliefWeb, agencies
5 June 2018
Report from War Child UK, Islamic Relief, Norwegian Refugee Council, CARE, Saferworld, Christian Aid, Mercy Corps, Handicap International - Humanity & Inclusion, Action Contre la Faim France, Solidarités International, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, Save the Children, Première Urgence Internationale, agencies
Subject: Paris Humanitarian Conference on Yemen
Dear President Macron,
We welcome French efforts to address the ongoing armed conflict and humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and your announcement during Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Paris on 10 April that France would host an international humanitarian conference on Yemen in Paris in June.
22 million Yemenis need humanitarian assistance to survive, and urgent action from the international community to address the root causes of the crisis is long overdue. We write, as representatives of Yemeni civil society and international humanitarian, peacebuilding and human rights organisations, to share our expectations about what the proposed conference must deliver if it is to make a meaningful difference to the lives of Yemeni people.
First, we urge you to reiterate throughout the conference that only an inclusive political solution can fully address the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Any initiatives to improve the humanitarian situation must be consistent with ongoing international efforts. For this reason, it is imperative that the conference is organised in close liaison with the United Nations and its Special Envoy Martin Griffiths, and with other key international actors.
Second, we are concerned about the credibility of a humanitarian event on Yemen co-hosted by Saudi Arabia, one of the parties to the conflict. It is France’s responsibility, as the convener, to ensure that the conference adheres to humanitarian principles and that all parties to the conflict participate and engage in good faith, guided by the sole objective of alleviating the suffering of Yemenis.
Third, we urge you to ensure that a diverse group of Yemeni civil society representatives, including women and youth, are meaningfully included in the conference and that the conference is a safe space for their full and equal participation. Any international gathering to address the needs of Yemen’s people must include their voices at its heart.
Fourth, it is absolutely imperative that the conference emphasises the right of civilians in Yemen to protection and makes reference to the outrageous violations of international humanitarian and human rights law committed by all parties to the conflict. We are particularly concerned about the prospect of an imminent attack on Hodeidah port that would have a disastrous impact on civilians throughout the country.
We urge you to condemn violations and ensure that a key outcome of the conference is that all parties immediately cease indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, stop using explosive weapons in populated areas, and remove all obstacles that impede humanitarian access.
The conference should support international accountability for violations against civilians, including access to Yemen for the Panel of Experts established to monitor implementation of Resolution 2140, and the Group of Eminent Experts appointed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2017.
As host of the conference, France should lead by example and, pursuant of France’s international commitments, we urge you to suspend the transfer of any French military equipment at risk of being used against civilians in Yemen.
Finally, to reinforce current international efforts, the conference should demand that key stakeholders enforce the UN Security Council’s Presidential Statement of 15 March 2018, and seek to secure the delivery of the following actions:
Acknowledgement by all parties that current levels of imports into Yemen (including fuel and food) are not sufficient to meet the basic needs of the population; public commitments to fully and unconditionally lift the recurring blockade on Yemeni ports, and to remove all delays and obstructions to humanitarian access (including movement of aid workers) and the delivery essential commercial goods; guarantees to ensure fair distribution of aid throughout the country;
Guarantees that Yemen’s ports will be kept functioning and protected from further attacks, including Hodeidah port, which is a critical lifeline for millions of Yemenis;
Public commitments by all parties to engage with the UN Verification and Inspection Mechanism (UNVIM) in good faith and to report on any inspections parties conduct, as required by UN Security Council resolution 2216;
Public commitment to allow more regular medical evacuations immediately and develop a clear roadmap for the full reopening of Sana’a International Airport to commercial flights, without preconditions or conditions for use;
Agreement on a plan for the immediate resumption of payments of public sector salaries across the whole of Yemen especially for health, education and sanitation front line workers, to address the critical issue of the collapse of social services and the economy.
The commitments announced at the conference should be made public in a communiqué that sets out clear deadlines and establishes international monitoring mechanisms (including benchmarks and reporting systems) to ensure thorough implementation and transparency.
A French-hosted humanitarian conference on Yemen that does not set down strict and clear conditions and outcomes would not only pose risks to the credibility of French international leadership; more importantly, it could embolden parties to the conflict at a time when restraint, not escalation, is needed. After more than three years of brutal war, parties to the conflict must hear loud and clear that they will not be allowed to continue to pursue military solutions at the expense of Yemeni lives.
Please be assured of our commitment to work with you on an initiative that delivers on these critical goals to bring hope to the people of Yemen.

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