Coverage: UN Women Executive Director in Canada's G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council meeting


UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka participated at the first in-person meeting of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council from 25 – 26 April in Ottawa, Canada, in the lead up to the G7 Leaders’ Summit, which will be hosted by Canada in June this year.

Established by the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, the Gender Equality Advisory Council advises him on Canada’s priorities for the G7 presidency. The Council is co-chaired by Isabelle Hudon, Ambassador of Canada to France, and Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and includes a diverse mix of gender activists and experts from around the world.

The Council had a series of consultations to develop a set of concrete and actionable recommendations for the five themes of the G7 under Canada’s presidency: jobs and innovation; inclusive growth; climate and environment; peace and security; and gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Co-chairing the group on climate change, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said, “There is no Planet B and women and girls are an integral part of Planet A. Now is the time to stop looking at them as helpless victims, and harness their agency and energy to bring innovative solutions to climate action, in particular for a just transition to a low carbon economy”

The Executive Director also emphasized the importance of the #MeToo campaign and the need to leverage this momentum to see real progress and change on preventing and responding to violence against women, including sexual harassment. She argued that through appropriate policies and measures, concrete actions can be taken by the G7 countries to stop violence and harassment in the workplace.

Prime Minister Trudeau urged the Council to be bold and to provide him with a set of comprehensive recommendations.

Executive Director Mlambo-Ngcuka also engaged with the Prime Minister as part of a public panel, where she highlighted the importance of second chance education, technology and sexual and reproductive health and rights, among other issues.

In addition, she met with feminist leaders of the Women 7 (W7) Summit, a forum that fosters dialogue on gender equality and women’s empowerment among civil society, business, academia and the G7 representatives. The W7 Summit has issued specific recommendations for Canada and other G7 nations on addressing gender equality.