June 12, 2018 4:24 pm

G7 summit fell short on gender equality promises, advocates say

Justin Trudeau walks to the podium to address the final news conference of the G7 summit in the Charlevoix city of La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada, June 9, 2018.

Yves Herman/Reuters

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to make gender equality a key focus of the G7 summit, but some women’s rights advocates are lamenting a shortage of concrete commitments to action.

The final communique of the G7 summit in Charlevoix, Que., included promises to work toward removing barriers for women in social, economic and political spheres and resolutions to end sexual and gender-based violence.

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The summit also produced a commitment of $3.8 billion for girls’ education — a fund the U.S. did not agree to participate in.

Beyond the money, no other measurable actions to advance gender equality materialized — an outcome many women’s advocacy groups that participated in the so-called W7 summit in April pushed hard to avoid.

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Diana Sarosi, Oxfam Canada’s manager of policy, says while she’s glad to see strong language in support of gender equality in the communique, her organization would have liked a much broader range of commitments from G7 leaders.

Advocacy groups were hoping for more direct responses to the 60 recommendations of the G7 gender equality advisory council, released in advance of the summit.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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