One of the themes implemented by chairman Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at this year’s annual summit, which brings the seven countries with the largest advanced economies in the world together, was gender equality and empowering women and girls.
Over $2.9 billion was raised at the annual G7 summit in a major effort to improve education for women and girls across the globe. Unfortunately, the U.S. didn’t contribute money towards the cause at all, a spokesperson for the Canadian prime minister’s office confirmed.
The money raised at the summit will help go towards helping educate more than 8 million children and teenage girls in these positions. Additionally, the funding will equip women and girls with the skills needed for the jobs of the future and provide training for teachers in these developing countries. Malala Yousafzai called it a “significant” step for women, and said it “gives all of us the chance to create a safer, healthier, and wealthier world.”
"Investing in their education is not just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do,” Trudeau added after making the announcement at the summit. “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."
With President Donald Trump at the helm of our country it isn’t a total surprise that the U.S. didn’t pledge money, unlike Canada, the European Union, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the World Bank, but it’s still disheartening nonetheless. Adding insult to injury, he even strolled into to the summit’s gender equality breakfast late.
Since Trump was sworn into office, the women’s rights has taken some serious hits. From his administration’s cuts to women's healthcare, protections against workplace discrimination, and efforts to close the gender wage gap, to this latest showing of disregard for global women’s education efforts, Trump has made it very clear that the empowerment and advancement of women aren’t high priorities on his agenda.