WaterAid Canada applauds new Feminist International Assistance Policy

9 June 2017
Canada, Girls and women

The Government of Canada today released its Feminist International Assistance Policy which targets women’s rights and gender equality and acknowledges that empowering women and girls makes families and countries more prosperous.

The evidence clearly shows that water, sanitation and hygiene are essential for protecting the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations and reversing the cycle of disempowerment. This is particularly important for women and girls, who collectively spend as much as 200 million hours every day fetching water, and for the more than one billion women and girls around the world who not have access to a clean, private toilet.

“We are encouraged by Canada’s continued leadership in maternal, newborn and child health and by today’s commitment to set a powerful standard for how we recognize the role of women in building healthy, sustainable and prosperous communities,” said Nicole Hurtubise, CEO of WaterAid Canada. “Investments in safe water supply, sanitation interventions and hygiene behaviour change must be part of this agenda if we are to achieve and sustain the economic opportunities for women and girls that this government is promising.”

The Global Goals for Sustainable Development commit the global community to ending extreme poverty, inequality and climate change by 2030. Through this Policy, the Government of Canada is demonstrating leadership toward this collective goal of a better, safer and more prosperous world and setting the stage to improve women’s lives around the world.

In 2016, WaterAid Canada, along with organizations and experts from across Canada, submitted Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Essential Elements of Canada’s International Development Assistance to the International Assistance review. The document provided a decisive case for strengthening investment in water, sanitation and hygiene and integrating them with all of Canada’s development priorities.

WaterAid looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Government of Canada and development partners to ensure development aid and cooperation is as effective as possible in the years ahead.