Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is tying his foreign aid policy to a feminist agenda that includes access to abortion.
CBC News reports that the plan is called the Feminist International Assistance Policy, and it will spend $150 million over five years to promote the Liberal government’s feminist agenda by directly assisting foreign organizations that view “reproductive rights” as integral to women’s rights and gender equality.
The Liberals announced Friday that they want to allocate 80 percent of Canada’s international assistance funding toward this goal by 2021-22.
Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau told an Ottawa news conference that the plan is all about reducing poverty around the world and empowering women and girls.
“We will not break the back of poverty if we leave half of humanity at the sidelines,” she said. “We will not break the vicious cycle of poverty and violence without stepping up efforts to give women and girls a voice, and the opportunities to choose their own future and fully contribute to their community.”
Along with providing more abortions for third-world women, Trudeau’s plan will endeavor to offer birth control devices, more educational opportunities, better nutrition and access to financial loans. Bibeau also promised to bring “inclusive governance and social inclusion” to women around the world though she wouldn’t suggest how the Canadian government can make those conditions a reality.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland first referenced the policy this week in the House of Commons when she delivered a speech that suggested Canada could no longer rely on the U.S. to lead the free world and stated “women’s rights are human rights.”
The government has set a goal of targeting sub-Saharan African countries with at least 50 percent of the assistance.
Some aid groups are welcoming the initiative.
The president and CEO of World Vision Canada, Michael Messenger, said it is an “ambitious new agenda.”