Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the chance for a feminist revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement is something that Canada and Mexico “can’t afford” to miss.
Trudeau addressed Mexico’s Senate Friday, where he lauded the country for supporting Canada’s push to see a gender chapter added to NAFTA .
“With the opportunity in front of us to update a decades-old agreement, this is a progressive step forward that we can’t afford not to take,” Trudeau said.
Violence against women and girls is prevalent in all facets of life, from the studios of Hollywood to the digital public squares to our own halls of Parliament.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Trudeau also called for more to be done to advance gender equality in both countries. As he did at the United Nations weeks ago, Trudeau touched on why many Indigenous women and girls feel unsafe in Canada.
“We’re dealing with an ongoing national tragedy related to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls,” he said. “We must do better at home.”
But the prime minister added that civil society leaders in Mexico City Thursday told him other “unacceptable” tales of abuse faced by women and girls.
Trudeau obliquely referenced the numerous sexual harassment and assault allegations levied against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and drew a parallel to accusations that have also rocked Canada’s Parliament in recent years.
“Everywhere we look, violence against women and girls is prevalent in all facets of life, from the studios of Hollywood to the digital public squares to our own halls of Parliament,” Trudeau said.
“As a gender-balanced Senate, I challenge you to use your position of power to continue to strongly push for the rights of women and girls, in Mexico and around the world.”
Those remarks drew a standing ovation from those in the chamber.
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