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Canada sits at a critical juncture in its efforts to advance gender equality and implement its Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP). This policy paper explores why and how Canada can advance its global leadership on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This includes the case for Canadian investment in SRHR, and how a rights-based approach can lead to greater development impact. Canada is uniquely positioned to accelerate progress in the most neglected areas of the global SRHR agenda, which include: adolescent SRHR including comprehensive sexuality education, comprehensive contraceptive care, safe abortion care, advocacy for SRHR and SRHR in emergency settings. Through increased and sustained investment in the most neglected areas of SRHR beyond-2020 and a clear global SRHR policy rooted in feminist principles, Canada can achieve significant impact on gender equality, human rights and economic development. The Future Planning Initiative is calling on Canada to: Invest a minimum of $500 million/year over 10 years starting in 2020 in the neglected areas of SRHR, as part of a $1.4 billion commitment to women, adolescents and children’s health and rights starting in 2020; Create a Canadian global SRHR policy, integrating and centring SRHR in the national, regional and international decision-making spaces in which Canada engages. Through these key financial and political investments, Canada will be well positioned to safeguard the SRHR gains that have been made in recent years and move the needle on the realization of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, contributing to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals, realizing the commitments of the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action and meeting international human rights obligations.
As the world prepares to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the 20th Anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325, governments, donors, United Nations agencies, civil society organizations, and national and local actors must rally together to uphold women’s and girls’ rights where they are furthest behind: in conflict and emergency settings.