Suspend Arms Transfers to Israel
As we near four months into the current escalation in Gaza, we have continued to raise our voices calling for the UN General Assembly resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza to become a reality. We have also turned our attention to the need for Canada to suspend military arms transfers to Israel. We dialed up the pressure by joining 15 other humanitarian groups in calling for an embargo on military exports to Israel.
Our Executive Director, Lauren Ravon, spoke with The Maple on the matter:
“If there are exports of arms directly to Israel, or parts that are manufactured in Canada, exported to the United States to then build armaments that go to Israel, then Canada could be in violation of the terms of the Arms Trade Treaty, but also could be deemed an accomplice to violations of international humanitarian law and war crimes,"
In light of the recent provisional measure's judgment by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), it is more important than ever that we take a stand now and speak out against the devastating impact of Canada's arms exports to Israel. This is why we set up a petition demanding immediate action. The devastation in Gaza is beyond comprehension, and a ceasefire is the only path to ensure the delivery of essential humanitarian aid.
As Ravon further explained, "while it is not unusual for Oxfam to take a stance on world events that cause humanitarian crises, the situation in Gaza is unique because Oxfam has been unable to mount a response on the ground due to the lack of humanitarian access."
Since 2020, the richest five men in the world have doubled their fortunes. During the same period, almost five billion people globally have become poorer. Hardship and hunger are a daily reality for many people worldwide. At current rates, it will take 230 years to end poverty, but we could have our first trillionaire in a decade.
January 2024 saw us launch our annual report in inequality, Inequality Inc., just in time for the World Economic Forum which took place in Davos, Switzerland.
The report showed that people worldwide are working harder and longer hours, often for poverty wages in precarious and unsafe jobs. The wages of nearly 800 million workers have failed to keep up with inflation and they have lost $1.5 trillion over the last two years, equivalent to nearly a month (25 days) of lost wages for each worker. The report also stated that it would take 1,200 years for a woman working in the health and social sector to earn what the average CEO in the biggest 100 Fortune companies earns in a year.
For democracy to be genuine, women and equity-deserving communities must be meaningfully represented in elected bodies. This is why we're so proud to be supporting the #BalanceThePower campaign and to raise awareness about the dire need to increase diversity and representation of women and equity-deserving communities in our elected bodies. The campaign was officially launched on January 24th with a event moderated by our very own Arezoo Najibzadeh and featuring panelists like Senator Donna Dosko, Chi Nguyen from Equal Voice, Aline Nizigama from YWCA Canada, Anuradha Dugal from the Canadian Women’s Foundation as well as Shari Graydon and Gabrielle Brassard-Lecours from Balance the Power and Informed Opinions.
There are a number of ways to take action through the #BalanceThePower campaign, from sending a letter to your local representative to organizing an official event. More information is available here.