On April 11, 2019, the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (CAPPD), together with Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) hosted a parliamentary breakfast recognizing Canadian leadership on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
Following the successful launch of UNFPA’s 2019 State of World Population (SWOP) Report, the breakfast brought parliamentarians together to discuss the report as well as Canada’s role in advancing SRHR globally.
The Honourable Senator Marilou McPhedran (Co-chair of CAPPD) moderated the panel, with special guests Kamal Khera (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development) and Alanna Armitage (UNFPA Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia) sharing remarks on the state of SRHR and the barriers and gaps that persist.
UNFPA Programme Specialist on Gender-Based Violence, Reem Khamis, also spoke about her work overseeing humanitarian programming in northwest Syria. Reem shared the unique challenges being faced by women and girls in emergency settings and emphasized the importance of UNFPA’s work creating safe spaces for women and girls and providing access to sexual and reproductive health care.
In the leadup to the 25th anniversary of the landmark International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action, parliamentarians agreed that Canada must continue and step-up its SRHR leadership to drive progress on the ICPD Programme of Action and the Sustainable Development Goals.