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The Whistler Declaration on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in Humanitarian Action

Whistler, British Columbia, June 2, 2018

The specific needs and rights of vulnerable populations still risk being overlooked or unmet in humanitarian responses, and, in particular the voices and leadership of women and adolescent girls have remained undervalued and untapped.

Important steps have been taken by the international community to realize gender equality in humanitarian contexts. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Women Peace and Security agenda, and other efforts supported by the G7, such as the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies, and the World Humanitarian Summit outcomes, all include important commitments to working better to address the needs of vulnerable populations in conflict and fragile settings.

But these steps have not yet sufficiently changed the way humanitarian assistance is being delivered to affected populations. We, G7 Development Ministers recognize the importance of advancing gender equality in all our humanitarian activities and actions by specifically addressing the needs of women and girls. We recognize that effectively protecting and reaching the most vulnerable, including persons living with disabilities, requires an understanding of their distinct needs and the capacities of those affected. Women and adolescent girls are powerful agents of change; they are leaders. They must be recognized as such and have an equal voice and representation in making decisions on issues that affect them.

Together we will work with our partners to promote system-level change, and ensure that humanitarian action is principled, evidence-based, and empowering, and recognizes that interventions to meet basic needs include access to education, health care for girls, and the prevention and response to gender-based violence.

Our Governments will:

To ensure sustained follow-up on these actions, Canada will host a high-level meeting in 2019, ahead of the Women Deliver 2019 Conference in Vancouver, to review progress in addressing gender equality in humanitarian action.

Source: Official website of the Canada's 2018 G7 presidency


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