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Body Politic #14: What we need to hear from the G(irls) 20 Summit

lyndsie bourgon

People sporting the G(irls) 20 "Pangaea" T-shirt.

People sporting the G(irls) 20 "Pangaea" T-shirt.

We’ve talked a lot about what’s going wrong so far with the G20 and G8 meetings taking place in Ontario this year. And lord knows there are plenty of problems: aside from the lack of discussion surrounding women’s health we’re now chopping down trees in an urban jungle and searching around for supposedly stolen police uniforms.

But for just a few minutes, let’s take a look at what has come out of these meetings. This week Toronto’s welcoming another delegation—a group of 21 young women who are setting out to discuss women’s rights. The G(irls) 20 Summit is going on from June 16- 25, and it’s sponsored by the Belinda Stronach Foundation. Yes, that Belinda Stronach.

According to a press release, the girls represent each of the G20 nations, as well as one member from the African Union. They’ll be discussing a number of issues that affect women around the world, but if you ask me, this is the perfect chance for these girls to tell their leaders what’s what.

Apparently it has become necessary for the world’s youngest citizens to educate their own governments on what’s important. These girls have the opportunity to speak out about adequate women’s health services and maternal rights. They have the power to talk about what they need and what they deserve. And I hope to God they’ve got megaphones.

Of course, women’s health isn’t the only important issue, but it’s one almost everyone can stand behind. It’s hard not to support a woman’s right to birth control, or abortion, or prenatal care, or even just regular pap smears. And hey, if you can’t, you’re probably invited to the big meetings anyway.

So sing it loud, girls. Now’s your chance.

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