By Kieran Bergmann
The G8/G20 may not have officially started yet but Toronto is already full of action. The opening of the People’s Summit this weekend attracted hundreds of activists, organizations and concerned citizens. And, Saturday’s rally for reproductive justice was a huge success and gave the city a taste of what is to come this week.
So much of the focus leading up to the G8/G20 has been on Canada’s outrageous spending on “security” and fake lakes (by the way, the one billion dollars spent on security is equal to half of the UN’s budget for a year). It was nice to finally see the attention put where it should be. At Oxfam’s Gender Justice Summit we heard from people around the world about the very real issues that affect women every day. Here is a glimpse: 500,000 women die each year in child birth; for each man that dies in a natural disaster associated with climate change, 4 women die; women grow 2/3 of the world’s food, but only own 5% of the world’s land. This has been the reality for decades and yet the G8 did not put issues directly impacting women on the agenda until 2007.
Will women’s rights be on the agenda this year? As the countdown continues, will the world leaders listen to the voices calling to them? We’ll see.