Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Bats for Equality in India

Setting aside his cultural adventure in the country, here's what Trudeau had to say
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Bats for Equality in India
Image credit: United Nations India Twitter

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Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India
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Ever since he assumed office as the Prime Minister of Canada in 2015, Justin Trudeau has managed to bag every headline for, let’s say, his different take on politics. From having a cabinet which is young and ethnically diverse, and a ministerial team that is equally balanced between men and women, Trudeau’s empathetic nature towards causes and people hasn’t gone unnoticed.

As Trudeau, a popular lover of Indian customs, made his way into India, his visit began with trips to the Taj Mahal, Sabarmati Ashram and the Golden Temple, interlaced with parties with Bollywood celebrities and other Canadian receptions, where the Prime Minister also broke into a bit of bhangra.

But Trudeau also got down to business, meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss bilateral relations and trade between India and Canada.

The Canadian Prime Minister also spoke at the United Nations Youth Changemakers Conclave. While there, Trudeau spoke about what he’s best known for, battling for gender equality and mobilizing the youth for change.

Women’s rights

He has declared more often than not, that he’s a feminist. At global stages, Trudeau has stood up for feminism and spoken about women’s rights. Recently, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Trudeau spoke about how gender equality should be a priority. At the WEF, he said, “MeToo, TimesUp, the Women’s March, these movements tell us that we need to have is a critical discussion on women’s rights, equality and power dynamics of gender.”

When in India, Trudeau went on to talk about women’s rights at the UNYCC. Speaking about how we can make women and girls equal partners in success, he said, “We (need to) empower them, give them tools to succeed when we change business, politics and communities for the better.”

He added, “A big piece of innovation is recognizing that differences that so often are used to drive wedges and fight against others are not a source of weakness but of strength. Fundamental to me as a feminist is how to empower women and girls.”

Young Leaders

Trudeau, who is himself the second youngest Prime Minister in Canadian history, also has members below 50 in his cabinet. So, it came as no surprise that when the PM spoke to the youngsters in the crowd, he reached out to them and defined their role in the future of the world.

Bringing out similarities between the two countries, he said that India and Canada are both large democracies, India in terms of its population and Canada in terms of its geography. India’s youth accounts for more than 50 per cent of its population. Citing the same, Trudeau said that, “The future of our world is happening here, in India.”

Addressing the changemakers, Trudeau said that each individual has the power to shake the world and change it. He added that the capacity to move forward as a planet depends on all of us. “If you believe you can change the world- then you will,” he said.

Calling the youth of India, the leaders of today, he added that youngsters can be the source of change to all the issues the world faces today – be it climate change or refugee migration. For all we need today to fight these new challenges is a fresh way of thinking. He said, “I see opportunity in India to define yourself not by the colour of your skin, your religion, your region, your caste, who you love, but by your passion, your skill. You don't get to be leaders of tomorrow unless you start leading today.”

Climate Change and Diversity

Trudeau who has often spoken about climate change added that the G7 meeting (comprising of countries Canada, the UK, the US, France, Italy, Germany and Japan), will also look at ‘gender’ and ‘oceans’, and plastic’ added to the agenda. He also added that for any country to have a robust economy they cannot avoid the environment.

Speaking on diversity, the Canadian Prime Minister said that diversity will lead to the creation of new solutions, which will do better than monocultures.

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