Skip to main content

Youth leaders from G7 countries convene in Ottawa for Y7 summit

April 13, 2018 (TORONTO, ON) – The Y7 Summit, a meeting of youth delegates from all G7 members, will be convening in Ottawa from April 16th-18th to influence global policymakers in the lead up to the G7. The Summit will focus on three themes: climate change and the environment, the future of work, and gender equality. Over the course of the summit, delegates will develop official recommendations for G7 leaders.

To inform the work of delegates and help shape the recommendations, youth representatives from the Youth for Gender Equality (YGE) initiative will be participating in the Y7 Summit. Youth from across Canada will share with Y7 delegates initial YGE findings that reflect the realities and issues of youth across Canada.

Youth for Gender Equality is a ground-breaking, youth-led initiative supported by Plan International Canada, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation and a network of 18 civil society organizations aiming to ensure Canada and the international community deliver on their promises to achieve the gender equality targets set out by the UN’s Global Goals by 2030.

The first phase of the Youth for Gender Equality initiative was comprised of a series of youth-led dialogues held across the country that focused on how Canada can best address gender inequalities at home and abroad. One of these pilot dialogues was facilitated by Austin Henderson, a member of Plan International Canada’s Youth Advisory Council, and a presenter at the Y7 Summit.

Austin Henderson hosted one of these pilot dialogues with 12 newcomers to Canada:

“These young people shared their diverse experiences as it relates to gender equality both in their countries of origin and in New Brunswick. They were able to provide recommendations on how Canada can address issues such as post-secondary education and gender norms, equitable access to services for gender minorities, and services for survivors of gender-based violence,” said Henderson. “This first round of dialogues offered such a rich diversity of perspectives and insights, I really look forward to hearing from even more youth from around the country.”

Following this initial pilot phase and a national location-mapping exercise, the innovative YGE initiative will roll out its second phase over the course of the next year. This will see youth facilitating conversations with other young people at identified locations across the country. The collected insights and recommendations will combine to form recommendations for how Canada can best advance gender equality at the global, national and local level.

To ensure that Youth for Gender Equality captures a range of youth voices that accurately represents Canada’s diversity, the initiative is seeking additional partnerships with other organizations dedicated to amplifying youth voices and achieving gender equality.

About Youth for Gender Equality

In 2015, at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, Heads of State adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, comprised of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including a standalone goal on achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls (SDG5). This has resulted in an important opportunity for youth and supporting organizations to begin work towards an SDG-implementation plan on gender equality. As such, Plan International Canada and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation are uniting with like-minded partners to provide a safe space for youth across Canada to convene, share their experiences, and focus their attention on how to achieve SDG5 in Canada and abroad.

In partnership with: 360ºkids, Alberta Council for Global Cooperation, Atlantic Council for International Cooperation, The Canadian Centre for Gender & Sexual Diversity, Foundation for Environmental Stewardship, Girl Guides of Canada, Girls Inc., Jays Care Foundation, NextGenMen, Prime Minister's Youth Council Members, Right To Play, Sandalwood Heights Secondary School, White Ribbon, World Vision Canada, Youth Advisory Council of Plan International Canada. Technical advisors: Foundation for Environmental Stewardship, Global Goals Education Task Force, Prime Minister's Youth Council Members Raising the Roof, Save the Children, Youth Advisory Council (YAC) of Plan International Canada.

About Plan International Canada and the Because I am a Girl initiative

Founded in 1937, Plan International is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan International strives for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Because I am a Girl is Plan International’s global movement to transform power relations so that girls everywhere can learn, lead, decide and thrive.

Visit for more information.

About the Canadian Teachers’ Federation

Founded in 1920, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation is a national alliance of provincial and territorial teacher organizations that represent over 238,000 elementary and secondary school teachers across Canada. CTF is also a member of Education International (EI) along with the United Nations Girls' Education Initiative, the Canadian Labour Congress, UNESCO, and other organizations.

Much of the CTF’s international and national social justice work promotes gender equality in education. CTF has identified gender, equity, status of women and girls, gender “gaps” in education, sexual identity and sexual orientation as some of the issues for its work.

Media contact:

Leah Siversky
Plan International Canada
T: 416-920-1654 x361