World

Bono Activist Group Questions Trudeau’s Feminist Commitment

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

The social activism group led by musician Bono is questioning Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commitment to feminism.

The One Campaign released a video Thursday spoofing Trudeau’s photo ops, wacky socks and speeches, saying the prime minister might be the coolest leader on earth but he’s mostly talk and not action — especially where gender equality is concerned.

“We like your style, prime minister, like how you play with pandas, photobomb a prom pic, dress up as Superman or show off your cool socks,” says the video’s narrator.

“You talk a good talk, prime minister. But where’s your plan?”

The video suggests the upcoming G7 meeting in June will be a golden opportunity to promote women’s rights to the world.

Trudeau agreed, releasing a statement on Thursday:  “…we made gender equality and women’s empowerment a central theme of Canada’s G7 Presidency – and created the Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7 Presidency. Thanks to the Council, we will make sure a focus on gender equality guides the work done at the G7 Leaders’ Summit – and set a precedent for the G7 going forward.”

“You’ve made gender equality and women’s empowerment a theme but so far, those are just words. Now it’s time to act. Show the G7 leaders the way.”

One Campaign’s Canadian Director Stuart Hickox told Canadian Press it was not easy to take on a liberal icon like Trudeau, who proudly calls himself a “feminist.” After the release of the last federal budget in February this year, Bono proclaimed Trudeau to be “leadership in action.”

“Oh Canada! Prime Minister Trudeau’s budget — and the smart, women-centred policy that guides it — is leadership in action,” read a statement from the U2 frontman.

But Hickox isn’t so sure. “It’s a missed opportunity if we get through the G7 with a just mere declaration or more framing language or more aspiration.”

One Campaign is encouraging Trudeau to force the private sector to institute equal pay for equal work with federal government legislation.

Trudeau rarely misses an opportunity to talk about gender equality. He ties the issue to trade deals along with his other favorite themes of climate change and labor rights. The members of Trudeau’s federal cabinet are divided equally between male and female Members of Parliament.

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