‘When women rise, men rise as well’

So­phie Gregoire Trudeau urges girls to have con­fi­dence in them­selves

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

So­phie Gregoire Trudeau kicked off a United Na­tions-led girls’ con­fer­ence in Wash­ing­ton with a pep talk Mon­day, urg­ing young women to be­lieve in them­selves and in their abil­ity to shape the world.

The prime min­is­ter’s wife re­ferred to her own past eat­ing dis­or­der and talked about the ways young girls of­ten lack con­fi­dence, in their ap­pear­ance or in their abil­ity.

She opened the Girl Up Lead­er­ship Sum­mit urg­ing the hun­dreds of young women in at­ten­dance to fight back against that lack of con­fi­dence.

She also pro­moted Cana­dian in­ter­na­tional devel­op­ment pro­grams, tai­lored to help­ing women.

Gregoire Trudeau said it’s a ba­sic eco­nomic tru­ism that so­ci­eties with em­pow­ered women are more pros­per­ous.

“When women rise, men rise as well... It’s based on facts,” she said. “We have more women in the board­room, more women in class­rooms, more women in com­mu­nity life, we can in­ject peace. “We can in­ject com­pas­sion.”

She de­liv­ered a string of ex­tem­po­ra­ne­ous re­marks, wan­der­ing around the stage as she spoke off-the-cuff, and got an ova­tion from the crowd at the be­gin­ning and end.

She con­cluded by para­phras­ing the South Asian-Cana­dian poet Rupi Kaur, who wrote about her heart ach­ing for sis­ters more than any­thing.

“My heart aches for women help­ing women; like flow­ers ache for spring,” Gregoire Trudeau said.

“You are loved, girls... I wish you could see just how beau­ti­ful you are and how pos­si­ble it is to self-love, and be at peace.”

CP PHOTO

So­phie Gregoire Trudeau spoke to a United Na­tions-led girls’ con­fer­ence in Wash­ing­ton Mon­day, urg­ing young women to be­lieve in their abil­ity to shape the world.

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