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Sophie Trudeau tells women: Face the world with your head held high

The wife of visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said many cultural beliefs have asked women to have “small space in society”, but that won’t happen.

india Updated: Feb 22, 2018 16:58 IST
PTI, New Delhi,
Sophie Trudeau,Canada PM,Justin Trudeau
Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, arrives at the Sophia College for Women for the interactive session in Mumbai on February 20, 2018. (AFP File Photo)

Hailing women as the “womb of humanity”, Canada’s first lady Sophie Gregoire Trudeau on Thursday asked young women to be fearless and face the world with their heads held high.

Addressing a group of Indian women students in New Delhi at the Asia launch of the global campaign — She Will Grow Into It — Trudeau also asked them to speak up for those who cannot, and “have fun”.

The wife of visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said many cultural beliefs have asked women to have “small space in society or disappear sometimes” from it, but that will not happen.

“Girls and women are the womb of humanity and they will be fully participative citizens... And men are our allies in the quest for equality,” she said.

Twelve students from Gujarat’s Patan district on Thursday interacted with Trudeau as part of the campaign and shared their stories.

After listening to the story of a Class 11 student, who aspires to become a poet, Trudeau appeared emotional and teary.

“There is a lot that you will face growing up as a girl. And you may also feel fearful. While it is normal to feel fear, I want to tell you that you should be courageous and fearless in facing the world.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie Grégoire, daughter Ella-Grace Margaret, sons Xavier James and Hadrien pose for a photograph at Jama Masjid, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

“Face the world with your head held high. Speak up, and be the voices of those who cannot. And, while doing all that have fun,” Trudeau said.

Wearing a yellow dress with floral prints, she hugged all the 12 students when she walked into the hall and later also posed for pictures and selfies.

The Trudeau family and their three children are on a week-long visit to India.

Canada’s defence minister Harjit Sajjan also interacted with the young women and described them as “powerful agents of change”.

“Every child has a gift and endeavour to accomplish your inner potential and realise what you dream to become,” he said.

The campaign led by Canada-based non-profit organisation Nutrition International was launched globally in Ottawa on the International Day of the Girl Child.

“It serves to challenge social norms and highlights that a girl’s future can answer should be powerful, progressive and limitless, everywhere.” the organisation said.

First Published: Feb 22, 2018 16:57 IST