Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau urges girls to have confidence in Washington speech

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, wave as they leave the stage in Ottawa on July 1, 2017.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Story continues below advertisement

"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."

Report an error
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.