NEW YORK, Feb. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian government is taking "a
more focused approach" to achieving equality between women and men with the
goal of "achieving real and measurable results". At least that's what the
Government of Canada said to the United Nations Commission on the Status of
Women (UNCSW) during its February 28 2008 statement.
But the Canadian government's actions speak otherwise.
True, the federal budget released on February 26 includes a commitment
for an Action Plan to advance women's equality. While women's organizations
and trade unions think it's too little too late, we will be monitoring it
closely, and expect to be an integral part of the process from the beginning.
But overall, the federal budget is a disaster for women given its focus
on the wealthy. Women are mentioned six times in the budget document compared
to 119 times for corporations. Most women will never benefit from the Tax Free
Savings Account, since four out of ten women tax filers are too poor to even
pay taxes. Women earn an average of 71 cents of what men make and comprise the
majority of low income earners.
The choices to use the surplus toward debt reduction and cuts to
corporate taxes mean less revenue for important public services for women and
their families. The budget does nothing to address coverage and benefits under
the EI program, and provides no funding for child care. There is no evidence
of a gender analysis of any of the budgetary measures.
Women's organizations are key to advocating for and achieving equality,
and holding our governments accountable - a fact recognized even by the
Secretary General of the United Nations.
Yet Status of Women Canada continues to exclude funding for lobbying
which significantly constrains the work of women's advocacy organizations.
Canada's statement to the UNCSW makes no mention of the contribution of
women's organizations and non-governmental organizations to advancing women's
The Government of Canada must ensure that full equality is the "real and
measureable" result. Women in Canada aren't there yet. Many women remain
marginalized because of their economic and social realities. Only 21% of
Members of Parliament in the House of Commons are women. Canada has plummeted
downwards on virtually every international gender equality index.
Internationally, Canada has been reprimanded for its lack of action on
achieving full equality for all women. It's time to translate words into
action. It's time to go from accountability to results. It's time for full
equality, once and for all.
- Business and Professional Women - Fédération des femmes du Québec
of Canada - Feminist Alliance for International
- Canadian Teacher's Federation Action
- Canadian Union of Public - Indigenous Women's Network
Employees - New Brunswick Child Care Coalition
- Canadian Union of Postal Workers - Ontario Association of Interval
- Confederation of National Trade and Transition Houses
Unions - Oxfam Canada
- Canadian Federation of - National Council of Women
University Women - National Association of Women
- Canadian Labour Congress and the Law
- Canadian Voice of Women for - Public Service Alliance of Canada
Peace - University Women's Club of Winnipeg
- Canadian Research Institute for - Témiskaming Native Women's Support
the Advancement of Women Group
- Centre for Northern Families - Regroupement provincial des maisons
- Child Care Advocacy Association d'hébergement et de transition pour
of Canada femmes victimes de violence
- Code Blue for Child Care conjugale
- DAWN Canada - YWCA
- Fédération Interprofessionnelle
de la Santé du Québec
For further information:
For further information: Muriel Smith, (204) 799-5789; Sarah Bélanger
(613) 798-3494; Michèle Asselin, (514) 232-4847