Violence against women is focus of Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers
responsible for the Status of Women meeting in Toronto

TORONTO, June 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Federal-Provincial/Territorial (FPT) Ministers responsible for the Status of Women met in Toronto from June 15 to 17, 2010, for their 28th annual meeting. The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Canada's Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, and the Honourable Laurel Broten, Ontario's Minister of Children and Youth Services and Minister Responsible for Women's Issues.

Violence Against Women

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The Forum of Ministers had an opportunity to hear from the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) on their findings and results of the Sisters in Spirit initiative. Ministers commended the NWAC for their tenacity in raising awareness about the critical issue of murdered and missing Aboriginal women. As well, approaches to human trafficking were discussed and the risks facing women, and in particular the vulnerability of Aboriginal women. Ministers recognized the pressing need to take concrete, practical actions to address this issue.

FPT Ministers agreed that addressing the prevalence of violence against women in society continues to be of highest priority and, in particular, violence against Aboriginal women. In reaffirming their commitment to the Iqaluit Declaration, Ministers agreed that it is incumbent upon governments to keep the prevention of violence against Aboriginal women at the forefront of policy agendas.

In order to have responsive policies and programs to address violence, Ministers recognized the importance of up-to-date statistical information that would identify trends. A decision was taken to update the 2006 "Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends Report" and expand it to include the economic cost of violence.

Women's Economic Security and Independence

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Ministers explored ways to increase women's economic security and independence and pledged to do further work by:

    
    -  supporting women entrepreneurs' access to markets;
    -  sharing promising approaches for women to work in non-traditional
       fields, such as science, technology and trades; and
    -  assessing the use of microcredit.
    

Ministers also agreed to promote the importance of examining skills and retraining programs from a gender perspective.

G(irls) 20 Summit

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A powerful part of this year's meeting was a dialogue between FPT Ministers and the participants of the G(irls) 20 Summit. The Summit is a global campaign to solicit grassroots ideas and raise awareness of the most pressing issues that affect girls and women internationally.

FPT Ministers have met regularly since 1981 to explore ways to achieve equality for women, and to exchange information on issues affecting women in Canada, particularly in the areas of economic security, violence and human rights.

Quebec will host the next meeting in 2011.

SOURCE Status of Women Canada

For further information: For further information: Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director General, Status of Women Canada, Communications and Strategic Planning, Directorate,Telephone: 613-995-7839, Fax: 613-943-2386; Chris Hilton, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government, Services Canada, Minister for the Status of Women, Telephone: 819-997-5421, Fax: 819-956-8920; Michel Payen-Dumont, Media Relations Officer, Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, Telephone: 416-314-7010; Marilyn Hood, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Laurel Broten, Minister of Children and Youth Services, Minister Responsible for Women's Issues, Telephone: 416-212-7433


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