WINNIPEG, April 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT)
Ministers responsible for the Status of Women gathered in Winnipeg from April
6 to 8, 2009, for their 27th annual meeting. During their talks, they
identified the urgency of exploring ways to facilitate women's labour force
participation and economic security, considered actions toward improving the
lives of Inuit, Métis and First Nations women, both on and off reserve, and
discussed measures to address violence against women in Canada.
The FPT Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to working to improve
women's economic security. While significant investments are being made in
infrastructure, Ministers recognize the under representation of women in
non-traditional employment. They agreed to share best practices and explore
options for future work to strongly support women's employment in fields such
as engineering, trades and technology. Ministers discussed and agreed to share
strategies for poverty reduction. They further agreed to continue discussions
on these matters at next year's FPT meeting.
They discussed measures to increase women's participation in the labour
force, including proposed changes to maternity and parental Employment
Insurance (EI) benefits. PT Ministers will forward an economic analysis on the
proposed changes to EI to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills
Development Canada for consideration. A discussion paper will be developed on
options for a modernized parental benefits plan to be presented at the June
2010 annual meeting.
In discussing the situation of Aboriginal women, the FPT Ministers took
stock of progress in areas of leadership, economic prosperity and violence
since the first National Aboriginal Women's Summit (NAWS) in Corner Brook,
Newfoundland and Labrador. They look forward to receiving the report from NAWS
II, which took place in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in 2008.
Ministers support and join Prime Minister Harper in calling on the Afghan
government, in the strongest terms, to honour its human rights treaty
obligations under international law, including respect for the equality of all
women before the law.
Ministers also discussed a number of issues related to violence against
women. The RCMP made a presentation to Ministers on human trafficking that
outlined this growing international and domestic problem. Ministers
acknowledged that trafficking manifests itself in different ways across the
country, and that addressing this issue will require a multifaceted approach.
Ministers also discussed how to promote a healthy, realistic body image
for girls and young women in cooperation with the fashion industry and the
The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Helena Guergis, Minister of
State (Status of Women), and the Honourable Nancy Allan, Manitoba Minister of
Labour and Immigration, Minister responsible for Multiculturalism, Minister
responsible for the Status of Women and Minister charged with the
Administration of The Workers Compensation Act.
Since their first meeting in 1981, FPT Ministers have met annually 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.
The next annual meeting of Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers
responsible for the Status of Women will take place in Ontario, in June of
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For further information:
For further information: Nancy Bishay, Senior Special Assistant,
Communications, Office of the Minister of State (Status of Women),
(819)956-4000; Diane Coble-Kendall, Communications Coordinator, Manitoba
Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, Status of Women Division, Manitoba
Labour and Immigration, (204) 945-3811; Nanci-Jean Waugh, Director General,
Communications and Strategic Planning, Status of Women Canada, (613) 995-7839;
For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to