Closure of National Association of Women and the Law decried by teachers
TORONTO, Oct. 11 /CNW/ - Closure of a feminist organization that has
championed women's equality rights since 1974 demonstrates the devastating
results of changes to the mandate of the Status of Women Canada, says the
president of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).
In a letter sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper today, ETFO's David
Clegg called the closure of the National Association of Women and the Law
(NAWL) "a premeditated tragedy" that can only further erode the equality
rights of women in Canada.
"As an organization that advocates for women's equality and promotes
social justice and equity, we must speak out in opposition to your
government's actions that have precipitated the loss of NAWL as a key advocacy
group in Canada," Clegg told the Prime Minister.
During its history, the NAWL was instrumental in reforming legislation
that discriminated against women and advocated for changes in the workplace
and in family law and immigration legislation that have benefitted women
Last year, the Harper government changed the funding guidelines for the
Status of Women Canada (SWC), excluding advocacy and research from the funding
criteria. Without SWC funding, NAWL was forced to close its doors last month,
abandoning years of work that have made a significant difference in the lives
of women and children across Canada.
Clegg pointed out that women's groups perform a vital function for
society by raising awareness about women's issues and proposing policy and
legislative changes to further women's equality. "Canada cannot afford to
silence NAWL or any of the other women's groups that rely on SWC for funding."
Clegg reminded the Prime Minister of his promise, in the last federal
election campaign, to take "concrete and immediate measures" to ensure that
Canada upholds its commitments to women. "The results of these funding cuts
will prevent Canada from living up to either its domestic responsibilities or
its international obligations."
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 70,000
elementary public school teachers and education workers across the province
and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.
For further information:
For further information: David Clegg, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836
(Office), (416) 948-1592 (Cell); Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416)
962-3836 (Office), (416) 948-0195 (Cell)