HALIFAX, May 3, 2012 /CNW/ - Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women gathered in Halifax on May 2 and 3, 2012. The annual 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 Marilyn More, Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women.
The meeting provided a valuable opportunity for Ministers to exchange insights and discuss developments in the priority areas of improving women's economic security, promoting women's leadership and ending violence against women, each with an ongoing focus on Aboriginal women.
FPT Ministers explored new avenues for advancing women's economic security. In their discussions on emerging issues and best practices, Ministers benefited from the expertise of non-governmental organizations working to promote girls and women in leadership roles and non-traditional occupations in science, engineering and the trades. They also learned about specific initiatives aimed at increasing Aboriginal women's and girls' participation in leadership and decision making.
FPT Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to ending violence against women and girls and the importance of engaging all Canadians on this issue. After hearing from leaders in this field, Ministers discussed the most effective ways to reach out to and work meaningfully with men and boys toward this end. They agreed that men and boys must be active participants and allies in solving this enduring problem.
The Ministers look forward to the release, proposed for 2013, of their jointly produced Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends. Last issued in 2006, the Statistics Canada publication presents national data on the major indicators of violence against women, including up-to-date details on the nature and extent of violence against women.
In recognition of the forum's 30th anniversary and its valuable work to advance equality for women over the intervening years, FPT Ministers issued the Halifax Declaration (attached). While acknowledging past efforts, the forward-looking document emphasizes current priorities and plans for the future.
Prince Edward Island will host the next meeting in 2013.
BY THE MINISTERS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE STATUS OF WOMEN
ON THE OCCASION OF THEIR 30TH ANNUAL MEETING
We, the Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women, recognize that women and men are equally integral to Canada's prosperity and success in the world.
We are proud to have been able to work as a federal-provincial-territorial forum dedicated to the status of women, addressing issues of importance to Canadian women since we began meeting in 1981. Over that time, we have examined key concerns in the areas of women's health, women's economic security, Aboriginal women's issues and violence against women.
We have helped to advance equality for women in a number of concrete ways by:
- working with other federal-provincial-territorial bodies on issues of mutual concern in the areas of health, labour and justice;
- releasing statistical reports on violence against women that are used by governments, non-governmental women's organizations, academics, and others involved in the policy process to address this serious issue and guide future progress;
- developing material to support the economic advancement of women, including resources to help employers create workplaces that attract, retain and promote women; and
- hosting policy forums to support women's employment in sciences, engineering, trades and technology, and to explore solutions to end violence against Aboriginal women.
We are pleased to have witnessed significant advancements in the status of women in recent decades. However, we recognize that inequalities persist and that further efforts are needed to empower women and girls, particularly the most vulnerable in our communities.
We are humbled by those who have led the way in advancing women's full participation in all aspects of society, and we are inspired by the energy and intelligence of the young women and girls who are following in their footsteps.
As we work to strengthen the status of women, we are also championing the rights of women and girls everywhere. We therefore look forward to the first-ever International Day of the Girl on October 11, 2012, celebrating girls and young women as citizens and as powerful voices of change.
We, Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women, on the occasion of our 30th annual meeting, reaffirm our commitment to improve the status of women and girls by addressing the inequalities that continue to limit their social, economic and cultural well-being.
On the first International Day of the Girl on October 11, 2012, we will celebrate girls as powerful agents of change, and we will focus on ways to ensure they reach their full potential. We invite all Canadians to join us in celebrating this new annual event.
We are committed to examining concerns of particular importance to girls in our future efforts and actions.
We have made great strides in advancing gender analysis within our governments, and in ensuring the unique needs and experiences of diverse groups of Canadian women and girls are reflected in public policies and programs. We will continue to promote these practices within our governments. We encourage the use of gender and diversity analysis throughout civil society.
We recognize the crucial role that men and boys can play in preventing violence against women and girls. By engaging all Canadians in efforts to end violence and achieve equality for women and girls, we believe we can bring about a better society for all.
We acknowledge that equality for women and girls can only be achieved through the coordinated and sustained efforts of all governments, communities and individuals. As Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women, we pledge to pursue our shared goals while taking all necessary actions to advance equality and improve the lives of women and girls within our respective jurisdictions.
For further information:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Works and
Government Services and
Minister for Status of Women
Director General, Communications
and Public Affairs
Status of Women Canada
Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the
Status of Women
tel: 902 424-3742
cell: 902 225-4982
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