TORONTO, Sept. 20 /CNW/ - On September 17th the National Association of
Women and the Law (NAWL) was forced close its doors as a result of the Harper
administration's changes in funding policies to women's groups. The
Conservative Government's decision to eliminate all funding for feminist
research, education and advocacy gave NAWL no choice but to shut down its
office and lay off staff, leaving the country without a national organization
focused on women's rights in federal law reform.
"Since 1974, NAWL has played a critical role in advocating for the
equality rights of all women in Canada. Through their efforts to achieve
substantive equality for women, NAWL has lobbied for change to federal and
provincial laws and regulations with great success, highlighting difficult
issues that impact on women's lives including maternity/parental benefits, pay
equity and human trafficking," said YWCA Toronto Chief Executive Officer
Heather McGregor. "That they will no longer be able to serve women through
action, legal research and education is a crime." NAWL's closure is a direct
result of the Conservative Government's cuts to the Terms and Conditions of
Status of Women Canada funding, which saw the removal of "advocacy" and
"equality" from its mandate. YWCA Toronto was one of many women's
equity-seeking organizations across the country to speak out against the
attack on the Status of Women Canada funding in the wake of the 2006 cuts. As
the city's largest multi-service organization by, for and about women and
girls, YWCA Toronto recognizes that advocacy and research are the
underpinnings to the services we provide to over 26,000 annually.
"Women's groups like NAWL play a critical role, ensuring that politicians
and policy makers are informed of key issues affecting women," says McGregor.
They also raise the difficult and often ignored issues affecting women, by
putting forward concrete and viable policy alternatives and holding
governments accountable for their promises to respect and support the rights
of women and girls across the country.
YWCA Toronto maintains that federal funding is a key component to
ensuring that women's groups can do the work necessary to meet the diverse
needs of women in their communities across the country.
For further information:
For further information: Corinne Rusch-Drutz, Director of Advocacy &
Communications, (416) 961-8101 x 350