DON’T PLAY POLITICS WITH WOMEN’S LIVES: A PLEA TO THE NEXT FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

OTTAWA, APRIL 28, 2011 – The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) is urging the next federal government to restore policies and programs that support citizenship and community building for Canadian women. The potential contributions of women to the social and economic fabric of Canada have been greatly diminished by the loss of funding from the federal government to over 30 women’s organizations. This list includes such entities as the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) which conducted crucial legal research related to the need for gender equity in Canada; the Alberta Network of Immigrant Women whose mandate is to facilitate the development of solutions for issues that face immigrant women and their families.; the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity which works to advance pay equity legislation in the public and private sectors.

The cancellation of the mandatory long form census and the removal of question 33 pertaining to unpaid activities with the household, seniors and children means that Canadian policymakers and the Canadian public are losing valuable knowledge about how Canadian society evolves and what policy changes need to be made.

The challenges to reproductive rights, continued inequitable employment policies, a lack of publicly funded daycare, and an ongoing lack of attention to Indigenous women’s issues are hampering the ability of Canadian women to fully engage in society.
Canadian women’s citizenship has been eroded through the closure of 12 Status of Women offices and amendments to the Status of Women mandate that eliminate the funding of organizations conducting research and acting as advocates on public policy issues. In other words, gender has been erased from the public policy agenda.

“Canadian women have not yet been given rights to full citizenship. You can’t play politics with women’s lives” said Brenda Wallace, CFUW National President.

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