Write to Prime Minister Harper re Women's Equality-Seeking Groups
Apr 25, 2006
Call for Letters in Support of Increased Funding for Women's Equality-Seeking Groups
April 25, 2006
Now is the time to ACT and stand in solidarity with women's equality-seeking groups who on a daily basis, struggle to advance women's equality with very little resources.
I encourage members of Care2 to share this far and wide. Please ask the same of women in your respective networks.
Write to the Prime Minister and send copies to the Minister Responsible for Status of Women and to the Liberal, NDP and Bloc Québecois Critics for Status of Women, in support of increased funding for women's equality-seeking groups! (sample letter appears below)
As previously posted, the R.E.A.L. Women of Canada group has been lobbying for the last 7 years to disband Status of Women. With Harper and the Conservatives in power, the time to act is NOW!
1. Select/block the text you want to copy 2. Press CTRL + C to copy text 3. Press CTRL + V to paste text into body of your letter or email message
Mr. Stephen Harper Prime Minister of Canada Langevin Block, House of Commons Ottawa, ON
Dear Prime Minister Harper:
During the recent federal election, you acknowledged that "Canada still has more to do to meet its international obligations to women's equality". I appreciate this acknowledgement. I am also pleased to learn that you plan to "take concrete and immediate measures, as recommended by the United Nations, to ensure that governments in Canada fully uphold their equality commitments to women(1)."
As you may know, this year marks the 25th anniversary of Canada's ratification of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Canada ratified this convention in 1981 with the consent of all provinces and territories . While I recognize that some women in Canada have made progress since then, many women have been left behind.
In this anniversary year, you, as Prime Minister, have a unique opportunity to ensure Canada's full accountability for its human rights commitments to women. To do this, the federal government must sustain both its own efforts to achieve equality for women and its support of non-governmental organizations' contributions.
In particular, you can improve Canada's performance under CEDAW by immediately supporting the Minister of Status of Women to do the following:
Release the report of the Expert Panel on Accountability Mechanisms for Gender Equality (commissioned before the federal election);
Provide both project and core-funding to women's equality-seeking groups, including women-centered services;
Increase the budget of Status of Women Canada (including to the Women's Programme) to $100 million.
These steps are necessary because as you know, women continue to face violence and poverty at highly disproportionate rates. For example, in 2004, 37% of all female homicide victims were killed by a current or former spouse, whereas this was the case with only 4% of male homicide victims(2). As well, in 2003, women employed full-time full-year in Canada earned only 71% of the amount earned by similarly employed males(3). As a consequence, more women than men are poor in Canada. In particular, the poverty rate for female lone parent led families is 38%, compared with just 13% of lone parent families headed by men, and just 7% of non-elderly two-parent families(4). These realities are only aggravated if one is a woman of colour, an immigrant woman, a woman with disabilities and/or an Aboriginal woman.
In addition, with women holding only 21% of the seats in the federal Parliament and 22% in the new federal cabinet, issues of significance to women do not always get the attention they deserve. As a consequence, through the research, analysis and support provided by Status of Women Canada, many women's organizations in Canada are able to play a vital democratic role in gathering and reflecting women's voices and experiences. These voices contribute to the development of just public policy for all Canadians.
As Canada prepares to report back to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in early 2007, it is time for Canada to make meaningful progress on the long-standing recommendations from the UN. Progress in these areas would represent positive steps towards improving Canada's record and advancing women's human rights in Canada.
With your support, Canada can make the 25th anniversary of our ratification of CEDAW an event worth celebrating.
"A Conservative government will also begin the difficult work of dismantling the Liberal infrastructure that has served the Liberals so well over the years in perpetuating its left wing policies. These include the funding of feminist only and homosexual organizations, multicultural organizations, and the Court Challenges Programme. The Status of Women and the Law Commission must also be dissolved. The Conservatives must also devise a transparent and honourable method of choosing judges for the courts - there is already one vacancy on the Supreme Court that must be filled immediately."
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