Saturday, December 9

Two minute Action on Status of Women Funding

The Conservatives have cut Status of Women’s budget by 40% and eliminated funding to women’s groups who advocate for equality

What you can do today:

Send an email to Stephen Harper and let him know that his government's recent announcements are a departure from Canada’s long-standing commitment to the promotion of women’s equality and human rights and that you strongly disagree with this direction. Click here

What do the funding cuts mean to women?

  • The Terms and Conditions (T & Cs) of the Women’s Program (WP) have been renewed for the period September 27, 2006 to September 27, 2011.
  • Significant changes have been made to the Women’s Program’s mandate, objectives, eligibility criteria and activities NOT funded. Women’s equality, social justice, political and legal participation of women are examples of the language which has been erased from the T&Cs.
  • All activities linked to advocacy, lobbying and most research have been excluded from the new T&Cs. It is for this reason that a significant number of equality-seeking women’s groups, especially though not exclusively those working at the national level, will find it extremely difficult to secure funding through the Women’s Program. (ie NAWL, FAFIA etc)
  • The current T&Cs aim to provide “direct” and “local” assistance. This is very much based on a charity model which ignores the systemic issues behind the problem at hand. Instead of providing analysis and aiming for legal change the current approach privileges a case by case basis, almost as if women’s poverty and violence against women were exceptions, aberrations to the norm. This approach is not meant to result in any significant change and does not challenge the status quo.
  • Local work clearly needs to happen. However the women providing local services, often with little pay and job security cannot be expected to add advocacy work to their plate. Women’s equality work must also take place at the policy, research, legal and lobbying and advocacy levels. Providing short term services will not address long term, systemic discrimination issues which allow women’s poverty and violence against women to prevail.

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