Wednesday, February 28

Feb 14, 2007 FEWO transcript now available

Witnesses:Conseil d'intervention pour l'accès des femmes au travail:Nathalie Goulet, Director; Yukon Status of Women Council:Charlotte Hrenchuk, Coordinator; Urban Core Support Network:Brenda Murphy, Coordinator; Canadian Women's Community Economic Development Council:Joni Simpson, Director; Canadian Federation of University Women:Ardith Toogood, President; Women's Health Clinic:Gail Watson, Coordinator

LINK: FEWO Transcript

SWC Poster now available online

The poster (publication # 07-G-001) is now available to order online. There is a limit of 100 per school, 50 per organization or 5 per individual. Please note that these products are also available on this Web site and for download in Acrobat® 5*.

You can also send your request to the SWC Distribution Centre by e-mail to or fax it to (613) 957-3359 (don't forget to specify your mailing address and the requested number of copies).

LINK: Status Of Women Canada
LIENS: Condition féminine Canada

Community-based interventions can halt violence against women, UN study says

26 February 2007 – A new study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) shows that community-based interventions aimed at halting violence against women can yield significant results, the agency said today.

Unlike other publications that simply chronicle the extent of the problem, Programming to Address Violence Against Women offers 10 case studies that show how carefully targeted and planned interventions can actually reduce gender-based violence.

LINK:UN News Center
LINK:United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
LINK:Programming To Address Violence Against Women (PDF)
LINK:Dynamic new online multimedia exhibit

Tuesday, February 27

Statement at the Commission on the Status of Women

Message of Thoraya Ahmed Obaid--26 February 2007

It is my pleasure to address the opening of this fifty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women, especially in the presence of the Deputy Secretary-General, with whom we senior officials of the United Nations, commit ourselves to work to ensure that all of us are held accountable for our gender goals.

I would first like to congratulate my colleagues in United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), led by Ann Veneman, for The State of the World's Children 2007: Women and Children - The Double Dividend of Gender Equality. The title says it all: if we invest in women, we are also investing in children, especially the girl child. And if we invest in the girl child, we are investing in the mother and citizen of tomorrow. Investing in women and girls is one of the best investments a government can make.

Women's Equality Brochures NOW Online

Brochures "Put Equality Back On Track" are now available in english and french; colour and black and white for downloading, photocopying and distributing amongst your women's networks and at International Women's Day Events in your community

LINK: Black and White English (PDF)
LINK: Colour English (PDF)
LIENS: le pamphlet en couleur (PDF)
LIENS: le pamphlet en noir et blanc (PDF)

BC Campaign Poster - Watching Harper

Dear Mr. Harper,

I want to grow up in a Canada that values the contributions of women and children.
I want to live in a Canada where the government is working towards women’s equality instead of betraying women’s equality rights.
I want to have national, affordable and quality childcare.
I want pay equity, where women are paid equal wages to men’s for work they do.
I want to up-to-date research, lobbying and advocacy funded to support women’s equality.
I want Canada to recognize that women and girls are 51% of the population and that we count.
Mr. Harper, I won’t be silenced by your cutbacks, by your betrayal to women’s equality rights.

It’s time for you to go, Mr. Harper!
Girls and women of Canada

Monday, February 26

UN Commission on the Status of Women, 51st Session

The fifty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place from 26 February to 9 March 2007. In accordance with its multi-year programme of work for 2007-2009, the Commission will consider “The elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child” as its priority theme.

LINK: For more information, please visit
LINK: The media accreditation office states as of Feb 26 TEN journalists have applied for accreditation for the CSW from the entire world. TEN?! You might want to visit blogs for updates and info: Women UNlimited
LINK: Canadian NGO VowPeace Statement to CSW

Leaders of the pack

The Guardian profiles powerful Island women who are at the head of P.E.I.’s largest provincial labour unions

This Guardian story is the first of a two-part series (see March 3 Guardian for part two) that showcases the six Island labour leaders: CUPE’s MacDonald; Mary MacNeil with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC); Seana Evans-Renaud, P.E.I. Teachers’ Federation (PEITF); Tammy Chaisson, International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE); Margaret Duffy, P.E.I. Nurses Union; and Shelley Ward, Union of Public Sector Employees (UPSE).

LINK: The Guardian

Saturday, February 24

Trudeau to challenge Haitian immigrant and former president of the Quebec Federation of Women

Vivian Barbot, a Haitian immigrant and former president of the Quebec Federation of Women, said Trudeau would have been a better fit in the wealthier riding of Outremont, which was held by retired Liberal MP Jean Lapierre.

Papineau is home to about 5,000 people of Haitian descent. It's one of the poorest ridings in Canada with an average family income of $46,612, below the $66,000 Canadian average.

Comments anyone?

SWC mandate change causes financial emergency

Emergency grant needed for Kelowna Women's Resource Centre
Kelowna City Council will provide a $5,000 emergency grant to the Women's Resource Centre. The emergency funds, for the Centre's Drop-In Information and Referral program, became necessary due to a temporary funding shortfall. An annual $25,000 grant from the Status of Women Canada has been delayed due to a change in mandate. Those funds should be in place within the next few months. In the meantime, the Resource Centre has covered the shortfall from reserve funds and support from community service clubs.

LINK: News story
LINK: Kelowna Women's Resource Centre

Hell no! We won’t go!

Blogger Leisha from Empowerment4women talks about the sit-in at the StJohn's SWC office.

She writes: Thursday afternoon I left work to go straight to a sit-in at the Newfoundland and Labrador Status of Women office in St. John’s.

The office is the only one in all of Newfoundland and Labrador, and one of the closures that the Harper government has implemented across Canada.

The mood when I walked in was hopeful, jubilant.

LINK: Read more at Hell No! We won't go!!

Friday, February 23

Saying Good-Bye Isn't Good Enough!

PSAC Supports the Status of Women Canada fightback in St. John's

"It's high time for the the Harper government to get equality back on track," says Robyn Benson, PSAC Officer responsible for women's issues and Regional Executive Vice-President for the Prairies. "Women's equality hasn't yet been achieved, and Status of Women Canada is part of the solution, not the problem. We've called for the 'new government of Canada' to reverse the decision to cut $5 million from SWC's budget and close 12 out of 16 SWC regional offices."

Students rally to support Nfld-Lab women

Students are calling on Minister Oda to listen to the demands of women in Newfoundland and Labrador and across Canada. Students are particularly concerned about the worsening environment for women, given the recent release of the Katz Report at Memorial which condemned the prevailing atmosphere for women at the university. Students recognize that continued funding for research and advocacy through Status of Women Canada is crucial in order for female students to be able to participate fully in university life.

LINK:

Advisory council angered at closure

"The federal government has turned its back on the women of Canada. It is unbelievable that the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women doesn't realize that the advancement of women's equality in this country will be set back by decades if she continues with these devastating cuts and changes to the program," says Leslie MacLeod.

LINK:

NDP decries treatment of women

Nancy Riche, NL NDP Party President said, "We are living in very dangerous times. The home of our provincial legislature is closed to a peaceful demonstration of MS patients who are demanding nothing more than medication, and women are threatened with arrest when they merely ask that the federal government honour Canada's commitment to equality of the sexes as laid down in our Bill of Rights and the government's own signature to the UN Convention on all Forms of Discrimination against Women."

The NLNDP supports the four demands that the women occupying the office of Status of Women Canada in St. John's have sent to the FederalGovernment:

  1. Rescind the decision to close Status of Women Canada offices in Newfoundland and Labrador and across the country.
  2. Reinstate funding for women's equality work including advocacy.
  3. Return to the original mandate of Status of Women Canada Women's Program
  4. A Meeting with federal Status of Women Canada, Minister Bev Oda or Prime Minister Harper.

LINK: StatusReport.

Women's direct actions gain momentum!

B.C. women stand in solidarity with our sisters in Newfoundland who are working toward our common objective, to insist on the integrity of women’s equality in this country

Following a morning celebration and send off for the program officer at the Status of Women Canada office in St. John’s, women staged a spontaneous occupation to protest the imminent closure of their regional SWC office and those across the country slated by the federal Conservatives.

Coming on the heels of a similar occupation in Vancouver last January, this occupation is one of a growing number of actions across the country that indicates women will not rest until the federal government restores equality as a mandate of Status of Women Canada

LINK: Read the entire article:

Here's What YOU Can Do:

  • Circulate the article on your email networks
  • Consider having your union or organization issue a press release in support of women’s direct actions
  • You can support the PSAC members working at SWC. Send them an email! Close to 40 PSAC members will be losing their jobs on April 1 st , 2007 . Others will remain in place and do their best to fulfill SWC's mandate. Tell them we appreciate all their work on behalf of all Canadian women. Let them know we believe in women's equality. Let them know we are fighting back (

Thursday, February 22

CUPE - Women make the union strong

CUPE is marking International Women's Day and the one-year anniversary launch of the National Women's Task Force with a new poster. Full of vibrant colour, the poster says 'women strengthen our union' and recognizes the diverse roles women have in society.

Created by artist Helen D'souza, the illustration is a stylized representation of four women, each depicting diversity and the north, south, east, west breadth of women's work. The arms - upraised with hands touching or melding into a seamless infinity - symbolize how women join together to mentor and support each other

LINK: Read more at CUPE - click here

Journée internationale des femmes

Le Collectif 8 mars, dont est membre la FFQ, produit à chaque année du matériel promotionnel pour la Journée internationale des femmes. Le matériel de l’édition 2007 a été élaboré à partir du thème : Toute l’égalité, l’égalité pour toutes : mission inachevée ! En voici un aperçu.

Race, gender, violence and media

This March 8, International Women’s Day, Yasmin Jiwani will launch her book:"Discourses of Denial: Mediations of Race, Gender and Violence" in paperback edition in the Concordia University Loyola’s CJ atrium at 5 p.m.

“I really wanted to explore the everyday encounter, and the links between private forms of violence (like intimate violence), public violence and state-level violence,” Jiwani said. “I wanted to show how the media plays a role in circulating representations of violence, which then inform everyday thought and talk, legitimizing certain actions or inactions.”

LINK: Read more at Concordia

Women occupy SWC office in St. John's reports: Following a morning celebration and send off for the program officer at the Status of Women Canada St. John's Office - slated for closure next month - women are calling for action. Representatives from equality-seeking organizations from across the province are sitting in the SWC office developing a list of demands to the Federal Government.

"We came here this morning to thank Paula Simon for her 25 years of hard work and support," said Joyce Hancock, with the Feminist Coalition of Newfoundland and Labrador. "After hearing women share their success stories that show deeply SWC has impacted our communities, women who came here from throughout the province decided that we are not satisfied to merely say goodbye."

LINK:

Wednesday, February 21

Working TV webcast - Restore Child Care! rally

Webcast highlights from the February 13, 2007 Restore Child Care! rally at the BC Legislature, sponsored by the Child Care – Let’s Make It Happen campaign.

Support Status of Women video

Posted by Scott Tribe on February 16, 2007 at 10:44 pm: Debra from April Reign and the Bread and Roses Forum has put together a Youtube video detailing all the cuts that has been done to Status Of Women Canada and the ideological changes to its mandate… and asking that we let Harper know that these are regressive policies.

LINK: Check it out.

Speaking Notes for Canadian Federation of University Women

House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women - Speaking Notes for Canadian Federation of University Women: The Canadian Federation of University Women welcomes the opportunity to present its views. We have grave concern about women’s equality in Canada.

Our International Federation’s affiliates are expressing dismay about Canada’s current disregard for women’s concerns: the US, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Croatia, Georgia, Turkey, and Rwanda. Women in the international community look to Canada for progressive public policy.

LINK: CFUW Oakville

PSAC BC- Take Action For Child Care

Tuesday, February 20 is BC Budget Day. The Campbell government began this year by cutting the child care budget. Any announcements they make now will likely be one-time only, stopgap funding that does not even begin to fix the child care problems they’ve caused.

British Columbians are urged to flood the Campbell government with a strong message – restore child care funding and build a child care system! Please take a moment to fax:
Premier Gordon Campbell at 250-387-0087
Minister of Finance Carole Taylor at 250-387-5594
Minister of State for Child Care Linda Reid at 250-356-8337
Download the fax form here (pdf), and please send a copy of your message to your Liberal MLA. Click for MLA fax numbers.


Monday, February 19

Quebecers to head to the polls shortly

The Liberals promise to create 20000 more places for its $7-a-day child care

The Action democratique du Quebec said in a statement Sunday that "Quebecers have had enough of Liberal immobility and Pequiste utopianism. They want things to change in Quebec." Recent surveys have put the Liberals neck and neck with the Parti Quebecois for the first time in several years while the ADQ's popularity has risen as the Parti Quebecois's has fallen. Both the provincial Green Party and the upstart sovereigntist party Quebec solidaire said Sunday they hope to run candidates in all 125 provincial ridings.


Sunday, February 18

YouTube's Halifax RadicalFeminist Valentine Videos

Three great new videos posted on YouTube

part 1 -- Cheering at The Women Are Angry postcard launch, protesting the recent cuts made by Harper's Conservative government. The plan is to swamp Stephen Harper's mailbox with heartfelt Valentines, telling him what women want this holiday -- EQUALITY. ... LINK: View video 1 here

part 2 Radical Cheerleaders at The Women Are Angry postcard campaign launch, protesting the cuts made by Harper's Conservative government.Because chocolates and flowers are played out -- but EQUALITY should last a lifetimeLINK: View video 2 here

Halifax Raging Grannies and Radical Cheerleaders team up for a collaboration like no other. Radically raging about the recent cuts to Status of Women, Stephen Harper better prepare himself for a massive surge of feminist resistance. ... LINK: View video here

Saturday, February 17

The Age of Equality?

Hey ladies, in case you missed it, we are now equal!! Throw away any ideas that patriarchy exists. Toss aside the fact that women are paid 71 cents to every dollar a man makes. Forget that there is no national childcare program. Turn a blind eye to the violence that afflicts women across this country. According to the Minister responsible for the Status of Women, Bev Oda, women are now equal.

LINK:The Daily Canuck Blog - Guest Blogger: Laura Colella

IWD - New Brunswick women launch postcard action reports that women's groups in New Brunswick have produced a postcard which is making its way across Canada as an exciting tool for action.

LINK: Download, print, distribute, and mail as many as you can.

REAL women need to get real.....I mean really...

Wednesday, February 7, 2007 evidence from the Standing Committee on the Status of Women is now available online:

Gwedolyn Landolt says: REAL Women of Canada has been around since 1983, when we were federally incorporated. We represent a vast cross-section of Canadian women-- Métis women, immigrant women--many, many women across Canada. One thing we've found is that the most discriminatory agency against us has been the Status of Women, because the Status of Women only represents, not women in general, but those having an ideology, that of radical feminism.

Friday, February 16

First Nations women leaders issue strong statement at conclusion of historic meeting

VANCOUVER, Feb. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - First Nations women chiefs and councillors released an eleven point consensus statement today following the conclusion of an historic three-day meeting in Vancouver. Critical issues such as poverty, matrimonial real property, the central role of women in sustainable communities, and First Nations jurisdiction were discussed and debated

LINK: CoolWomen
LINK: AFN agenda (pdf file)

Prince George rally held to protest cuts

About 120 people rallied in the street outside MLA Shirley Bond’s office, Tuesday, to protest provincial government cuts to child care centre subsidies.

“Canada as a nation has never realized the importance of child care,” Christie said. “There is no adequate spaces for these children.”

“Quality education in the early years leads to later success,” Christie added.

LINK: Prince George Free Press

Thursday, February 15

Harper's rejection rankles Mathyssen

Mathyssen, the NDP critic for the government's status of women program, was rebuffed as she tried to have Harper reverse a $5-million cut to the women's advocacy program that's closing 12 of its 16 offices across the country.

Mathyssen went to the front gate of the prime minister's residence at 24 Sussex Drive carrying a huge valentine at noon. She attempted to deliver her giant card, but was kept at bay by security staff.

Hell hath no fury.....

Halifax women protest funding cuts to equality programs with angry Valentines to PMHundreds of valentines sent to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Wednesday lacked the typical lovey-dovey note most cards include.Instead, the message on the fluorescent pink postcards was that women are angry and want action.

Photo: Molly Austen of the Raging Grannies puts a valentine card in a box asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reinstate funding to women’s initiatives like Status of Women Canada. (Darren Pittman / Staff)

LINK: Full article archived on F-email Fightback

Wednesday, February 14

REAL Women spokesperson stuns FEWO

Saturday, February 10th F-email Fightback posted the press release from "REAL Women" where spokesperson Gwendolyn Landolt complained that the hearings were a hoax today posted the unedited transcript of those hearings. Here's a sample:

Mrs. Irene Mathyssen: Thank you, Madam Chair.I do hope to have a chance to question all three of these witnesses, but I would like to start with Ms. Landolt.I'm a little confused. You said that you had never received any funding from Status of Women Canada.
Ms. Gwendolyn Landolt: Very minor funding.
Mrs. Irene Mathyssen: Ah. Oh, that's different than none.
Ms. Gwendolyn Landolt: No, $6,000, as opposed to millions and millions that were received from other women's groups. Our funding has been cut off entirely from 1996, and only under enormous—
Mrs. Irene Mathyssen: Actually it indicates here that you received $6,000 twice. I wonder, now that the funding mandate has changed, will you be applying for funding as you have in the past.
Ms. Gwendolyn Landolt: Sorry, I missed that question.
Mrs. Irene Mathyssen: Thank you. And thank you for correcting the record. I wonder, do you think that equal pay for work of equal value is a laudable goal.
Ms. Gwendolyn Landolt: No, it's a feminist concept. We do not agree with that. We think that wages should be determined by merit, by experience, and by the training.
Hon. Maria Minna: I want to start off with Ms. Landolt. I want say first, that Ms. Landolt, your disparaging tone, when you talked about LEAF as if they are....and your comment about, what have they done? Well, you may be aware of the rape-shield law
Ms. Gwendolyn Landolt: Well, first of all a lot of what LEAF has done, for example, the rape shield law, we don't agree with. I'm a lawyer and I have another reason for that.

LINK: REAL Women spokesperson stuns FEWO
LINK: "REAL women" complain: SWC Hearings a Hoax

NDP delivers valentine to PM but no love for PM's record on women

NDP sent a valentine to Prime Minister Stephen Harper but it wasn't sealed with a kiss. More like a kiss-off. Heritage Minister Bev Oda calmly shrugged off the darts.

New Website -

We need to keep the momentum going. On International Women's Day let's Put Equality Back on Track. Everywhere across the county, women are organizing events around March 8th to celebrate our past victories, to recommit our energies and to fight for change.

As part of your activities, the Ad Hoc Coalition for Women's Equality and Human Rights is asking that you add your voices to the thousands of women who are working to reverse the bad decisions of the federal Conservative government.

We have prepared a short popular pamphlet on the issues. We have also produced stickers "Put Equality Back on Track". Please consider ordering quantities of these materials for distribution in your communities. (Contact the Canadian Labour Congress at: to place your orders.)

We want to use our website to advertise as many of your IWD events as possible. (Site available February 9,2007) Please send us your information and check out the website to find out what other women across the country are doing. More in-depth analysis of the issues and news about lobbying initiatives can also be found on our site.

Together we can make sure that women's voices are heard. Together we can Put Equality Back on Track!

LINK: International Women's Day 2007:Let's Put Equality Back on Track
LIENS: (en francais)

Harper !! Stop Breaking Our Hearts

Tuesday, February 13

SWC IWD Theme 2007 - Ending Violence Against Women: Action for Real Results

2007 marks the 30th anniversary of International Women's Day. Established in 1977 by the United Nations, this important day provides an opportunity to celebrate the progress made to advance women's rights and to assess the challenges that remain. International Women's Day (IWD) encourages us to consider steps to bring about equality for women and girls in all their diversity and to celebrate the collective power of women past, present and future.

LINK: Status of Women Canada
LINK: Poster (Available in late February)
LINK: Virtual Organizer's Tool Kit (Available online only- last year's version)

Government must fund child care

VICTORIA - Thousands of frustrated and outraged parents, child care workers, supporters and kids are demanding the B.C. Liberals restore child care funding. Despite the record $2 billion-plus provincial budget surplus, the Campbell government is slashing $50 million from an already fragile child care system.

LINK: BCGEU media release
LINK: Throne speech offers little for B.C.’s kids

CEDAW and the LPC's Affirmative Actions Measures

Blogger Sébastien Jodoin writes: I support Stéphane Dion’s decision to reserve certain ridings for women candidates. .......I wanted to point out that such a measure flows from Canada’s commitments under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women ........
Article 7 of the Convention reads as follows:
States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the political and public life of the country and, in particular, shall ensure to women, on equal terms with men, the right:
(a) To vote in all elections and public referenda and to be eligible for election to all publicly elected bodies;
(b) To participate in the formulation of government policy and the implementation thereof and to hold public office and perform all public functions at all levels of government;
(c) To participate in non-governmental organizations and associations concerned with the public and political life of the country.

LINK: Sébastien Jodoin's Blog
LINK: FAFIA - webpage on CEDAW

Send NAWL's VALENTINE to your MP!


Mother’s Day Weekend - May 11th & 12th, 2007

The National Association of Women and the Law invites you to a Conference to discuss some of the policies, programs and reforms that will really promote the equality rights of mothers: improved maternity and parental benefits, universal childcare, family law reforms that promote women’s safety and equality, access to matrimonial property for Aboriginal women living on Reserve, parental rights for lesbian mothers, spousal sponsorship of immigrant women, and many more important issues. Throughout the conference, we want to discuss how these issues are relevant to young women, in particular.

We are also organizing a Mothers Day Lobby on Parliament Hill, on Monday May 14, and we invite you to come and let your MP know what women really need from the federal government.

LINK: Join us at the 2007 NAWL Conference!

Manitoba Women's Advisory Council Appointment

Labour and Immigration Minister Nancy Allan, minister responsible for the status of women, today announced the appointment of Marlene Bertrand as the new chair of Manitoba Women's Advisory Council. Vicky Yakemishin and Laurie Favell-Mowat were also named as members of the council.

LINK: Winnipeg Sun

Sunday, February 11

Maude Barlow's 10 steps to generating change

There are few social issues that Canada's most famous activist has not tackled. Maude Barlow, feminist, environmentalist, champion of the poor and anti-globalization campaigner, has pretty well seen them all and devised effective campaigns to raise awareness of them. The national chairperson of the Council of Canadians offers a succinct 10 steps on how to change society

Saturday, February 10

Valentine's Day

Harper!! Stop Breaking Our Hearts !!
“Last year on Valentine’s Day, we asked the Prime Minister to forget about the chocolates and the flowers. Instead, he forgot about WOMEN. And now The Women Are Angry.

This year, we’re asking you to send Stephen Harper a special Valentine to let him know what you want for Valentine’s Day. After all, chocolates and flowers don’t last, but Equality is Forever.

We recommend that you download the Valentine postcard from our website. Print the PDF file on cardstock (perhaps in pink or red for the occasion). Distribute widely, and don’t forget to send your own Valentine to the Prime Minister.

Happy Valentine’s Day from The Women Are Angry!

International Women's Day - IWD - 2007

Let’s Put Equality Back On Track!
• If you have any information on IWD events in your province and/or your city, please send details to:
• Si vous savez quoi que ce soit au sujet d’activités qui se dérouleront dans le cadre de la Journée internationale des femmes dans votre ville ou dans votre province, veuillez communiquer cette information à :

Visit the F-email Fightback IWD Events page

"REAL women" complain: Hearings by Status of Women Committee a Hoax

Feb 8m 2007: Press Release by Gwen Landolt: The House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women, on which the opposition holds the majority, is conducting four days of televised hearings on the topic of the potential impact of the funding cuts at Status of Women Canada.

The Committee selected the groups which were to testify before it. The score: 27 groups who opposed the cuts and a total of only 3 groups who supported the cuts, including REAL Women of Canada. Although REAL Women has extensive background knowledge about Status of Women funding, we didn't even make the initial selection. Only after extensive pressure was the Committee prepared to hear our views on the subject.

LINK: REAL Women of Canada
LINK: Family Matters Blogger
LINK: FEWO Minutes

Day of Action at the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax.

Added to YouTube February 09, 2007: Protesting the cuts to Status of Women, and angry about the removal of the "equality" mandate from Status of Women. We're equal? Who knew? ...Click here

Halifax Radical Cheerleaders

Added to YouTube January 12, 2007: Feminist carols : more great fun from those Halifax Radical Cheerleaders !!!
Click here

Friday, February 9

B.C.-Black Tuesday to be followed by Childcareless Tuesday

On the first anniversary of Stephen Harper being sworn in as prime minister, early childhood educators protested damage they say his Conservative government helped cause. Throughout B.C., parents, children and early childhood educators rallied yesterday — a day dubbed “black Tuesday” — to raise awareness about the implications of childcare cuts.

“We’re taking a stand for the very weakest members of our society,” said federal Liberal representative Brian Scott. “a stand Prime Minister Harper does not understand.”

On Feb. 13, some registered daycare facilities will close so childcare educators can attend a mass protest at the provincial legislature and parents have been supportive of educators fighting to improve the early childhood education system.


Keeping some advocacy groups out of court

When Prime Minister Stephen Harper axed the Court Challenges Program last fall, Ottawa's rationale was that taxpayers shouldn't have to support interest groups trying to take elected governments to court. But taxpayers are still subsidizing interest groups that want to take governments to court. The big difference is that, now, proportionally more public money goes to fund conservative causes — including attempts to dismantle medicare.
Read it here. >by Thomas Walkom > full post on F-email Fightback

SWC Supports Prince George New Hope's Initiative to Help Women Starting New Lives

Bev Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, announced funding of $49,140 to Prince George New Hope Society, the first grant to be provided through the renewed Women's Program of Status of Women Canada. This funding will help sex-trade workers start new lives by providing refuge and training opportunities.. [more]

Thursday, February 8

Projects Aimed at Improving Lives of Women

The Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for La Francophonie and Official Languages, today announced that Canada is committing more than $9 million to fund two projects, executed by Oxfam Canada and Oxfam Quebec respectively, to empower women in developing countries. .. [more]

Harper's no ladies man

Harper's no ladies man: Look at his cabinet, his track record and his failure to act – Stephen Harper is crushing Canadian women

By Heather Mallick for Chatelaine

Stephen Harper's government has been the least welcoming to women since the bad old days. And the bad old days weren't so long ago. Before 1982, rape victims still had to provide their sexual histories in court and the Supreme Court did not have a single woman Justice. Status of Women Canada only became a federal ministry in 1976, and until 1981, it was run by men. I grew up absolutely confident of my rights as a woman. I am no longer so sure. Younger women should brace themselves.

Harper's no ladies man article at Chatelaine

Full article on F-email Fightback

Opposition MPs Block Conservative Attempt to Hijack Status of Women Canada

February 7, 2007 - OTTAWA – Opposition members of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women expressed their disappointment over the Conservative Members’ attempt to change the mandate of Status of Women Canada using back door methods.

“We are tired of this government’s games and sly, underhanded moves,” Opposition members of the Standing Committees on the Status of Women agreed. A motion introduced in Committee on February 6, 2007, by a government member attempted to change the mandate of Status of Women Canada to focus its already limited resources on human trafficking.

Opposition members agree that the act of procuring sex for money should be criminalized and is undoubtedly a form of sexual exploitation. However, Liberal, Bloc Quebecois and NDP committee members affirm that this is not an issue that should be undertaken by the already cash-strapped and shrinking Status of Women Canada.

Opposition members debated that where the first paragraphs of the motion are acceptable, the mandate of Status of Women Canada should not be amended by an independent body such as the Standing Committee.

Changing the mandate of SWC through these means is yet another example of this Conservative government’s practice of using back door means to govern.

The motion was defeated after government members made it adamantly clear that they would not support any amendment. In a recorded vote, Opposition members voted against the motion in an attempt to protect the already crippled mandate of Status of Women Canada.

Tuesday, February 6

Protests on Child care

Children will pay the price for cuts to B.C. child care services - Protests across British Columgia against the Harper and Campbell governments

Vancouver (7 Feb. 2007) - The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) says it could cost taxpayers upwards of $5 million to close child care support services across the province by this fall. The finding is based on an initial survey of child care resource and referral centres across the province. Read more

Demand for child-care funding

B.C.'s early childhood education providers can no longer "prop up a fractioned child-care system," say child-care advocates.

Protests are taking place throughout B.C. today to take a stand against continued cuts to child-care funding and the closure of the province's 45 Child Care Resource and Referral Centres planned for later this year.

"This is a no-brainer kind of issue," said Todd Kettner, psychologist and founding member of the Dads for Daycare group based out of Nelson, B.C. "What was a bad situation before is now absolutely critical," he said, pointing to long waitlists and the economic effects of lost productivity due to lack of day-care options for working parents. Read more

Kelowna - Day-care providers to protest cutbacks

Saying that there is power in numbers, day-care operators are involving parents and kids in protests against funding cuts. “On the sixth, we are having Black Tuesday, and all the childcare workers will be wearing black, we’ll ask parents to wear a black ribbon and the children will do all their art projects in black,” said Kim Chernenkoff, manager of Daycare Connection in Kelowna.

“We’ll determine at a Feb. 8 meeting what we’ll do on Tuesday, Feb. 13. It’s possible that all day-care centres will close that day so day-care workers, parents and kids can march to their MP’s or MLA’s office to protest.” Read more

Two minute Action: Child care report card: Harper doesn’t make the grade

Child care report card: Harper doesn’t make the grade
Feb 5, 2007 06:55 AM A report card grading Stephen Harper’s child care work says he must improve his active listening skills and shouldn’t be allowed to play with scissors after the drastic cuts he made to child care. Add your comments to the report card and download copies to distribute and get signed. more »

  • Pass this on to your email networks!!

Harper Gets Failing Grades

Emma Sauve, 2, stands in front of a report card grading the Harper government's policies on child care during a news conference in Ottawa yesterday. Emma's mother and others were at the event to ask Harper to make improvements on child care.

By Norma Greenaway, CanWest News ServicePublished: Monday, February 05, 2007

OTTAWA — Child-care activists say the Conservative government’s change of heart on climate change has bolstered hopes it might rethink its child-care policy.

"It’s encouraging they have seen the error of their ways in other areas, such as the environment," said Monica Lysack, executive director of the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada. "We are hoping they will see the error of their ways in child care, and therefore invest in a system to create and maintain child-care spaces."

Lysack was among a group of child-care advocates who gathered Monday at an Ottawa child-care centre to slam the Conservative government's failure so far to provide details of its promise to spend $250 million a year over the next five years, beginning April 1, to create 125,000 child-care spaces.

The plan calls for providing up to $10,000 in federal tax credits to businesses or community groups for each space they create.

Critics say the proposal is deeply flawed because, among other things, it provides no operating funds. Also, businesses have shown virtually no interest in the proposal.

The Code Blue for Child Care campaign — which brings together child-care organizations and other groups — unveiled a report card at the event that gave the prime minister failing grades for his government's child-care plan, the centerpiece of which is a taxable monthly allowance of $100 for each child under the age of six."

Stephen Harper has some trouble understanding basic concepts. His major term project, the universal child-care plan, is not child care," said Rachel Besharah, an early childhood educator in Ottawa.

Provincial and territorial governments also want details of the Conservative plan, given Harper's announcement a year ago today that he was canceling the former Liberal government's child-care funding deals, effective this March 31.

Killing the deals has left the provinces and territories with almost $4 billion less than they had banked on over the next three years.

Have we really come a long way, baby?

Par Toula Foscolos :The news that the Harper government was shutting down most of its Status of Women offices (SWC) was greeted with :cheers from REAL ( a Conservative women's organization),outrage by many Liberals and womens' rights groups and indifference from the majority of average women, who are too busy burning the candle at both ends to question how they even feel at all!

The Tory decision to slash the Status of Women's operating budget by $5M and close 12 of its 16 regional offices was justified by the government as "administrative efficiency" and the contention that the organization only represented and funded feminists and did not adequately represent women. Forgive my ignorance, but since when is being a feminist at odds with being a woman? I know that to some, the word "feminism" is associated with bra-burning, man-hating females, but what most feminists I know want is equal pay, equal opportunities, equal representation. To suggest, as Harper has by closing these offices, that the fight for equality is over is ludicrous and does disservice to those who need the support the most.

A popular adage states: "The most serious threat to democracy is the notion that it has already been achieved". Replace the word "democracy" with "equality" and you'll see where I'm coming from.

So much has already been achieved and so much progress has already been made (particularly in the social and economic circles of the people making these decisions) that, I suspect, we're sometimes not capable of seeing how much still needs to be done.

Too many Canadians overestimate the success of the women's movement because their perceptions are usually distorted by constant media coverage of successful and strong women. But what about the women we don't see? What about the single moms on welfare, the battered and abused women with nowhere to go, the women out of options and out of luck? Who speaks for them?

"Just because there's an equality clause in the constitution does not make us equal, any more than having a peace bond protects us from being harmed or murdered," wrote Lorraine Sheehan, in the St. John's Telegram. "They're just words."

As long as women are earning less than men, as long as only 21% of our Parliament is comprised of female MPs, as long as women comprise 84% of spousal homicides and are the vast majority of people living under the poverty line, as long as women are still having debates over abortion rights, the fight for equality is not over and a political watchdog and a public research and advocacy group is still needed.

In the SWC's history, the organization has funded research and advocacy that have changed policies and perceptions. It gave women who didn't have a voice, the opportunity to be heard.

Whether it's a woman living in fear of abuse or a woman dealing with the fact that her male counterpart is making $1 for every 71 cents she earns, the SWC has done or tried to do something about it. So don't tell me, Mr. Harper, that the SWC does not represent me. And while you're at it, how about you give me the 29 cents on every dollar you owe me?

Send Stephen Harper a special Valentine to let him know what you want for Valentine's Day

Comments: Chocolates and flowers don't last, but Equality is Forever

Last year on Valentine's Day, we asked the Prime Minister to forget about the chocolates and the flowers. Instead, he forgot about WOMEN. And now The Women Are Angry.

This year, we recommend that you download the Valentine postcard from our website Print the PDF file on cardstock (perhaps in pink or red for the occasion). Distribute widely, and don't forget to send your own Valentine to the Prime Minister.(

Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa K1A 0A2

Fax: 613-941-6900

What It Cost To Get a Meeting with Bev Oda

BC Campaign for Women's Equality and Human Rights in Canada

(Vancouver, BC - 2 February 2007) After almost two weeks of waiting and following a question put to her in the House of Commons about it, women's groups in BC finally heard back from Minister Oda's office and confirmed a meeting date. The Minister responsible for the Status of Women will be in Vancouver March 3, 2007.

Minister Oda promised to meet with BC women's groups after a demonstration and a brief occupation of the Status of Women Canada office in Vancouver on January 18, the first anniversary of her government's broken promise to promote women's equality and address CEDAW recommendations.

"Despite days of telephone calls and messages, miscommunications and incorrect statements in Parliament, we now have a date," states Shauna Paull of GAATW-Canada. "Last night we got started preparing for the Minister's visit with us."

Coalition representatives have expressed disappointment with Minister Oda's explanations and defence of the Harper Government's decisions to:

  • slash $5m dollars from the SWC budget
  • close 12 of 16 regional offices of SWC, including those in Vancouver and Toronto
  • remove women's equality from the program mandate
  • make research, advocacy, and lobbying ineligible for funding
  • cancel the Court Challenges Program
  • refuse to move forward on proactive pay equity legislation
  • cancel the Pan-Canadian child-care program
  • fail to move forward on its CEDAW obligations

    But the Coalition's work to promote the principle of women's equality and redouble its efforts to have Conservative cuts reversed continues. "The Government says it wants to uphold Canada's commitments to women under the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women," stated Shelagh Day of the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA), "but their decisions disable women from participating in advocacy for equality rights."

    "Women in BC will have a lot to share with Minister Oda on March 3rd about how the spectrum of cuts and changes are actually impacting their right to be full participants in Canadian society," states Alison Brewin of West Coast Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF). "The minister is obliged under the Charter to change historic disadvantage, to promote women's equality, and to ensure justice is done. I expect her to come prepared to listen to the evidence of women's continued disadvantage."

    For More Information, Contact:

    Shelagh Day (FAFIA) Tel: 604.872.0750
    Shauna Paull (GAATW-Canada) Tel: 604.209.5776
    Alison Brewin (West Coast LEAF) Tel: 604.684.8772

  • Friday, February 2

    Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women

    Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women - Toronto, Ontario - February 1, 2007

    TORONTO — Violence against women, women’s economic independence and Aboriginal women’s issues were identified as top priorities for joint action at the provincial-territorial ministers’ meeting held in Toronto today. Each jurisdiction also has its own priorities for furthering women’s equality.

    These priorities will form the basis for developing an action plan to collectively address these issues at the federal/provincial/territorial level. Ministers agreed that provinces and territories, along with the federal government, must move more effectively in these areas. For its part, Quebec will contribute to this action plan through the sharing of expertise and best practices.

    Thirteen provincial and territorial Status of Women Ministers participated in the meeting, which focused on planning future action-oriented strategies to address issues facing women.

    Ministers also expressed concerns regarding changes to Status of Women Canada. Ministers will continue to collectively raise this issue with Status of Women Canada Minister, the Honourable Bev Oda, at the next federal/provincial/territorial meeting.

    Details of today’s discussion will be shared with Minister Oda with a view to developing a plan of action. The next federal/provincial/territorial meeting is scheduled for July 2007 in Nunavut and will be co-chaired by the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq.
    - 30 -

    See attached list of media contacts: (pdf file)

    Disponible en français: (fichier pdf)

    Oda firm on Status of Women funds

    Ottawa Citizen - Fri 02 Feb 2007 Page: A5 - Section: News Byline: Norma Greenaway - Source: The Ottawa Citizen

    An unapologetic Bev Oda rejected opposition demands yesterday that the government rethink its ban on funding women's advocacy and lobby groups as she announced the first project to win financing since the Conservatives took a sharp knife to Status of Women Canada.

    Ms. Oda, the minister responsible for women's issues, told a Commons committee that money had been awarded to a group in Prince George, B.C., trying to get sex-trade workers off the street by providing refuge and training opportunities.

    She said the project, which got about $49,000, is an example of the "meaningful" type of work the agency plans to fund.

    She said future projects will be assessed on the basis of whether they will make a real difference in a woman's life and repeated the government will no longer funnel "taxpayers' dollars" to advocacy groups. She also said the government won't change its mind on closing 12 of the agency's 16 regional offices or cutting the agency's operating budget by $5 million.

    Ms. Oda said there have been 56 applications for funding under the controversial new terms and conditions set out by the government for funding from Status of Women Canada, and she hopes the new system will encourage groups that had not previously sought funding from the federal agency.

    Ms. Oda also announced she had agreed to meet a group of her provincial counterparts "as soon as possible" to discuss their concerns about the funding rules.

    Thursday, February 1

    That was then...this is now (Part 1)

    'A long way, baby,' has long been the standard measure of women's progress toward equality. But how far have we really come? It's a question women are asking given the Conservative government's decision to all but dismantle the only federal agency for Canadian women

    Photo:1977 About 100 women marched on Parliament Hill in November chanting 'Stop violence against women.' The demonstration was one of several held in cities across Canada. Photograph by : The Canadian Press

    Read Part 1

    FEWO - Speaking Notes Bev Oda

    I have been following the Committee proceedings and I want to commend you for your hard work........

    Since my last appearance before you, there has been a great deal of discussion around the renewed Terms and Conditions of the Women's Program. Advocacy does have a role to play, but Canada's new government believes that now is the time to act. We have the studies; we know there are problems. Instead of wasting more time discussing the issues, our government is looking at tangible ways we can make a difference now.

    Read the complete "Speaking Notes"

    Visit the FEWO website