Thursday, May 17

NAWL takes "Mothering in Law" to Parliament

Kudos to Irene Mathyssen and Maria Minna for meeting with NAWL and women's groups on Monday May 14 and reporting their concerns to the House of Commons. Here is the transcript:

Hon. Maria Minna (Beaches—East York, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to recognize the invaluable work of the National Association of Women and the Law.

In celebration of Mother's Day, NAWL hosted a conference “Mothering in Law” to discuss the state of motherhood in this country. It painted a dismal picture.

Under the current employment insurance scheme, one in every three mothers outside of Quebec does not have access to the maternity and parental benefit program. Canada ranks last of OECD countries when it comes to investment in child care.

Now that advocacy and research will no longer be funded, the situation will be even more grim.

Today, women's groups are on Parliament Hill to meet with members of Parliament to urge them to support women's rights and equality, to reform the discriminatory elements of our EI system and to reinstate equality into the mandate of the women's program and fund research to advance the cause of women's rights.

Canadian mothers deserve more than scripted rhetoric and sound bites from the Conservative government. We need a government that truly supports Canadian families.

Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):

Mr. Speaker, yesterday, many of us took time to celebrate mothers but mothers in this country need more than flowers.

What mothers and fathers deserve is better work-life balance. They deserve not to be penalized for taking time off to care for children or sick and aging relatives.

New mothers deserve real maternity benefits. Currently, two-thirds of women who pay into EI cannot access maternity benefits.

Parents need affordable, not for profit child care so that working families can make ends meet. In order to make jobs work for women, we need to ensure flexible and family friendly workplaces.

This is the reason I introduced a motion that calls on the government to implement a multi-stakeholder task force to produce recommendations for better life-work balance choices. Women and men in this country should not need to choose either family or work. Canadians deserve the opportunity to do both.

Today the National Association of Women and the Law are here to discuss with parliamentarians many of these equality issues. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the organization for its work.

LINK: Hansard May 14, 2007


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