from the Coalition for Women's Equality
The Coalition for Women's Equality (CWE) reminds the new Conservatives that voters have elected another minority government with the balance of power resting with socially progressive forces. As voters have seen, minority governments are often better equipped to respond to a social agenda as put forward by groups like the CWE during the election.
As a consequence, CWE challenges the next Parliament to deal head-on with the advancement of Aboriginal women's human rights, the reduction of women's poverty and the establishment of sufficient supports for violence against women, families in need of childcare and women seeking affordable and safe housing. The CWE also expects all parties in the new House of Commons to protect women's reproductive choice, and finally, after decades of delay, deliver on equal pay for women by immediately implementing federal pay equity legislation.
"All parties have an extraordinary opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to Canadians by working together on issues that matter deeply to women's lives. Further, they have an obligation to do this when the numbers of women in the House of Commons have actually declined," said Lise Martin of the Canadian Research Institute on the Advancement of Women (CRIAW). "Only 62 women will sit in this new house and the percentage will fall to the 20 percent mark." Nonetheless, we recognize strong women amongst those elected, and we will be counting on them.
For this reason, it is critical that the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women play a significant role in the next house to help offset the deficit of representation of women in the House of Commons.
Further, at the urging of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women in the last minority Parliament, important initiatives were started but not completed once the previous Parliament fell. Of particular significance is a report produced by a panel of experts on strengthening the mechanisms of government to deliver on women's equality guarantees.
"It is time for women to see accountability for the commitments made to them throughout the decades by governments of all political stripes. This Parliament can make that happen," added Charlotte Thibault of the Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA).
For More Information contact Laila Malik, Co-ordinator, Coalition for Women's Equality at 613-241-7570 or at the email address below.
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