#main #menu { position: absolute; right: 21px; }

Is It True That Women Have Achieved True Equality?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Given all the recent rumors about Canadian women having achieved true equality, you may be starting to wonder if the women's movement was declared over during one of those time periods when the baby was up a lot in the night and the toddler suddenly gave up his daytime naps -- and you were simply too tired to care about anything other than sleep.

Not exactly, says The Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women.

That's overstating things a little, confirms The National Association of Women and the Law. In a briefing document entitled "The Importance of Funding Women's Groups," the NAWL notes that the recent Statistics Canada report Women in Canada 2005 and the federally commissioned report of the Expert Panel on Accountability Mechanisms for Gender Equality, entitled Equality for Women: Beyond the Illusion, released in July 2006, they spell out the facts:
"Many people think that we have truly achieved equality for women in Canada. Much as we would like it to be so, it is simply not the case. In 2005, only one in five members of Parliament is a woman. The same holds true in general across the legislatures of the provinces and territories. Girls are the victims of more than four out of five cases of sexual assault on minors. Four out of five one-parent families are headed by women. The employment income gap between male and female university graduates who work full time has widened. Women working full time still earn only 71 cents for every dollar that men make. Women do the large majority of unpaid work in Canada. (p. 15)…The most recent figures show that 38 percent of Aboriginal women live in low income situations. So, too, do 35 percent of lone mothers and 27 percent of immigrant women. Immigrant women working full time earn 58 cents for every dollar earned by Canadian born men" (p. 17).

The National Association of Women and the Law argues that far from being redundant, women's groups continue to play a critical role in the lives of Canadian women:
"These groups raise the difficult issues that impact on women's lives, propose concrete and viable policy and hold governments accountable for respecting and promoting women's rights. As has always been the case, we need to ensure that autonomous women's groups can not only survive, but thrive and develop. Federal funding is a key component to ensuring that these groups can do the work necessary to meet the needs of women in their communities, and to ensure that appropriate policies and program are in place that can positively affect women's lives. The need for national support of equality-seeking women's groups has also been recognized by international bodies, including the United Nations treaty bodies, the World Bank, and the Association for Women's Rights in Development."

So it would seem that you didn't sleep through the third wave of the women's revolution (or whatever wave we're supposedly riding now). If anyone dozed off, it was the group of politicians who approved these cuts.

More: Dion questions PM on Status of Women funding; Federal Government Moves to Further Restrict Women's Groups (Nov. 30th)

| posted by Ann D @ 5:07 PM