Time for a New Royal Commission on the Status of Women?

Status of Women

October 22, 2002 11:23 AM

The national coalition of provincial and territorial advisory
councils on the Status of Women is calling on the federal
government to re-examine the state of women's equality in Canada.

The coalition met in Halifax today, Oct. 22, some 30 years after
the Royal Commission on the Status of Women. They met with
officials of Status of Women Canada's Women's Program and sent
strong messages to the federal Status of Women Minister, Jean
Augustine: that women need to feel that their concerns are heard
and that there are resourced mechanisms to connect advisory
councils and grassroots women's organizations to federal,
provincial and territorial governments.

The coalition of advisory councils will be returning to their
provinces and territories to put the question to women and
women's organizations working for equality: Is it time for
another Royal Commission on the Status of Women?

Women's lives have changed dramatically since the 1970s, when the
Royal Commission on the Status of Women made its recommendations.
The coalition knows that it is time to revisit the issues women
brought forward in the 1970s and to look at how women are doing
on the following issues of social, economic and legal equality in
2002. They want the commission to consider:

-- women in remote and northern communities;
-- women and children living in poverty;
-- aboriginal women and their place in decision-making;
-- globalization and women's role in economic development and
information technology; and
-- the changing face of violence and ways victims and offenders
are dealt with.

The coalition questions how governments can deal effectively with
the issues that are important to women unless better links are
put in place for federal ministers to hear the concerns and
experiences of Canadian women.

As we celebrate Women's History Month, six Canadian women
accepted the Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the
Persons' Case on Oct. 18 for outstanding contributions to
advancing the status of women. These women agreed that Canadian
women have come a long way, but still have a long way to go
before they are truly equal.

A royal commission could provide an opportunity for women to
discuss their realities, identify their concerns and make
recommendations to government as to how best to address these
concerns. This would allow women's views, experiences, values and
vision to help shape the future of social and economic agendas of
Canada.



FOR BROADCAST USE:

     A national coalition of advisory councils on the Status of

Women from Canada's provinces and territories is calling on the

federal government to re-examine the state of women's equality in

Canada.

     The coalition met in Halifax today, Oct. 22, some 30 years

after the Royal Commission on the Status of Women.

     They met with officials of Status of Women Canada and sent a

strong message to the federal government that women need to feel

that their concerns are heard.

     They want another royal commission on women's issues. They

want it consider the challenges faced by women in remote and

northern communities and those living in poverty. They also want

the commission to look into the role of aboriginal women in

decision-making, the effects of globalization on women and the

ways victims and perpetrators of violence are dealt with.

-30-

Contacts: Brigitte Neumann
         Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women
         902-424-8662
         E-mail: neumannb@gov.ns.ca

         Joyce Hancock
         Newfoundland and Labrador Advisory Council on the
         Status of Women
         709-753-6124

         Heidi Rankin
         Prince Edward Island Advisory Council on the Status
         of Women
         902-368-4510

kjd         October 22, 2002         11:21 A.M.