News release

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

STATUS OF WOMEN--Time for a New Royal Commission on the Status of Women?


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:
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.