In Canada, the government has been working to erode much of the progress women have made. Whether it’s funding cuts to Status of Women to ignoring the recommendations of the 2004 Pay Equity Task Force Report, it’s obvious that this government is not serious about addressing the inequality women and girls continue to face in our country. Sadly, Canada is now ranked 16th on the United Nations’ Gender Inequality Index-lower than Japan, Spain and Italy.
Meanwhile, Aboriginal women and girls, continue to face appalling violations of their rights. Nearly 40% of Aboriginal women have not completed high school, and funding for education of children on reserves is capped at a rate far lower than the average spent on children’s education elsewhere in Canada. Furthermore, the Conservative government has cut funding to Sisters in Spirit, a task force that compiles and maintains a database of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in the country, stipulating that the remaining funding is not to go towards advocacy and research activities – the core of the work they undertake. Sisters in Spirit has been instrumental in highlighting the disproportionate rates of violence and death aboriginal women and girls face in Canada.
New Democrat Leader
New Democrat Status of Women critic