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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Liberal record of failure for women

Reality check: Liberal record of failure for women

Thu 3 Feb 2011
Today, the Ignatieff Liberals claimed that they would stand up for Canadian women. Really?
Five years of Harper has meant five years of attacks on Status of Women. And with the liberals supporting 114 confidence votes, it’s easy to see how the Conservatives got away with it.
And when pay equity needed to be defended in the House? Where were the Liberals? Absent.
Michael Ignatieff couldn’t even get his own caucus to show up and support Bob Rae’s motion on protecting abortion rights in Canadian aid.
And just in December, ten Liberal MPs stood up in favour of a Conservative Bill that risks criminalizing abortion providers and promotes an anti-choice agenda.
That’s the Liberal record.
BONUS FLASHBACK: LIBERAL RECORD IN GOVERNMENT: Let’s not forget that in 1993 Liberals promised working women that they would create 150,000 new child care spaces.
But after 13 years and three majority governments, and after 8 years of surpluses equalling over $63 billion, working families in Canada were still waiting for child care.

BPW Canada Equal Pay Day
Income equity champion:
In BPW, we believe that income equity must become a reality for all. At the present time this is not the case, with a devastating impact on women, children and many seniors, particularly women, who find themselves living their "golden years" below the poverty line. 

Despite Equal Pay and Pay Equity legislation income equity is far from a reality in Canada, with women in the workforce today still earning only a percentage of what their male counterparts earn – on average, less than 80%. 

The self-employed, business owners, and more specifically women entrepreneurs, have faced additional challenges and up until 2010 they were not allowed the option to contribute to the Employment Insurance Fund.  Although, this may be a step forward, the actual return on investment and how easy it will be for the self-employed and business owners to access EI benefits such as maternity/ parental leave or the Compassionate Care-givers Leave will require continued monitoring.

Together with other organizations BPW Canada has lobbied our Government to address many of the underlying issues of income inequity.
With little progress in narrowing the wage gap, recent changes and reduction to the Status of Women funding and the passing of the Public Service Equitable Compensation  Act in 2009,  the need  for a resurgence of effort in the area of economic equality is warranted.


Beyond Despair

Hello people: this is your call to solidarity

by Bernadette Wagner
Women survive, against all odds.
Even though we women make up 52 per cent of the global population and we own only one per cent of the land, we survive.
Even though climate change impacts women around the world more harshly (try gathering wood, food, water in a drought zone or flood zone every day), we survive.
Even though we earn 73 per cent the wages of men and are over-represented in part-time, low-pay jobs, and even though the world economies once counted us as chattel and told us our work was not work, we survive.
Even though cooking, cleaning and caregiving, the three Cs of women's work, are worth between $234 and $374 billion in labour that remains unpaid, and even though we never received the national childcare program we were promised and yet we still find time to fill the gaps when governments offload services onto communities and families, we survive.
Even though, right here in Saskatchewan, one child in five - a full 20 per cent - live without adequate food, shelter and clothing, and even though more than 43,000 of our children live in poverty and 60 per cent of children living in households headed by a lone woman live in poverty, and children around the world continue to live in deep poverty, we survive.
Even though governments dismally fail to acknowledge our inequality, respect our issues - or even hear our voices - and instead, privatize economic decision-making, grant corporations more rights and less taxes, doctor documents, cut funding to programs, close doors to our organizations, oppose same sex marriages, peel back our reproductive rights, ignore our human rights, spurn and deride us, tell us to "go slowly," that we're "too radical" and dismiss us as "dumb bitches" or "Feminazis," we survive.
Even though violence against us is epidemic the world over - we are assaulted emotionally, psychologically, physically, sexually - even though 50 per cent of us will experience violence to our person in our lifetime and we have sisters, daughters, grand-daughters who are treated as illegal goods to be trafficked and sold into sexual slavery, and even though we are stoned to death, gunned down, disappeared or murdered, we survive.
Even though we live our lives in the global war waged against us right here and right now, as it has for centuries - even though we die daily, we survive.
We survive because we are strong.
We are strong because we are one community. We are one community with a diverse population: women of colour, Indigenous, Métis women, who have immigrated, emigrated, who are refugees, who are urban, rural, peasant, homeless women, are mothers, grandmothers, child-free, who are sex workers, waged workers, volunteer workers, who are lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, queer, are religious, atheist, agnostic, spiritual, women with disabilities, healing powers, visions, who are older, younger, middle-aged...
We survive because we are coming to know the power of diversity, to know our power as women. And we know that our time to wield power is at hand.
Bernadette Wagner is the author of the poetry collection, This hot place (Thistledown Press) which was nominated for a 2010 Saskatchewan Book Award.

Abbotsford NDP Candidate David Murray with Ed Broadbent at Halifax convention
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twitter: davidmurray4ndp

1 comment:

  1. I would like to live in a world where the glass ceiling was one size fits all.