In the past 20 years, Canadian women have gone backwards. In 1995, Canada was No. 1 on the United Nations Gender Equality Index. Today Canada ranks 25th.
Canada was once a leader in promoting women’s social, economic and political equality. But now basic programs and services that are foundations for women’s equality are missing, or inadequate. Women need affordable childcare, equal pay, adequate housing and legal aid, access to sexual and reproductive care in every part of the country, and just and prompt responses to violence by police and courts.
In November 2016, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) released a comprehensive and detailed set of recommendations to Canada. A summary of the recommendations can be found here.
The recommendations are clear: Federal, provincial and territorial governments must address women’s inequality in a planned, comprehensive, and strategic way. The Committee notes a National Gender Equality Plan must take an intersectional approach to address the diversity of women’s experiences of discrimination in Canada, including the experiences of Indigenous women, women with disabilities, racialized women, single mothers, and LBTI.
FAFIA has launched a national campaign, Step Up for Women’s Equality, to advocate for the implementation of the CEDAW recommendations.
It is time for serious and co‑ordinated action. Canada needs to STEP UP!
The United Nations CEDAW Committee recommends that Canada implement a National Gender Equality Plan, so that all levels of government can work together to fulfill their human rights obligations to women. Women in Canada have waited long enough!
FAFIA and over a hundred organizations and individuals have called on the federal government to implement this recommendation, alongside other recommendations made by the United Nations CEDAW Committee.
Women’s organizations in British Columbia echo the call for action on the CEDAW recommendations and are urging the Government of British Columbia to step up their action on women’s human rights. Read more about the BC call here.
Now is the time for women’s rights in Canada to be fully realized! Join us in calling for a National Gender Equality Plan! Join us in calling for the implementation of the United Nations CEDAW recommendations!
You can support this campaign by contacting your MP. It is time for Canada to step up, take concrete action, and implement a National Gender Equality Plan.
Support for the Campaign
Senator Marilou McPhedran’s speech to the Senate (February 14, 2017). Listen to the audio clip here.
Ontario Human Rights Commission supports full implementation of CEDAW recommendations and national gender equality plan. Read OHRC’s letter here
Sheila Malcolmson, Status of Women Critic, makes a statement calling on the government to Step Up for Women’s Equality! (February 1, 2017)