National Council of Women of Canada - Blog
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Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Toronto - Citing the persistence of poverty and growing gap between the rich and poor across Canada, national anti-poverty coalition Campaign 2000 today expressed satisfaction that three out of four parties have committed to a poverty reduction plan.
Reducing poverty and inequality is not just a moral issue, but an essential element in managing the economy. Poverty and inequality drive health care and crime control expenditures, lead to skilled labour shortages through poor educational attainment, and generate social conflict.
Poverty persists across Canada with nearly one in ten people, including
610,000 low-income children and their mothers, living in poverty (2008 LICO after-tax). These most recent statistics do not reflect the current situation or the full impact of the recession and continuing economic disruption. These families still feel the double burden of job loss at the workplace and increased economic stress at home.
"We've analyzed the party platforms and found that all parties except for the Conservative Party have plans for poverty reduction in their platforms. The Liberals, New Democrats and Greens have all agreed to develop a plan to address poverty, to establish a system of universally accessible, high quality early childhood education and care services and to develop a national strategy for affordable housing including funds for social housing. The Bloc Québécois also supports a plan to make poverty history in Canada that recognizes Québec's particular role in social policy," said Laurel Rothman, National Coordinator of Campaign 2000. "These commitments are essential to an effective strategy to reduce and eventually eradicate poverty in Canada."
"We do know how to reduce and eradicate poverty - northern European countries have child and family poverty rates below 5%, without sacrificing vibrant economic growth or prosperity. Those countries invest in people throughout the life cycle and everyone in society benefits. In Canada, the majority of provinces have adopted or are all working on poverty reduction plans. But the missing link is an active federal government role," said Sid Frankel, University of Manitoba and Social Planning Council of Winnipeg. "That's why this federal election is so important - we need Canada's next federal government to commit to a plan to reduce poverty levels by at least 25% over the next 5 years and enshrine that in legislation."
To view a full copy of the Campaign 2000 Election Statement and the grid summarizing party platforms on poverty, visit www.campaign2000.ca <http://www.campaign2000.ca/> .
Campaign 2000 is a non-partisan cross Canada coalition of over 120 organizations committed to ending child & family poverty in Canada.
For further comment please contact:
Laurel Rothman, National Coordinator, Campaign 2000.Tel: 416-595-9230 x 228 or 416-575-9230
Sid Frankel, University of Manitoba and Social Planning Council of Winnipeg.
Aboriginal Women (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) in Canada experience multiple layers of discrimination and hardships. These include the impact of Canada's historic government policies (especially residential schools), and double discrimination based on race and gender. The undermining of Aboriginal culture and social fabric has taken a high toll on Aboriginal women.
Aboriginal women experience alarming rates of violence. Aboriginal women are eight times more likely to be murdered, and three times more likely to be abused by their partner than non-Aboriginal women. For Inuit women, the rate of violence is 14 times the national average. Symptomatic of this is the high number of missing or murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. Racism, sexism, poverty, historic government policies, substance abuse and marginalization contribute to this violence.
Aboriginal women experience high levels of unemployment, low wages and receipt of social assistance. As a result, they experience high rates of poverty-related diseases such as diabetes, obesity and poor nutrition. The unemployment rate for Aboriginal women is 13.5%, compared to 6.4% for non-Aboriginal women. In 2005, Aboriginal women received a median income of $15,600 - $3,600 less than non-Aboriginal women. Aboriginal women are concentrated in low-paid jobs. 59% work in sales, service, finance or administration jobs. Adding to the marginalization of Aboriginal women and children is the underfunding of child welfare services on reserves.
Despite multiple challenges, Aboriginal women are strong and resilient. This is reflected in Aboriginal women's education levels. Aboriginal women attend school at higher rates than both non-Aboriginal women and Aboriginal men. Aboriginal women are nearly twice as likely as Aboriginal men (7.1% versus 4.5% respectively) to have a University certificate, degree or diploma. This is despite the fact that many Aboriginal women are raising children alone and in poverty. High fertility rates (2.6 children versus 1.5 for non-Aboriginal women) mean Aboriginal women require family, social and economic supports to achieve education and career goals.
Consider asking your candidate the following questions:
Q. Does your party support policies that will recognize and restore the role of aboriginal women and girls in society?
Q. Will you party stop the persistent underfunding of programming and services delivered to First Nations, Inuit and Métis women and girls?
Women are the fastest-growing prison population. The so-called "Law and Order Agenda" will not make women safer, and it will drain resources from services necessary for women's substantive equality. Depending upon the prison and the needs of women, it costs anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000 per year to keep a woman in prison. If she has mental health issues, she will likely be held in segregation and subject to high security.
Under-protected Women in Canada are under-protected. Women experience the highest rates of poverty in Canada. This is compounded by victimization, substance use, mental health issues, racialization and disabilities. Women commit crime, in many cases, to survive.
Over-policed Crime rates are down, yet women are the fastest- growing prison population. Aboriginal women are overrepresented in the prison system. An expensive prison complex will not address the economic and social issues that women in Canada face. Prisons do not guarantee rehabilitation or health care and education programs that meet women's needs.
Unaffordable The "Law and Order Agenda" is expensive compared to alternatives. The planned changes to the prison system will cost taxpayers an estimated $9.5 billion by 2015-2016. It costs on average $185,000 per year to imprison a woman in Canada.
The "Law and Order Agenda" Displaces Children When you imprison women, you imprison mothers. 60% of children whose mothers are in prison live with grandparents, 17% with other relatives, and 25% live in foster care or group homes. Interestingly, almost 90% of children whose fathers are in prison continue to live with their mothers.
The inaccessibility of social programs, combined with increased imprisonment, are not resulting in any increased safety or equality for Canadian women and children. Women in prison experience high rates of depression and self-injury. 80-90% have survived sexual and/or physical abuse. 34% of women in federal prisons are Aboriginal. When they leave, they deal with trauma, violence, poverty, and lack of access to good jobs, health care and mental health services.
The Government of Canada needs to make Canada safer for women and girls by:
* Ensuring access to participation in a knowledge-based society.
* Creating access to decent work.
* Increasing rehabilitation programs and supports in prison and the community.
* Implementing a national strategy with specific policies and resources dedicated to ending violence against women and girls.
* Creating equal access to health, mental health and education programs.
Implementing the recommendations of the Arbour Report to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
To find out where your candidate stands on the "Law and Order Agenda" consider asking the following questions:
Q. If elected will you work to repeal the unnecessary criminal justice reforms and reallocate resources to develop social, educational and health services?
Q. Will you reinstate the Court Challenges Program?
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Michael Ignatieff, Leader, Liberal Party
Gilles Duceppe, Leader, Bloc QuÃ©bÃ©cois
Jack Layton, Leader, NDP
Elizabeth May, Leader, Green Party
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
The full Guide can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/3zaocfw. While the full guide does not yet exist in French, CJPME has packaged its write-up on the Bloc Quebecois in a separate document which can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/3qdyr39.
In addition to summarizing party platforms on the Middle East, the Guide reviews the performance of dozens of individual MPs on these issues, identifying "swing" ridings across the country. It suggests alternatives for those parties and candidates who do not have a strong Middle East record. The Guide reflects the urgency felt by CJPME and many Canadians to salvage Canada's values and international reputation, to help ensure that principled and balanced parliamentary leaders are elected.
"If the current Conservative administration strengthens its position through this election, Canada's international stature and humanitarian institutions will suffer irreparable damage," says CJPME President Thomas Woodley. CJPME believes that the Guide will enable people to play an active role in shaping the outcome of the election, no matter where they may live.
CJPME notes that Canadians have become much more aware since the 2008 election of Canada's role in propping up less-than-legitimate regimes in the Middle East. CJPME's Election Guide will enable people concerned about justice and peace in the Middle East to speak up confidently in this crucial election. "We can shape Canada's role in the world. Getting active in this decisive election is an opportunity no Canadian should pass up," concludes Woodley.
- Between 2002 and 2009, 1 in 5 murders in Canada were spousal homicides, 83% of which were murders of women.S
- Spousal homicides of women declined for three decades, until 2006-2009 when they stopped declining and remained stable.
- 76% of victims of criminal harassment (stalking) are women, and over half of these were harassed by a former or current intimate male partner.
- Women are over 6 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than men. Men are the assailants in 97% of sexual assaults.
- Less than 1 in 10 sexual assaults are reported to the police.
There are 582 documented cases of murdered or missing Aboriginal women and girls. This represents approximately 10% of female homicides in Canada, despite the fact that Aboriginal women make up only 3% of the total female population in Canada.
- free or low-cost family law legal aid;
- adequate and affordable housing;
- a national, non-profit child care system
- a guaranteed liveable income, and economic parity with men
- supports and resources provided by the autonomous women’s movement which prioritizes women’s liberty and equality;
- culturally-relevant resources and policies dedicated to ending violence against Aboriginal women and girls
- immigration policy that protects women, both with status and undocumented, who are escaping violence to and/or within Canada.