Posted on | March 21, 2012 | No Comments
Manitobans gathered for the release of the second Manitoba Equality Report Card. The Report Card grades the provincial government on their progress in meeting the recommendations set out in the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The Government received an overall grade of C+, the same grade that they received in 2010.
The province saw improvements in the area of women’s health, due largely to the new Women’s Health Strategy that specifically addresses the needs of women, and the opening of the new Birth Centre in Winnipeg. However, grades for Decision Making, Violence Against Women and Childcare saw a decline. Childcare earned an incomplete grade – a statement that says that without immediate action the province will have failed to meet the needs of families in Manitoba. A new category – Rural and Northern Issues – calls attention to the increased isolation and limited access to resources of women living outside of urban settings.
Chantel Henderson, a young mother and university student says, “As an Aboriginal woman I represent one of the largest marginalized groups in all of Canada. As a result I’ve been forced to live within the margins of poverty all my life. Poverty is a place where bad housing or lack of housing exists; where children are malnourished or neglected; where jobs and opportunities are scarce; and a place where women stretch every dollar and penny to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table and clothes on their children’s backs.” Chantel is a participant in UNPAC’s ChangeMakers program.
“It is essential for governments to live up to our international commitments to conventions like CEDAW and as a privileged nation and province we have the capacity to be leaders in this regard. We are looking now to this government in particular, one that we have reason to believe is progressive, to show that leadership,” says Dr. Lorna Turnball, Dean of Law at the University of Manitoba and a member of UNPAC’s advisory council.
The report was coordinated by UNPAC – an organization of Manitoba women committed to equality and empowerment – with contributions from several other organizations.
Check out the Report Card at www.unpac.ca.