Advisory Council on the Status of Women
2009 Equality Report Card Priority Recommendations
PRIORITY ACTION AREAS: 2009 EQUALITY REPORT CARD
The following are the issues for which the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women will be giving grades in 2009 as part of its Equality Report Card project. These priorities were selected and refined by the members of the Council after a review of policy recommendations that the PEI Status of Women has made to government over almost ten years.
MAKING EQUALITY A PRIORITY: To make women’s equality a priority, we expect the provincial government to meet its commitments to analyse the effects on everyday Island women of existing and proposed legislation, policy, and budgeting. This means applying gender- and diversity-based analysis and collecting and using up-to-date sex-disaggregated data.
WOMEN IN DECISION-MAKING: To increase women’s participation in the highest levels of decision-making, we expect the provincial government to actively encourage women’s advancement and break down barriers to women’s leadership.
FAMILY VIOLENCE PREVENTION: To reduce violence in our province, we expect the provincial government to provide for community-based, women-led, pro-feminist programs and services that prevent violence against women specifically and family violence more generally, and that provide services when violence occurs.
WOMEN'S ECONOMIC STATUS: We expect the provincial government to set a priority on improving the health, dignity, and well-being of Islanders who struggle with a less than livable income. We urge the government to consult and collaborate with community-based organizations to develop a Poverty Reduction Strategy like those in other provinces. We see the three priority areas below as key elements of Poverty Reduction:
SUPPORTS FOR CAREGIVING: Early childhood care and education has been a particular policy focus recently, and this has implications for caregivers. From childcare, to supports for caregivers of people with disabilities, to home care for ailing adults and seniors, we expect government to recognize unpaid or underpaid labour provided by caregivers, most frequently women. Government must not enact policies that increase the burden on caregivers, without increasing supports.
WOMEN'S HEALTH: We expect government to sustain a strong system for acute care, but to relieve future burdens on the acute care system by continuing to take steps that recognize whole-body holistic health and that address social determinants of health such as gender, income, language, and culture. We encourage government to demonstrate a commitment to wellness and prevention in health.
ACCESS TO JUSTICE: Access to family law legal aid continues to be a challenge for Island women. Most calls to the PEI Status of Women office continue to be from women who need a lawyer’s advice. In many cases, they cannot afford a lawyer. We expect government to continue to place high priority on ensuring women and families have access to justice.
* an item that has been moved. refined, or rephrased for more focused assessment for 2009