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2013-06-26: Government Earns a C on 2013 Equality Report Card

Government Earns a C on 2013 Equality Report Card

CORNWALL, PEI, June 2013

At a time when economic, labour and safety issues are increasingly challenging, most especially for women and others who are marginalized, more is required of those in leadership to ensure that no one is left behind. This is the message from the members of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women. They call for more accountability. More compassion. More creativity and innovation. Today, the Advisory Council on the Status of Women is releasing its 2013 Equality Report Card assessing the provincial government’s progress on equality work. The Advisory Council Report Card awards the PEI government a grade of C in 2013 for its progress so far in this mandate of government (elected 2011) in addressing the equality goals of women and under-represented groups on the Island.

“The C grade in 2013 shows that although government is taking some important and concrete steps to meet needs that women and vulnerable citizens have identified, much more needs to be done”, says Diane Kays, Chairperson of the Advisory Council.

The Equality Report Card grades government in nine categories including Women’s Health, Diversity and Inclusion, and Women in Decision-Making. The general global score of C recognizes that issues that affect women are interconnected. The 2013 Equality Report Card also awards bonus points in each category, acknowledging positive actions and policies that have been initiated within various departments.

The Chairperson of the Status of Women notes some areas that still require attention. “The Social Action Plan needs a real commitment. Poverty continues to disenfranchise and harm so many women, children and families in this province,” says Diane Kays. Mental health and addictions are areas the Advisory Council members also see as needing more action. “We will analyze and respond to the results of the recent review of mental health and addictions services undertaken by the province. We are hopeful it will provide clear direction to improve the lives of the many Islanders who are experiencing the pain of addictions and mental illness.”

“From 2008 when the Advisory Council first began the Equality Report Card, we have made a commitment to work collaboratively with government to support them to achieve A and B grades,” says Jane Ledwell, Executive Director. “The relationship of mutual respect and good will in creating the Equality Report Card is unique in Canada. We are very proud that all provincial departments contribute by responding to our questionnaire and reviewing the information gathered. The Advisory Council is committed to seeing this significant collaboration continue, and to working together in the coming years to raise the status of women across PEI.”

Copies of the 2013 Equality Report Card are available through the Advisory Council on the Status of Women website, http://www.gov.pe.ca/acsw or by calling 902-368-4510.

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