Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Canadian women and democracy

As you can imagine, Canadian women refuse to back down from the public tongue lashing and are spelling out the Conservative government's anti-democratic policies. The defunding of women's groups and the government's refusal to fund abortion in aid work is, as Green Party Leader Elizabeth May explains, “like moving back to the (Richard) Nixon era in a whole bunch of areas … it’s chilling to see Canada going backwards.”

That old black and white photo I posted last post was not far off the mark. Are we going to have to go back to the days when being a woman meant your choices were decided by men? All those Canadians busying themselves with outrage against a Muslim woman from Quebec who wears a niqab in public places should be busying themselves wondering what this current government is doing to WOMEN, to the status of women in Canada. Why is their outrage (mis)directed at one single woman when it should be directed at the government?

I'm sure the government is pleased that people are not paying attention to what they are up to.


Finnish servant girl Irja Honkas. 1932. Toronto (Ont.) Archives of Ontario.

Women have worked too hard to lose their hard-won gains.

As this morning's report explains: "Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been accused of systematically undermining women in this country by stripping their advocacy groups of tens of millions of dollars and targeting those critical of his government’s anti-abortion stance on the world stage.

In the past two weeks, the federal government has ended funding to 14 women’s groups, including a non-governmental agency that was funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for more than 30 years." [this refers to MATCH, the women's group I told you about last post].

further:

"The Ad Hoc Coalition for Women’s Equality and Human Rights says the government war on women’s groups 'is actually an attack on democracy in Canada.'

'By defunding those women’s groups you are effectively silencing discussion . . . on women and women’s advocacy,' said Claire Tremblay, coordinator of the coalition, which represents about 30 organizations.

Since 2006, Harper has cut funding for women’s advocacy by 43 per cent, shut 12 out of 16 Status of Women offices in Canada and eliminated funding of legal voices for women and minority groups, including the National Association of Women and the Law and the Courts Challenges Program,critics say."

3 comments:

Merche Pallarés said...

Canadian women should revolt!! It's unbelievable the harm Harper is doing to Canada and Canadians. How can the situation be worse than thirty-years ago!! By your very informative posts I realize that it is NOT the Canada I was so lucky to grow up in. Where are those funds going?? Warmongering?? To Israel? Unbelievable... Hugs, M.

northshorewoman said...

yes, and today's newspaper reports that Harper's government has cut all funding of the annual gay Pride parade in Toronto. This neo-conservative government is taking up where Bush left off. Women, Arabs and Muslims, and gay people are all losing ground in Canada.

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