Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Canadian women told to "shut the fuck up"
The evangelical fervor of our federal government to clamp down on progressive work that threatens their neo-conservative ideas on gender and race has hit another low. Last week, the government announced that it won't be supporting any foreign aid work that supports abortion. Representatives from women's groups were alarmed and gathered at Parliament Hill to speak out on Canada's draconian stand against abortion in aid work.
So, what were the women told? To stay quiet....but not in those word; they were actually told by a Conservative Senator, Nancy Ruth, to "shut the fuck up about abortion."
Ruth told them this is not a Canadian woman's health issue, so shut up or it could get worse.
Just days earlier, MATCH, a women's rights group that works on international women's issues had their funding cut (along with 10 other groups), which they say is "ideological punishment" for those who are pushing for abortion to be included in the G8 plans. In the same article, it was reported that "In the House of Commons, Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae said the senator's warning demonstrates the 'culture of intimidation and bullying' the Harper government uses to silence critics."
What sort of work does MATCH do?
"MATCH International Centre is a women's international organization guided by a feminist vision of sustainable development which recognizes the diverse realities of women and respects their efforts for self-determination. To fulfill its mission, MATCH works in partnership with women's groups in Africa, Asia, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America towards the empowerment of women and the achievement of the practical enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms through civil, political, economic, social and cultural justice. MATCH works in partnership with women’s group in the South on the themes: Eliminating Violence Against Women, and, Women and Sustainable Human Development."
Clearly, the work that MATCH does needs funding not cuts!
"One international aid advocate, Lydia Alpizar Duran, from the Association of Women’s Rights in Development, vowed that Canadian women would have help from other countries if they want to start making noise here. 'I don’t remember any women’s rights ever gained by staying silent,' she said."
True. Women have learned a long time ago that Your silence will not protect you, nor will shutting the fuck up be the path to effect change.
Earlier, the Conservative government cut funding from groups working with immigrants from Arab countries, such as the Canadian Arab Federation, as well as other groups that don't share the government's regressive ideas.
If you are a woman, brown, and non-Christian.... guess what?
let's just say things are fucked up here in Canada.