Government, Opposition recognize International Womens Day

Staff ~ The Telegram
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In recognition of International Women's Day today, Kathy Dunderdale, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, is applauding the work of women in this province in the fight for equality and the advancement of important issues facing women.
Meanwhile, Liberal Opposition Leader and critic for the Status of Women, Yvonne Jones, says she is proud to join in the spirit of celebration of International Women's Week throughout the province and commends those women and volunteers who are at the forefront of the movement to improve the lives of women.
International Women's Day was proclaimed in 1977 by the United Nations (UN). This year's theme is Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for All. The Provincial Government invests significantly in advancing women's issues, including $400,000 annually to assist the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women and $880,000 for the province's eight Status of Women councils. The councils use this funding to bring increased attention to the social, economic, political, legal and cultural issues faced by women.
"In this province, we are witnessing changes in public perception of issues facing women and that is in large part due to the work being done by women in their communities to raise awareness of important issues," Dunderdale said in a news release. "International Women's Day is a time for us to collectively celebrate the great strides that have been made in advancing the status of women, including those made in this province, and to determine what future action is needed to address the ongoing challenges faced by women."
The release states the provincial government has committed $12-million over six years for its Violence Prevention Initiative, which is designed to raise awareness of violence in the province and identify long-term solutions to eliminate violence. As part of the initiative, 10 regional coordinating committees help improve the delivery of violence prevention services across the province. In addition, annual funding of $200,000 is provided to Aboriginal women's groups and organizations to assist with advancing violence prevention against Aboriginal women and children.
Jones said the week is an opportunity to reflect on the outstanding needs of women left unaddressed in the province, particularly those in rural communities.
"While the oil and gas sector is helping to fuel the economy on the North East Avalon, many rural areas are not benefiting from this progress. In fact, many communities continue to struggle for a variety of reasons; and often it is women and their families that bear the brunt of this lack of economic opportunity," Jones said.
"Rural women deal with a great deal of responsibilities and unique challenges, from poverty issues, caring for children and ailing seniors while their spouses are forced to seek employment elsewhere in Canada, homecare, literacy, pension ability, food security, bankruptcy, as well as violence. Further, rural women also tend to be underemployed, underpaid and lack the resources and support that are available in larger centers including mental health and addiction services."

Organizations: United Nations, Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women

Geographic location: Canada

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