CCLOW ACROSS THE PROVINCES
NOVA SCOTIA Access to education programs provided the theme for two briefs recently presented by CCLOW-Nova Scotia. The impetus for the first, a brief presented to the Provincial Force on Day Care, came from problems encountered by low-income women who wished to talk time classes but were hindered by their lack of access to subsidized day care, available primarily for children who were enrolled full-time. Several members of CCLOW-Nova Scotia been involved with these women in trying to overcome the child care hurdle, but each short-term solutions could be found. Education and employment training programs are so sorely needed for single parents in Nova Scotia where 61% of the heads of single parent families grade ten educations or less. About 82% of single parent families in N.S. are headed by many of them with pre-school and/or young school age children, so child care is a significant factor in arranging for participation in educational programs. Among the recommendation contained in the brief were:
The second brief arose from the criteria used by the N.S. Department of Education in determining eligibility of Continuing Education classes offered by local school boards for provincial funding support. This brief, presented to the Minister of Education, questioned the designation of classes in traditionally male skills of upholstery and woodworking as vocational and consequently eligible for provincial funding support while classes in sewing and cake decorating, traditionally women's skills, are described as hobby classes and thus denied provincial funding support. The efforts of CCLW in this area have stimulated interest from the Human Rights Commission of Nova Scotia and also from the Advisory Council on the Status of Women in this matter.
CCLOW-N.S. co-operated with the Halifax City Regional Library and the Metro Council on Continuing Education in sponsoring a meeting with Bob Mason, Deputy Director of the CEIC Task Force on Paid Skills Development Leave. Parts of the discussions were directed to the employment training needs of women, especially those in clerical jobs. On May 13 and 14, the network sponsored a provincial workshop on NETWORKING, with assistance from Secretary of State. Women from across the province attended, with special delegates from the Acadian, Black and Native communities. The purpose of the workshop was to strengthen networks for improved access to learning opportunities for women.
ALBERTA CCLOW in Edmonton continues to meet monthly in addition to various subcommittees thereof. We have applied to the NEEDS Program of CEIC for a grant approximating $85,000 for a research project exploring learning opportunities for women in Alberta and the related barriers, the impact of microtechnology and the impact of the National Training Act. If approved, this research project will provide the much needed background information for much of the work we hope to do over the next year. The project will keep us busy over the next eight months.
Our network has also focused its attention on the Proposed Alberta Council on Women's Affairs (provincial advisory council). After study and discussion, Edmonton CCLOW has contacted the Alberta Minister Responsible for the Status of Women to indicate that we are not supportive of the Proposed Council as it has been presented and that we feel it is premature in the process of considering the organization of an advisory council in Alberta. Sandy Susut, Alberta Director, attended a meeting convened by the Canadian Association for Adult Education to discuss concerns relating to their document FROM THE ADULTS POINT OF VIEW with President Anne Ironside. Women's perspectives always need to be reiterated.