The statement concludes with these words:
"A COMMITMENT TO ACTION:
Until the full potential of women is realized, the Canadian economy will not perform to its maximum. Until the barriers that restrict this potential are overcome, the potential of all Canadians will be limited.
All governments in Canada are committed to achieving the goal of true economic equality for women ..."
At Nairobi, and after, in Halifax in 1985, the Canadian Government reaffirmed its commitment to women, in accordance with United Nations conventions and declarations. We are concerned that the Government's performance should measure up to its words.
To quote Status of Women Canada, as reported in the CCLOW 1986 publication referred to above:
"The Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies are a visible and concrete result of the achievements of the U.N. Decade for Women. But the Decade for Women and the Nairobi World Conference could simply become fond memories if follow-up action is not taken. Governments of the World have made a commitment to implement the FLS, but unless this commitment is put into action. these will remain paper strategies. Governments must move decisively to translate these strategies into action".
The Women's movement, in its considerable variety, supported by its male friends in many democratic organizations, has been the driving force behind all post-World War II initiatives and conventions, nationally and internationally, to eliminate discrimination against women and to allow for our full participation in the development of a peaceful society, based on economic and social justice. We propose to continue our efforts in that direction and we feel that we are entitled to expect that the Canadian Government will fulfill its commitments as pledged at Nairobi and Halifax in 1985.
Specifically, we believe that the Canadian Government has an obligation to maintain and to increase, according to need, its funding of women's organizations dedicated to the principles of the United Nations Conventions and our own Canadian Charter of Rights. It is also our view that dedication to these international and Canadian goals for the promotion of women's equality rights remains an essential condition for Government funding of the activities of Women's groups.
N.B.: Emphasis ours
1. Members of the Planning Committee included:
Madeleine Parent, Quebec Regional Representative,
Marie Letellier, Coordonnatrice, Relais-Femmes
Joan Brown Hicks, Past President, Canadian Congress
Jill Vickers, President, Canadian Research Institute for
Elizabeth Amer, Coordinator, Women's Health Sharing
Ginette Busque, présidente, Fédération des Femmes du Québec
Megan Ellis, Research Associate, Women's Research Centre.
Linda Clippingdale, Acting Executive Director, Canadian
Aisla Thomson, Executive Director, Canadian Congress for
The Nielsen Report. Citizenship, Labor and Immigration. Improved Program Delivery.
The Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies. A working document prepared by Status of Women Canada.
The Decade for Women: Special Report, CCLOW 1986. Editor: Aisla Thomson.
Report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada (1970).
The Constitution Act 1982 which contains the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
A report on the Conference of Federal and Provincial Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women, Halifax, N.S., November 28-29, 1985.
Various United Nations Declarations and Conventions quoted in the above text.
Briefing paper #15 of the United Nations Association of Canada, January 1985.