Reading the news coverage and the fine print of the changes at Status of Women Canada has my blood aboiling! Please take a moment to contact your Member of Parliament and demand Oda’s resignation.
From CTV [emphasis mine]:
Tories to cut funding for womens’ advocacy work
Updated Wed. Oct. 4 2006 5:16 PM ET
The drastic change to the mandate and operation of Status of Women Canada also drops the word “equality” when listing the agency’s goals.
Previous objectives such as helping women’s organizations participate in the public policy process and increasing the public’s understanding of women’s equality issues have been eliminated from government literature.
Here’s the logical reponse:
NDP demands Oda resign as Minister for Status of Women
Thu 5 Oct 2006 OTTAWA – Today, NDP Critic for the Status of Women Irene Mathyssen demanded Bev Oda resign as the Minister responsible for the Status of Women. The changes Oda has made to the funding mandate for the department will severely limit the ability of organizations promoting equal rights for women. These restrictions are unacceptable. They prove that Oda is not committed to promoting the interests of Canadian women.
“The Minister refuses to face the fact that women have not yet achieved equality in Canada,” said Mathyssen. “Study after study and report after report have all come to this conclusion, but the Minister refuses to acknowledge the importance of the work that women’s advocacy groups do.
“Instead, she shuts down organizations or cripples them by cutting their funding. She does not represent women in this country. She must step down,” insisted Mathyssen.
And Oda’s deflection is steeped in conservative ideology and REAL Women blather:
Bev Oda deflects calls for her resignation
Updated Thu. Oct. 5 2006 6:22 PM ET
“We recognize there are barriers, there are challenges, and what we’re proposing is to use taxpayers’ dollars to help women in their daily lives, to help them in their communities,” Oda told MPs Thursday at the Status of Women parliamentary committee.
She used the example of skills training and mentoring programs for women as examples of the kind of service-oriented projects the government preferred to fund. She also suggested that corporations that applied for money for women’s scholarships or apprenticeships could be eligible for the first time.
“We can all articulate and identify the issues, which I think has been clearly done for many, many years. . . . What we’re saying is now’s the time to perform actions.”
And lobbying governments for structural and systemic changes is not an action? Hullo???
Here’s the real and out-moded kicker, from an (un)REAL Woman:
…Diane Watts of REAL Women Canada, a socially conservative group that has pressed to abolish Status of Women Canada, said the changes were a welcome shift from the “narrative of victimhood.”
Good grief! We, in the women’s movement of the 80s, heard this line of tripe back then! Even then the movement was moving away from the victimhood narrative that Watts and Landoldt and their cohorts suggest. Survival is what women talked about. Survival is what women talk about. Survivors do not focus on their victimhood. Rather, they focus on the knowledge, skills, and abilities that have helped them to survive life within this patriarchal society. And, they focus on ways to make not only themselves, but also the system, better for all.
This government must be defeated in the next election or we’ll end up living in the dark ages.