Celebrating International Women's Day 2005: Progress is Slow, and Inconsistent and Unreported

Friday, July 23 2010

March 8, 2005: This year women can celebrate a small but significant victory because the Declaration affirming support of the Beijing Platform for Action is being accepted by all states attending the 49th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. The ill-conceived American amendment to limit women's reproductive rights was withdrawn late last week. The opposition to this backward step was firm, and did not waiver.

Was this news reported in our media?

Although women's reproductive rights were supported by Canada at the UN, it is a sad fact that all women do not have equal access to safe medical abortions in Canada. Where you live, and how your province or territory applies and regulates health care services determines your access. Is this reported regularly?

More importantly, women can be and are disadvantaged economically because they need time away from the paid work-force to give birth and care for their babies. Our governments are unable to acknowledge that bearing and caring for the next generation of Canadians has a value that can be measured. Does our media report this as part of the 'Financial News'?

Canada ranks 19th on the list of developed countries in providing for our children. Budgets for day care are back-loaded into the future, year after year. But corporations who will need a healthy, well-educated workforce in the future ask for and get tax cuts now. Does the financial media see and report on the connection?

No wonder too many women are living lives of desperation. Their rights are still threatened and abrogated all over the world. All the everyday work of women, if unpaid, goes unreported, and unvalued. Even our victories are often ignored. One day a year is not respect, and not enough.

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