Join the December 10th Campaign for Women's Equality and Human Rights in CanadaMonday, July 26 2010
The*Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA)* in concert with an ad hoc group of nationally and regionally based organizations (see below), has launched a month-long campaign for *women's equality* and *human rights in Canada*. This is because we are very concerned about the negative impact on women of many of the federal government's recent decisions. These decisions include: 1/ changes to the funding criteria for women's groups, i.e. the removal of the word equality and the barring of all advocacy and lobbying by women's groups (with federal funds); 2/ cuts to the operating budget of Status of Women Canada in the order of approximately 40%; 3/ the cancellation of the Court Challenges Program; 4/ the refusal to adopt improved pay equity legislation and; 5/ the cancellation of a pan-Canadian child care program resulting in cuts of $1.2 billion annually to provinces and territories for child care services.
These decisions are an affront to women, and the groups that defend women's rights. They are also a departure from Canada's long-standing commitment to the promotion of women's equality and human rights.
In response, we are organizing a campaign which will challenge the federal government to immediately imprrove its own record on women's equality and human rights, and encourage all Members of Parliament to speak up on behalf of women. It is critical that Canada maintain its leadership as a forward looking country that values the progressive realization of all women's human rights, in the international arena and here at home.
The campaign begins on *Monday, November 13th *and will go until Sunday, December 10th, International Human Rights Day*. It has four components. We invite individuals and organizations to join us in one or all of these initiatives:
- Lobby your Member of Parliament (MP)
- Write to Prime Minister Stephen Harper
- Mobilize locally before December 10 (and, specifically, on Friday December 8, 2006)
- Rally in Ottawa on December 10
Members of Parliament (MP) will be in their ridings the week of November 13th for the Remembrance Day break of the House of Commons. We invite you to contact your MP at this time or anytime before December 10th.
We need as many of our federally elected representatives as possible to show their support for women's equality and human rights advocacy.
To assist you, we have prepared:
- a model letter to Prime Minister Harper that groups and individuals can use or adapt
- one page fact sheets on the following key issues: pay equity, childcare, cuts to Status of Women Canada, changes to the terms and conditions of the Women's Program at Status of Women Canada and Canada's compliance with the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (available at
- a one page lobby guide for your efforts with your Member of Parliament
- a model statement (called a Standing Order 31) that MPs can read in the House of Commons
- a model press release that you can use or adapt to share the news of your activities between now and December 10th.http://www.fafia-afai.org/en/node/68
WHY DECEMBER 10th?
December 10, 2006 is International Human Rights Day. It will also mark the 25th anniversary date of Canada's ratification of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Instead of celebrating this historic milestone, we will be mobilizing to ensure that Prime Minister Harper respects his own election commitment to uphold women's equality and human rights in Canada. During the 2006 election campaign, Mr Harper stated:
If elected, I will take concrete and immediate measures, as recommended by the United Nations, to ensure that Canada fully upholds its commitments to women in Canada. (January 18, 2006,
In 2003 the United Nations recommended that Canada double its efforts to:
- implement pay equity
- support a national childcare program
- enhance the Court Challenges Program
- consult women's equality-seeking groups regarding the preparation of Canada's next CEDAW report
In addition, the Committee recommended Canada accelerate its efforts to eliminate the persistent and systemic discrimination faced by so many Aboriginal women, increase its efforts to combat high levels of poverty among particular groups of women, fund civil legal aid, effectively address violence against women, improve maternity and parental benefits, change immigration laws to respect the rights of live-in caregivers, and ensure a more equitable participation of women in the political institutions.
This campaign is important because we need to protect and advance the rights and freedoms that we have won after patient and determined struggle throughout the 20th Century. Women in Canada can not afford to have further setbacks and our country has the wealth and know-how to honour and respect women's equality and human rights. It is a question of choices.
TO CONTACT US:
Alliance des femmes de la francophonie canadienne
Canadian Council of Muslim Women
Canadian Federation of University Women
Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action
Canadian Labour Congress
Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women
Canadian Women's Community Economic Development Council
Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada
Coalition of Provincial and Territorial Advisory Councils on the Status of Women
Fédération des femmes du Québec
National Association of Women and the Law
National Council of Women
Regroupement provincial des maisons d'hébergement et de transition pour femmes victimes de violence conjugale
The December 10th campaign for women’s equality and human rights