Launch of CRIAW's Strategic Agenda

Monday, July 26 2010

Ottawa, November 26, 2004 --Today, CRIAW is launching its strategic agenda for the next four years which will focus on Women’s Economic and Social Justice: Overcoming Poverty and Exclusion.

“It is becoming increasingly evident that there is a resistance in Canada to recognize the agenda for women’s equality. Women’s poverty is widespread and impacts racialized women, Aboriginal women and women with disabilities much more significantly” said Jo-Anne Lee, president-elect of CRIAW. She also noted that “it is time that women’s poverty is addressed in a substantive way in both government policy and in the work of the more mainstream social justice NGOs”.

In Canada, we have opted by and large to deal with poverty from the angle of child poverty. This clearly is more palpable to the general public and policy makers. “Our concern is that the child poverty agenda masks a number of other realities and thus policy changes made within this agenda may not reach the poorest mothers which bear responsibility for the poorest children”, said Lise Martin, Executive Director of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW).

We know that those who are most directly concerned about poor children are their poor mothers. When debates on poverty issues are framed within the child poverty agenda, women tend to be eclipsed from the picture.

Even though gender based analysis has been part of the government platform for almost 10 years, we have yet to see it implemented in a way which results in substantive policy change which would improve the everyday lives of women and mothers living in poverty.

CRIAW has just completed consultations on women’s economic security in St. John’s, Moncton, Montreal, North Bay and Vancouver. It is clear from the many women who attended that their lives have taken a turn downwards in the last 10 years and that their voices are being ignored in the policy debates. CRIAW’s work over the next four years will focus on ensuring that women’s poverty issues are brought to the fore and that women’s voices factor into the centre of the debate.

CRIAW’s strategic agenda will be carried forward within an integrated feminist framework. The organization will be developing a tool to facilitate the use of this framework in research and analysis.

We look forward to working with partners from across the country over the next four years.

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