National Council of Women of Canada Re Harper Cabinet ShuffleMonday, July 26 2010
*Media Release* For Immediate release Ottawa, August 15, 2007
*National Council of Women of Canada Re Harper Cabinet Shuffle*
I think we can say unequivocally that Prime Minister Harper is definitely not interested in attracting women voters, a seemingly significant segment of the populace at 52%. After signing onto CEDAW during the last election, the Prime Minister has proceeded to abrogate his responsibilities to women and to gender equality.
After all the major cuts and changes were made last fall to Status of Women Canada and to other major programs and initiatives that have impacted severely on women, does this government need to wonder why they are having a problem with the female demographic at the polls?
The former cabinet was comprised of only 6 women, and one was a Senator. With this shuffle yesterday, the cabinet has even fewer women. As a Junior Minister, the very able Diane Ablonczy will not be sitting at the cabinet table, and neither will Carol Skelton. Josée Verner has been given Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, and Bev Oda, who did not stand up for Canadian women, has been given International Cooperation which includes responsibility for CIDA, at one time a major player working with NGOs to improve women's lives in developing countries.
Will this change mean a further cut in Canada's commitment to Foreign Aid? We are not hopeful that any significant positive changes for women will be forthcoming. No matter how many chairs are moved, they are still all at the same table, with the same message. Women are being shuffled off by this government.