↗ Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Valerie Docherty succeeded in passing a motion strike a committee on gender-based analysis. This committee has already begun to examine best practices, to assess training needs within the public service, and to identify training models and opportunities. This is a good first step towards greater application of gender and diversity analysis tools across government. This is a good commitment, provided there is follow-up and follow-through.
↗ We understand that submissions to Executive Council are supposed include potential policy impacts on women as well as a number of other groups with unique needs. We are hopeful these impacts will be analyzed increasingly well in future, as more government workers receive training on how to apply a gender lens.
↗ Minister Docherty has preserved the provincial grant program for projects by community organizations that provide direct services and programs for the benefit of women and/or work on women’s equality and that receive no core funding.
↗ The Status of Women Council recognizes an impressive range and level of activity in the work of the Interministerial Women’s Secretariat on behalf of the Minister this year. The Secretariat is government’s internal office for advising government on women’s equality issues, and its accomplishments are especially remarkable considering it is a two-person office.
↗ The PEI government does notably good work in applying gender analysis in UN-mandated reporting regarding the six UN Human Rights conventions to which Canada is party. The Office of the Attorney General coordinates reporting and consistently seeks out diverse and inclusive views and includes them in their reports.
↗ Government continues to develop and apply multiple “lenses” through which to view policy decisions. We support all efforts to increase the depth of analysis around policy decisions. It is essential to examine evidence about how policies can be expected to impact different communities differently. However, all new lenses must be coordinated and integrated with a gender lens and applied together, not separately. A policy designed to consider the particular needs of people with disabilities, for instance, will raise the bar for people with disabilities, but if the measure still impacts women and men differently and preserves the equality gap between women with disabilities and men with disabilities, then it does not truly meet the needs of the population affected.
↘ The status quo situation remains unchanged: some departments apply gender analysis regularly. The Department of Education, for instance, applies gender- and diversity-analysis widely across programs. Most departments apply it unevenly at best. There remains no system-wide application of gender analysis across government. We expect smooth and routine use will only happen over a number of years; however, all departments should by this time be in early implementation stages or better.
↘ There are still no formal requirements or mechanisms for legislation to be vetted with a gender lens before being put to the Legislature.
↘ There continues to be reluctance across government to name women’s inequality for what it is.
This is an excerpt from the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women 2009 Equality Report Card for PEI, released in June 2009 and based on information updated to May 30, 2009.