Interim Report: Progress on Equality Goals

Government Action on Equality Goals Points to Improved Grades for 2011

STRATFORD, PEI — Today, the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women released its 2010 Interim Trends Report, a mid-term assessment between the 2009 Equality Report Card and next year’s 2011 Equality Report Card. Report Cards highlight government action and inaction towards women’s equality goals. This June, trends indicate that if government action continues on the priorities the Advisory Council has identified, government will improve on its 2009 “C” grade when the next report comes out in 2011.

“This year, our Council monitored government’s action on equality goals through media reports, publications and news releases,” says PEI Status of Women Chairperson Isabelle Christian. “There have been many steps in the right direction, notably in the move of kindergarten into the school system and positive new approaches to early childcare and education”

Christian also offers a caution, however, noting, “The way in which the changes have been implemented, with the short timelines for transitions, have created a great deal of preventable stress and uncertainty to children, parents, educators, childcare centre workers and operators. There seems to have been little regard given to the process followed in making change.”

In the Interim Trends Report, the Status of Women notes some long-awaited actions that have been realized, such as the completion of the updated 1996 statistical profile of women on PEI, changes to the Child Protection Act and updates to the Employment Standards Act.

Women’s Health is the one area where the trend is heading towards lower grades in 2011. While the government talks of new models of care there seems to be no awareness of how these models will impact men and women differently. As the roles of nurse practitioners, nurses and nursing assistants change, the stakeholders have been quite vocal about the lack of meaningful government consultation and collaboration.

For government to achieve higher grades in 2011 the Status of Women has identified a few top priorities
for action, including supported transitions in early childhood care and education and action on training members of the provincial civil service in using gender- and diversity-based analysis. Action on government’s public promises to develop a cross-government Poverty Reduction Strategy, to propose PEI models for a Domestic Violence Court Option and to strike a Special Committee on the Role of the MLA would also result in better grades.

“For the 2011 Equality Report Card, we will be looking for a more even approach across government in addressing issues raised by Island women. We are looking to government to consider gender and diversity as a matter of course in all policies and legislation,” says Christian.

“Gender Based Analysis (GBA) is a tool that allows government to predict potentially different and unequal outcomes of policy for women, men, and diversity groups”, says Christian. “In Council’s view, applying GBA systematically across government policy is the best way to ensure progress towards women’s equality goals”.

The next full Equality Report Card will be released by the PEI Status of Women in June 2011. Says Christian, “Our Council is looking forward to collaborating with government to help achieve high grades across all categories.”

Today’s report is available on-line in English and French at http://www.gov.pe.ca/acsw. Hard copies of the 2010 Interim Trends Report are available from the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women by calling 902-368-4510 or e-mailing peistatusofwomen@eastlink.ca.

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