STRATFORD, PEI — June is the season for school report cards, a time of angst or excitement for Island students as they await a record of their achievements. June is also the season for the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women to release its Equality Report Card assessing the provincial government’s progress on equality work. The Advisory Council released its 2011 Equality Report Card today, and the Report Card awards the PEI government a grade of B– for its progress on women’s equality goals. This grade is an improvement over the results when the last Equality Report Card was released in June 2009.
“The B– grade shows that government is taking some important and concrete steps to meet needs that women have identified,” says Isabelle Christian, the outgoing Chairperson of the Advisory Council. “Government’s grade has risen from a C in 2009 to a B- in 2011. This is a substantial improvement in just two years.” The Equality Report Card grades government on 22 areas in seven categories, including Supports for Caregiving, Access to Justice, and Women’s Health.
“When we began the Equality Report Card, the Advisory Council made a commitment to work collaboratively with government to support them to achieve A and B grades,” says Christian. “We are very pleased that they have accepted that collaborative spirit and achieved a B–.”
Government’s landmark investment in early childhood care and education in the past two years is an example of what has earned government higher grades from the Status of Women. “Supporting pre-school and kindergarten-age children and their educators will have benefits for all Island families, now and into the future,” Christian says.
The Status of Women has noted some areas that still require attention. “Mental health and addictions were two areas the Advisory Council members saw a need for more action,” says Council Executive Director Lisa Murphy. “It is clear to members of our Advisory Council that many Island women and men are experiencing hardship as a result of mental illness and addictions. We need to do better to support and help them.”
“I have recently completed my term as Chairperson of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women,” says Isabelle Christian, “and it has been a source of pride to lead the Advisory Council as we developed the Equality Report Card. I hope the Report Card will continue to be a tool to collaborate with government and to advocate for vulnerable women and others in the community who rely on public services to make their lives better and their situations more equitable.”
Copies of the 2011 Equality Report Card are available through the Advisory Council on the Status of Women website, http://www.gov.pe.ca/acsw or by calling 902-368-4510.
Summary of Category Grades:
- Making Equality a Priority : B
- Women in Decision-Making: C
- Family Violence Prevention: B
- Access to Justice: C
- Supports for Caregiving: B+
- Women’s Health: C–
- Women’s Economic Status: B–