↗ The Advisory Council members think that making connections between women and economic development plans is a key to progress that includes women and benefits families. Government is doing a better job than in 2009 at making these connections. A highlight: investment in early childhood care and education means increased wages for early childhood educators – and it means increased access to early childhood care and education that supports women’s workforce participation.
→ The Advisory Council is heartened to see the Rural Action Plan making specific links between the action plan’s goals and benefits for women and people with low income in rural Prince Edward Island. Council members are pleased with the increased awareness of gender in work in the Rural Development division. However, it continues to be unclear what connections and opportunities are being created for rural women in food production and our crucial traditional farming and fishing industries. It also remains unclear how women and vulnerable Islanders will benefit from the Island Prosperity Agenda.
↗ Two investments in infrastructure that will create opportunity for women: 1) the first substantial provincial investment in public transit, which supports access to work, programs, and services, and 2) widespread access to rural broadband across PEI, which creates potential for home-based businesses or for working from home.
↗ The Advisory Council celebrates the Trade HERizons project, funded by the Province and managed by Women’s Network PEI. This three-year pilot project promotes gender equality in trades and technology careers and enhances the economic well-being of women through a women-centred community economic development model. We are concerned that the LMA fund that supports Trade HERizons is reduced dramatically for this upcoming year, and we advocate for this vital project not to face cuts, but rather to be renewed with an expanded pool of candidates.
↗ The Advisory Council congratulates government for developing a Settlement Strategy for Prince Edward Island after a series of consultations.
↘ Advisory Council members continue to be concerned about the absence of people with disabilities from economic development planning.
Steps to ensure that women will benefit equally from government’s proposed economic development plans: C+
This is an excerpt from the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women 2011 Equality Report Card for PEI, released in June 2011 and based on information updated to May 30, 2011. The Advisory Council is republishing one area of assessment each week on this blog. For more information, visit the Advisory Council on the Status of Women website.