At the end of September, we hosted representatives of Advisory Councils on the Status of Women from across Canada here in Charlottetown for our annual National Coalition meeting. The National Coalition of Provincial and Territorial Advisory Councils on the Status of Women shares information about the activities, issues, and best practices of each member organization and plans actions to address national issues that affect the status of Canadian women.
Most of the topics for discussion at the National Coalition table are ongoing issues of concern, including the need for national strategies to prevent violence against women and girls; the particular need for an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women; changes to Employment Insurance benefits, including maternity and parental benefits; unaddressed instances of sexism by professionals such as judges or doctors; unequal access to basic health services, especially abortion care; effective ways to support women in government and leadership at all levels; inclusive economic development that benefits women equally with men; and the need for supports and services for sex trade workers.
The National Coalition will carry these issues forward with research-based letters to policy-makers and to the general public, under the leadership of Coalition chair Linda Ross of the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women in Newfoundland and Labrador.
A highlight this year was the opportunity to meet the co-chairs of the new Voices of New Brunswick Women Consensus-Building Forum, established after the abolition of their Advisory Council. We hope that through this new forum, New Brunswick will take advantage of the many benefits of an Advisory Council on the Status of Women to provide a bridge between community and government voices on women’s equality issues.
The majority of the members of the National Coalition of Advisory Councils stayed in PEI to take part in the Bold Vision conference in Brudenell. We were proud to provide the best hospitality that PEI has to offer. Members of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women had an opportunity to meet counterparts from across the country in a reception hosted by Hon. Valerie Docherty, PEI’s Minister Responsible for the Status of Women.