UFCW Canada joins in call for ‘reality check’ on women’s equality

Women’s and labour groups – including UFCW Canada – have issued a report they say is a “reality check” describing Canada’s lagging performance in achieving women’s equality. The report will be used at the Beijing +15 meeting at the United Nations in New York, March 1-12.

“The Harper Conservative government has sent a report to the UN that portrays a dream world of women’s equality in Canada,” says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. “This document is a reality check on what the government is trying to whitewash. Quite frankly, Canadian women have lost ground in many areas in the past decade-and-a-half since Beijing.”

The UN meeting starting today – and encompassing next Monday’s celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8 – is intended to evaluate progress, identify challenges, and recommend policies to promote gender equality and the advancement of women. This year holds special significance because it marks the 15th anniversary of the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women. At that conference, held in Beijing, UFCW Canada was represented by the since-retired national representative Louisette Hinton.

The joint report is called Reality Check: Women in Canada and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action Fifteen Years On, A Canadian Civil Society Response. It was coordinated and produced by the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action and the Canadian Labour Congress, and is endorsed by UFCW Canada as well as numerous other labour bodies and social justice groups.

The full text can be found at www.canadianlabour.ca.

Vol. X No. 8, March 1, 2010