Time for party leaders to talk about women’s rights

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Stories of sexual violence litter the news.  Debates on access to childcare, maternal benefits, equal pay, safe streets, rape-free university campuses, and a potential inquiry concerning murdered or missing aboriginal women all rage on, and could have profound implications for millions. Given these irrefutable facts, the notion that the fight for women’s rights is over seems profoundly mistaken.

The importance of these questions and of the unique struggles faced by women explain why we need a federal leaders’ debate dedicated to women’s issues before the 2015 federal election. Over 30 years ago, during the 1984 federal election, political party leaders John Turner, Brian Mulroney, and Ed Broadbent did just that.

Oxfam Canada, along with 100 other organizations representing more than 3.5 million Canadians, want to see such a debate. On November 4, 2014 this coalition launched a campaign called Up for Debate. The campaign challenges party leaders to explain how they plan to build a more equitable Canada and make meaningful commitments to change women’s lives for the better, at home and around the world.

Up for Debate specifically challenges federal party leaders to work towards: ending violence against women, ending women’s economic inequality, and supporting women’s leadership and organizations. While both NDP leader Tom Mulcair and Green Party leader Elizabeth May have stated their support for Up for Debate and confirmed their participation in such a debate, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau have remained silent.

But some may ask: Do we really need a debate on women’s issues? Let’s take a look at the facts. Since 1980, over one thousand Aboriginal women have been murdered or gone missing, including Loretta Saunders from Labrador. According to Statistics Canada, women continue to earn 70 percent of men’s annual salaries in this country. A study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that in St. John’s, 32 per cent of a typical woman’s income goes to childcare expenses. A quarter of women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime; 60 per cent of women with a disability experience some form of violence. And on average, a woman is killed by her intimate partner every six days in Canada.

International women’s issues also demand attention. Women now account for half of all HIV/AIDS infections worldwide, and 800 women die in childbirth every day. Yet only five of those deaths are in high-income countries.

Oxfam Canada uses a rights-based, transformative approach to strengthen women and girls’ capacities to mobilize their own power and that of others. Oxfam Grenfell encourages Canadians to voice their support for Up for Debate by visiting http://upfordebate.ca/take-action/support-campaign and signing the online petition, or by contacting their local Members of Parliament.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. What is there to talk about? Women have it great in this country. There is absolutely no systemic oppression of women whatsoever. Access to child care? That isn’t oppression of women, it’s just about people looking for free money, how about simply not having kids you cant afford. There are plenty of options; Birth control, abortion(unregulated and taxpayer funded in Canada), adoption. The pay gap is a myth, or at the very least a statistic that has been taken way out of context by radical feminists with victim complexes. If women are statistically likely to make less money than men it is because they choose to take lower paying jobs. The key word there is choose, it does not mean the opportunities are not there, and it certainly doesn’t mean that women get paid less for the same work. In fact our society already does a lot to convince women to strive for better jobs. There are all sorts of incentives, scholarships, and quotas aimed at getting more women into professional post-secondary programs. Rape-free universities? Sexual assault is sexual assault, regardless of where it takes place, and it is a violent crime which is dealt with very harshly by the courts. The actions of a small number of violent criminals are not indicative of system oppression or “rape culture.” The vast majority of men see rapists as the scum of the earth. The cases of missing aboriginal women is definitely a troubling issue, but once again it is not an example of widespread oppression of women in general. Most of them are prostitutes and drug addicts, and most of the crime is native-on-native. It’s a part of a bigger problem with the aboriginal community, it does not mean that society as a whole discriminates specifically against women.

    I’m sick of the way we are constantly bashed over the head with feminism on university campus. Women have it great in this country. Early feminists would be shocked if they could hear the stupid things that modern day university-aged feminists whine about. I would have a lot more respect for the feminist movement if they turned their attention to the problems faced by women in developing countries, rather than rattling on all the time about a “patriarchy” and “rape culture” that simply does not exist in Canada.

  2. >childcare,
    Your responsibility to have the child, your responsibility to take care of the child. Children are financial sponges that’s reality

    >maternal benefits
    http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sc/ei/benefits/maternityparental.shtml

    >equal pay
    By law this is required, the major factors are working hours and job pay a oilfield workers makes more than a nurse.

    >safe streets
    There will always be crime, and unless you want to live in a world akin to 1984 you have to accept that. Carry a knife(OC) or learn a martial art.

    >rape-free university campuses
    HAHAHhHAHAHAH
    Because you can control the actions of others. Having police and making murder illegal hasn’t stopped murderers for killing.

    >potential inquiry concerning murdered or missing aboriginal women all rage on
    Unsure what you mean

    >could have profound implications for millions.
    Not so much profound as just implications
    The law isn’t changing, and changing law doesn’t make people act any different.

    >ending violence against women
    In Canada? How? arrest people before they commit crimes? There is no crime until the violence happens, then its a crime, then you report him and thanks to our fucked laws he goes to jail under circumstantial evidence.

    >ending women’s economic inequality
    “By law this is required, the major factors are working hours and job pay a oilfield workers makes more than a nurse.” Shit, if you want to work on the oilfields be my guest. Just pass all the prerequisites. Although it might just be the choice in lower paying jobs. I will give you that contract negotiations end up with men in higher paying positions because of aggressiveness.

    >supporting women’s leadership and organizations
    So we are ignoring all the women in political roles around the world now?
    Roles that take masculine traits by nature of the position’s responsibility?
    When you put it that way…

    >Do we really need a debate on women’s issues?
    No

    >Let’s take a look at the facts. Since 1980, over one thousand Aboriginal women have been murdered or gone missing, including Loretta Saunders from Labrador.
    This is just an information dump, Nothing was added. Its like saying “Let’s take a look at the facts. The population of Briton has increased since 1980”

    >According to Statistics Canada, women continue to earn 70 percent of men’s annual salaries in this country.
    Bullshit. Link the artical and I’ll show you how you are maliciously misrepresenting it.
    “By law this is required, the major factors are working hours and job pay a oilfield workers makes more than a nurse.” Shit, if you want to work on the oilfields be my guest. Just pass all the prerequisites. Although it might just be the choice in lower paying jobs. I will give you that contract negotiations end up with men in higher paying positions because of aggressiveness.

    >A study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that in St. John’s, 32 per cent of a typical woman’s income goes to childcare expenses.
    Did you read it? Were you too lazy and just stole the cbc blurb?https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National%20Office/2014/11/Parent_Trap.pdf
    Its an interesting read, but so many assumptions.

    >A quarter of women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime
    *citation needed.

    60 per cent of women with a disability experience some form of violence
    *citation needed.

    And on average, a woman is killed by her intimate partner every six days in Canada.
    http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2012001/article/11738-eng.pdf

    I know this is where you got your information. Please read the sources. Half of them have little to no information, the others are cherry picked. The information in the legitimate ones are presented one sided like the last link I gave. Please do your worn research and read the papers cited
    http://www.canadianwomen.org/facts-about-violence

    >International women’s issues also demand attention. Women now account for half of all HIV/AIDS infections worldwide.
    And more than half the population of the world is women. Your point?
    Im surprised you didn’t use the 60% of women in Africa
    http://www.who.int/gender/hiv_aids/en/

    >Oxfam Canada uses a rights-based, transformative approach to strengthen women and girls’ capacities to mobilize their own power and that of others.
    Nothing to do with the thesis

    >Oxfam Grenfell encourages Canadians to voice their support for Up for Debate by visiting http://upfordebate.ca/take-action/support-campaign and signing the online petition, or by contacting their local Members of Parliament.
    Nothing to do with thesis

    I don’t want to shit on these articles, There are legitimate areas where both genders have less rights than the other. There are injustices around the world that need amending.
    But as a sheltered Canadian thinking of smelly brown people makes you nervous and you don’t want to help them.

    3/10

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