March 8th, 2017

NDP statement on International Women’s Day

Sheila Malcolmson, NDP Critic for the Status of Women, made the following statement:

“After decades of marching, protesting, resisting, and persisting for equal rights, this year we’ve seen first-hand that the women’s movement is stronger than ever. We’ve also seen misogynistic and prejudiced political rhetoric that make it clear we cannot stop fighting for gender equality and women’s rights.

For years, front-line women’s organizations in Canada have been leading the way towards gender equality, while successive Liberal and Conservative governments have consistently failed to act.

The current Liberal government was elected with high hopes of real change, but women are now facing the disappointing reality of a government that fails to back up feminist rhetoric with actual policies to improve women's equality.

From 2015 to 2016, Canada dropped from 30th to 35th place on the World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index. Reports by the United Nations and groups like Amnesty International and Oxfam Canada are piling up, demonstrating that this government is not living up to its commitments to women.

New Democrats are calling on the government to:
  • Introduce pay equity legislation immediately,
  • Adopt a comprehensive national action plan to end violence against women & girls,
  • Invest more in Canada’s network of shelters for women who are fleeing violence,
  • Ensure universal and affordable child care,
  • Ensure full access to sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion,
  • End the chronic underfunding of essential services and service delivery for Indigenous women, and
  • Tackle poverty among senior women and women with disabilities.

It’s time for the Liberals to live up to their claims that equality matters and take immediate action. New Democrats understand that true gender equality can only be achieved through action, not simply words. We can’t stop and we won’t stop fighting for gender equality and women’s rights.”