B.C. not meeting women’s rights as established by UN: report card

Annual report card released by West Coast LEAF says the province is missing targets in UN conference

A legal advocacy group says B.C. is falling short of meeting targets set by the United Nations on women’s rights.

The annual report card released by West Coast LEAF says the province is missing targets in a UN convention aimed at eliminating all forms of discrimination against women in a number of areas including access to justice, affordable housing and childcare.

Although seven of nine focus areas showed improvements, the highest grade was a C-plus for health and employment.

“The takeaway is that there’s no room for complacency,” said Alana Prochuk, a manager at West Coast LEAF in a news release.

“Now is the time to increase pressure on the provincial government to fulfil its promises and stay accountable to women. B.C. can and must comply fully with international standards for gender equality and human rights.”

The government’s handling of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and access to childcare received a D grade.

READ MORE: Low minimum wage, inefficient benefits keep one in five kids in poverty

READ MORE: Canada not so great for kids compared with other rich countries

Executive director Kasari Govender says the province has stalled on addressing violence and deep poverty experienced by Indigenous women and the organization calls the province’s performance “abysmal.”

The report says only eight of 63 recommendations from the B.C. Missing Women Commission of Inquiry have been fully implemented five years after being released and the organization says it’s time for the province to fulfil its promises.

It adds that a “healing fund” to support the families of missing and murdered women has not been created.

The report also says “bias-free policing standards” have not been established and while new transportation improvements have been announced for Highway 16, the so-called Highway of Tears, the cost of the service poses a barrier to low-income women.

The B.C. government wasn’t immediately available to respond to request for comments.

The report also says the lack of affordable, high-quality childcare has consequences on women’s empowerment.

It acknowledges the new appointment of B.C.’s minister of state for child care, which suggests the government will prioritize the issue, but says it’s too soon to predict the results.

The report also points to the fact the new government did not include $10-a-day childcare in its September budget update, which John Horgan’s New Democrats campaigned on during the May election.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Leafs dig out of funk

Mid-season stumble ends with 4-1 win

PHOTOS: Whitewater opens season in style

On Friday Whitewater opened for the 2017/2018 winter season — the stoke was real

Nelson plans sewer and water rate increases for 2018

The increase will amount to $18.00 per year for a single family dwelling

Nelson remembers victims of gender violence

The B.C. government announced $112,280 in additional funding to local women organizations

VIDEO: New series takes in-depth look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Black Press takes a hard look at sexual harassment in B.C.

Nelson council updates banner policy

The purpose of the banner is to publicize events

Paul Saso releases Kootenay Inspired at Nelson Touchstones

8 years in the making, Saso’s book looks at the people who inspire him in our community

Glacier trio shines in Kelowna

Dafni van Hellemond, Eden Bellman and Brianne Stefani took home 12 medals last weekend

COLUMN: 100 years since the Halifax explosion

Greg Scott looks at significant events from the past 100 years.

COLUMN: Trimming back for the holidays

Anne DeGrace talks about cutting back over Christmas

2017 word of the year: Feminism

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017: ‘Feminism’

200 Russians to compete in Olympics as neutrals

The Russian Olympic Committee expects 200 to compete in South Korea

Most Read