Federal-Provincial-Territorial Annual Meeting of Ministers responsible for the Status of Women


IQALUIT, Northwest Territories -- Federal-Provincial/Territorial (FPT) Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women concluded their 17th Annual Meeting today with a renewed commitment to work together to address issues of central importance to achieving equality for women.

At the meeting, co-chaired by the Honourable Hedy Fry, Secretary of State (Status of Women) and the Honourable Manitok Thompson, Status of Women Minister for Northwest Territories, Ministers addressed a number of issues that continue to impede women from achieving full equality and the financial well-being and security essential to improving the economic status of women. Ministers examined ways to recognize and incorporate the reality of women's lives in economic decision-making processes, to eliminate barriers to equality for women, and to help girls and women make informed economic choices.

As part of their examination of women's economic security, Ministers discussed the positive response to their document entitled Economic Gender Equality Indicators, released in October 1997. This document is a groundbreaking tool that more accurately reflects the differences and similarities between women and men in areas such as unpaid work and the impact of the responsibility for children. These indicators are being used across the country to assist in the development of public policy.

Concluding their discussion on women's economic security, Ministers agreed to continue their efforts on CPP reform and study the impacts of taxation policy on women.

Ministers also reiterated their commitment to end violence against women. They share a common vision of safe, healthy communities; a vision that embraces cultural, linguistic and geographic diversity and also recognizes the particular needs of vulnerable groups. Ministers agreed that prevention of violence is a shared responsibility and that solutions will be best achieved through partnerships among individuals, groups and governments. To this end, Ministers will make a joint statement on or about December 6, 1998 reaffirming their determination to end violence.

In addition to addressing priority areas such as violence against women, the Ministers introduced a discussion on women's health and how they, as Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women, can play a key role in this important area. They also reviewed upcoming plans for the United Nations Special Session on implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action that will take place in June 2000.

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For more information contact:

Cathy McRae
           Status of Women Canada
           (613) 995-3788
Bertha Norwegian
           Special Advisor to
           Honourable Manitok Thompson
           (867) 669-2344