Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Girls and Women in Canada

Since our Letter to Congress issue went out, we've received several letters from girls outside the U.S. claiming the focus was too "American." Even though we published the magazine in the U.S. and directed it to the U.S. Congress, we believe these issues affect ALL girls -- and that different countries' governments can have a big effect on each other. We also want all girls to speak up about and to their own government leaders. 14-year-old Joanne writes the post below about women's issues in Canada. - New Moon Editors

"I am very disappointed with the government of Canada. As a 14-year-old feminist, I have been following the news about women’s issues in Canada with a lot of interest. When our current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, was elected, he promised to help sustain advocacy for women’s issues in Canada, and to continue to fund the organization Status of Women Canada.

Status of Women Canada is a government organization that supports programs and research to help young girls and women – because, let’s face it – women and men are hardly equal, even now. The government recently announced a $5 million cut (nearly half of the funding that was provided originally!) to women’s rights organizations in Canada. Now lots of amazing women’s organizations across Canada face staff shortages and lots of challenges that may force them to close their doors completely.
Rally in Hamilton, Ontario.
Lots of these organizations address issues around women in poverty, women of color, abusive relationships, and women of different sexual orientations. I don’t understand the value of limiting the work and resources for these organizations, because in my opinion, the work they do is some of the most important in society! Progress around women’s rights in Canada is going to go backwards. Shelagh Day, one of the co-chairs of FAFIA (Canadian Feminist Alliance For International Action) says, 'The closure of twelve offices is an extreme measure to make sure that women are cut off from meaningful input to public policy.'

So what does this mean for young girls who want to be involved in leadership, or politics? Canadian girls (or outside of Canada as well) reading this – write to Stephen Harper, or do your research at, or Women across Canada are outraged – sit-ins and rallies have been organized across the country. Now do your part!"

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