Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women recognize that by working in a spirit of collaboration, they have an opportunity to help advance gender equality across Canada.
Last week, at the 35th annual meeting of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women in Toronto, the Ministers worked collaboratively to advance the key priorities affecting women and girls in Canada.
The Ministers had the opportunity to discuss many issues of importance, including the low reporting rates of sexual assaults across Canada. Ministers recognized the efforts taken by law enforcement and community groups to find ways of working together to better support survivors of sexual violence. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Waterloo Regional Police, representing the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Ending Violence Association of British Columbia were invited to present on best practices for supporting survivors to report sexual assault. The RCMP is committed to working with interested jurisdictions and communities to explore expanding third party reporting. Third party reporting is a process where a survivor may anonymously report a sexual assault through a community-based organization.
The Government of Canada also shared details on It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence and a proposed survey on gender-based violence. Ministers will continue to monitor trends in supporting survivors of sexual violence.
Ministers discussed some key priorities that this Forum has undertaken over the last year. This included research to close the gender wage gap, and promising practices to applying Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+). Ontario presented their provincial approach to women’s economic empowerment. In the same context, Ministers also agreed to further explore various models of parental leave and the impact of quotas or targets for women in leadership.
During a separate pre-meeting, for the first time, Ministers held discussions with National Indigenous leaders and representatives: the Assembly of First Nations, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Métis National Council, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and Women of the Métis Nation. The discussions provided an opportunity to constructively address some of the most important issues facing First Nations, Métis and Inuit women.
At the conclusion of their meeting, Ministers agreed to work together to address their shared challenges and help advance gender equality from coast to coast to coast.
“We cannot make meaningful advancements toward gender equality without leveraging a diversity of perspectives. That’s why it was so important to gather together with my provincial and territorial colleagues for the first time and I thank Ontario for co-chairing this meeting. The Government of Canada is firmly committed to working in partnership to advance the key priorities affecting women and girls to help build a better Canada, and I look forward to continued progress on many important issues.”
The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women
“As Ontario’s first Minister of the Status of Women, it was an honour to co-host my dedicated colleagues from across Canada. We discussed a number of important issues from advancing women’s economic empowerment to preventing violence against women. Our society has made remarkable strides towards recognizing women’s rights and achieving gender equality, but there’s more work to do. This important meeting established the foundation for all of us to work together to ensure women and girls in Canada feel safe, supported and empowered.”
The Honourable Indira Naidoo-Harris
Minister of Status of Women and Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care