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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

White Rock cadets nab medals at Vernon competition

Thirteen members of 907 Squadron compete at regional meet

Girls, women try their hand at marine rescue in Surrey

Achieve Anything Foundation, RCMSAR Crescent Beach host ‘Operation: This IS You! Saving Lives at Sea’

Surrey boy living with congenital heart disease to speak at local Tedx event

Mason Vander Ploeg will be speaking on saving the oceans

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Winds up to 70 km/hr expected across Metro Vancouver

Winds are expected to subside overnight

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Fraser Health warns some schools of possible COVID-19 exposure

A sixth COVID-19 patient is a woman in her 30s in the Fraser Health region who recently returned from Iran

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

VIDEO: Giants winning streak ends at 11 after a 2-1 setback Saturday in Everett

Run of wins matched their longest ever regular season winning streak

Most Read