The federal government has an important role to play in respecting and promoting women’s human rights, and it should be held accountable for its efforts to achieve women’s equality – or not.
In 2006 the federal government weakened women’s capacity to insist on government accountability and to challenge its inaction:
- 12 out of 16 Status of Women Canada regional offices have been closed
- funding to support research for policy proposals for women’s equality eliminated
- $5 million from the operational budget of Status of Women Canada cut
- funding for women’s groups to do research and advocacy work cut
In 2006 the federal government cut the Court Challenges Program. This program supported test case litigation on constitutional equality rights and on language rights. This program was an essential tool for equality-seeking groups, and it has helped ensure major legal victories for women, gays and lesbians, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal women and immigrant women.
* This analysis is based on public information available as of September 10, 2008.