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

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

United Way celebrates seven decades of impact in Southern Interior

Organization sees issues with poverty, mental health and addictions, heighten during the pandemic

Primary Care Networks coming for Okanagan Nation Alliance communities

New partnerships will provide Syilx members with better, culturally-safe primary care

Okanagan rental housing market facing challenges due to COVID-19

The impact on real estate markets remains a wildcard

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Public input sharpens vision of Oyama Ithmus Park

Proposed project to shape the long-term future of waterfront land in Lake Country

COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna church service

Attendees of Calvary Chapel Kelowna’s Sept. 13 morning service may have been exposed

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Kelowna man injured during arrest sues RCMP

Supreme Court civil claim alleges Dustin Blondin was the victim of an ‘unprovoked attack’

PHOTOS: Ghost sighting in Vernon’s Polson Park

Mom and daughter photoshoot brings joy and laughter to bystanders

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Parks Canada not responsible for Mount Kobau blockade

Nearby residents have been vocal about plans to turn the area into a national park

Most Read