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

Vernon gallery hosts Art After Dark

Event hosted by the Vernon Public Art Gallery Friday, Feb. 28

Vernon tennis player named Best of BC winner

Sport BC honours Vasek Pospisil for his comeback season after back surgery

Vernon golf course sinks construction on new clubhouse

Owners at The Rise are in a dispute with City of Vernon over tax assessment

Coaches take on players to honour Vernon volleyball player

Vernon Sky Club hosting event with proceeds to the Emily Dahl Foundation

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Fire crews battle large blaze in West Kelowna

Reports of multiple structures on fire in the Colleen Road area

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Kelowna man charged after naked driver leads RCMP on hit-and-run spree

A Kelowna man has been charged with numerous offences

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Most Read