Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
Justice and Public Safety
March 8, 2018
Provincial Provincial Government Recognizes International Women's Day
Today, the Honourable Siobhan Coady, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, recognized International Woman’s Day in Newfoundland and Labrador to celebrate women and girls in our province and to acknowledge women’s equality-seeking and anti-violence organizations who work diligently every day to advance the equality of women and girls.
The Provincial Government, through the Women's Policy Office, is committed to advancing the social, legal, cultural, economic and political equality of all women and girls in Newfoundland and Labrador. An example of this is reflected in government’s recent introduction of strengthened workplace harassment policies for the public sector.
Minster Coady chairs a Ministerial Committee across government departments to oversee collective actions to address issues of violence in our province and advance equality. This is in addition to the Justice Minister’s Committee to End Violence Against Women and Girls that engages community groups on this issue.
Government works collaboratively with industry and community organizations to advance the economic status of women. One of the ways is to expand opportunities in trades and technology occupations through Women’s Employment Plans for all new infrastructure projects and Gender Equity and Diversity Plans for large resource development projects in the province.
The backgrounder below provides additional information on government programs and initiatives to advance the status of women in our province.
“Today and every day, it is important to celebrate the accomplishments of women and girls in Newfoundland and Labrador. International Women’s Day serves as a reminder that in order to advance true equality for all women and girls in our province, the Provincial Government, women’s equality-seeking and community organizations, and residents need to work collectively and collaboratively to achieve this goal. Doing so will help foster a more equitable and prosperous society for us all.”
Honourable Siobhan Coady
Minister Responsible for the Status of Women
"It is critical that women have access to meaningful career opportunities which is key to our efforts to grow and diversify the economy. Supporting and facilitating the actions of our industry and community partners to advance women aligns with our recent technology, agriculture and aquaculture summits to create a climate conducive to private sector employment.”
Honourable Al Hawkins
Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
“We need to work together to address the profound and systemic issues that face women and girls. Violence is about more than just physical harm. It includes emotional, psychological and financial harm as well. As a community, we need to work together to take action to end violence in all forms and break down the barriers victims face when encountering the justice system.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Justice and Public Safety
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Further information on International Women’s Day: un.org/en/events/womensday
Advanced Education, Skills and Labour
Justice and Public Safety
Government and Community Support for Women in Newfoundland and Labrador
Government and community organizations have implemented the following initiatives to support women throughout our province:
Funding for Community Organizations
Through Budget 2017, government increased core operational funding for the eight women’s centres throughout the province as well as the Multicultural Women’s Organization of Newfoundland and Labrador and provided core operational funding to the Safe Harbour Outreach Project (SHOP). Community partners including the 10 regional Violence Prevention NL committees, Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre, Transition House Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Newfoundland Aboriginal Women’s Network continued to receive core operational funding.
Engaging Indigenous Women and Girls
The Women’s Policy Office has worked with all Indigenous organizations and governments to advance the status of Indigenous women in our province. For example, the Women’s Policy Office worked with all Indigenous organizations and governments in the province to develop a Status of Women Canada proposal entitled “Empowering Indigenous Women for Stronger Communities.” This now funded project, led by the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre, aligns with governments’ commitments at provincial and federal levels to improve the social and economic well-being of Indigenous women.
Funding for Organizations that Support Women in Trades and Technology
Government is working towards improving the number of women in trades and technology by funding organizations that support women - such as the Office to Advance Women Apprentices, Women in Resource Development Corporation, Newfoundland Organization of Women Entrepreneurs, and Women in Science and Technology. Government continues to expand opportunities in trades and technology occupations through Women’s Employment Plans for all new infrastructure projects and Gender Equity and Diversity Plans for large resource development projects in the province.
Supporting Development for Women’s Employment Plans
In The Way Forward: Realizing Our Potential, government committed to incorporating Women’s Employment Plans into government’s infrastructure strategy. These plans support government’s commitment to reduce the gender wage gap by increasing women’s access to a wider range of employment, particularly in trades and technical occupations.
There are many anti-violence programs initiated by Violence Prevention NL organizations throughout the province to raise awareness about violence and violence prevention. Through social media, coordinating relevant initiatives as well as sharing and undertaking local campaigns, they are bringing awareness to the ongoing issue of violence. Violence Prevention NL organizations also provide violence prevention training throughout the year, including Violence Awareness and Action Training.
Ministerial Committee to Oversee Actions to Address Issues of Violence
The Minister Responsible for the Status of Women chairs a Ministerial Committee across government departments to oversee collective actions to address issues of violence in our province and advance equality. The committee consists of ministers responsible for Justice and Public Safety, Education and Early Childhood Development, Health and Community Services, Children, Seniors and Social Development, Service NL, and Advanced Education, Skills and Labour.
Justice Minister’s Committee to End Violence Against Women and Girls
The Committee to End Violence Against Women and Girls is spearheaded by the Minister of Justice and Public Safety. It is a group of government and community representatives who have experience and knowledge of issues surrounding violence against women and girls. The committee has a shared goal - to share information, exchange ideas, and come up with action plans to end gender-based violence in Newfoundland and Labrador. As members of the community, various organizations, as well as government, work together cooperatively and cohesively this committee will be able to address the devastating effects of violence against women as well as the root cause of that violence.
Sexual Violence Legal Support Program
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is collaborating with the Public Legal Information Association of NL and the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre to offer legal support services to victims of sexual violence. This program will help break down the barriers victims face when encountering the justice system. Government wants to ensure that all victims are well informed and understand their legal rights and options. The main objective with this program is to support anyone in this province who has gone through a traumatic experience of sexual violence and now may be feeling lost and unsure about their legal rights and options.
Harassment Free Workplace Policy
Government has recently announced a strengthened and modernized Harassment Free Workplace Policy for departmental government employees. The new policy, which will come into full effect on June 1, 2018, is one of the most progressive workplace harassment policies in Canada. Government is working with partners to prevent and eliminate violence through the Working Together for Violence-Free Communities action plan, as well as taking steps to end harassment and violence, including review of the School’s Act, Safe and Caring Schools policy, and the Municipalities Act.
2018 03 08 4:35 p.m.