Status of Women Ministers Meet in Victoria to Chart the Way Forward and Advance Gender Equality
December 4, 2019 – Victoria, British Columbia
Today marked the conclusion of the 37th annual meeting of Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women. Over the past few days in Victoria, British Columbia, the Ministers worked together to advance key priorities related to gender equality that will have a real and positive impact on the everyday lives of Canadians.
Ministers were welcomed to the traditional territory of the Lekwungen people, the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. They were joined by B.C.’s Minister’s Advisory Council on Indigenous Women who revealed the memorial quilt honouring the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Ministers discussed many issues of importance for achieving gender equality, such as women’s economic empowerment and leadership, and gender-based violence, including cyber-violence, human trafficking, domestic violence, the safety of Indigenous women and girls, and issues facing LGBTQ2S communities. Ministers agreed to explore further collaboration to support survivors of violence and their families and to prevent these tragedies from happening. During their conversations, Ministers also highlighted collective progress in strengthening data collection and information sharing regarding women and girls and LGBTQ2S Canadians.
They also heard perspectives from two youth panels about poverty, economic opportunity, health and well-being with a focus on the challenges that people from LGBTQ2S communities, girls and young women face.
In a gathering held prior to the FPT meeting, with the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, the federal Minister for Crown-Indigenous Relations, Ministers heard from National Indigenous Leaders and Representatives about some of the pressing issues affecting Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ2S people in Canada. They discussed the Calls for Justice presented in the final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The Tŝilhqot’in Women’s Council also presented their work to respond to the Calls for Justice.
Moving forward, the Ministers agreed to develop a three-year strategic plan to inform their collective action to advance gender equality across Canada.
“Advancing gender equality takes a concerted effort. Meaningful change can only happen when we work in partnership. It’s been a real pleasure to meet with my provincial and territorial colleagues and I am thankful to British Columbia for co-chairing our productive meetings. The opportunity for action is now, and I look forward to working in a spirit of collaboration with leaders from across the country to help reach our common goals.”
The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
“There is so much we can accomplish when we come together united and I am confident that our work together will continue with as much determination as we have shown these past days. It is a historic time for B.C., having just received Royal Assent on legislation to bring the UN Declaration into provincial law and having recently undertaken important community meetings on the Calls for Justice. By leveraging our collective experience and expertise to find common ground on what we, as governments, can and should be doing, we can help make life better for all women, girls and gender-diverse people in Canada.”
Mitzi Dean, MLA
Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity
This is the first FPT meeting since the October 2019 federal election.
Meetings between the federal, provincial and territorial governments offer an important opportunity for leadership from coast to coast to coast to discuss shared priorities, strengthen collaboration, and work together to make life better for all Canadians.
This week’s meeting of FPT Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women was co-chaired by the Honourable Maryam Monsef, federal Minister for Women and Gender Equality, and Mitzi Dean, British Columbia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity.
FPT Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women meet annually to share information, exchange best practices and explore issues and opportunities to advance gender equality. They also discuss options for mutually-beneficial collaboration to support improved social and economic prosperity for women and girls and to prevent and address gender-based violence.
The meetings took place during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, for which this year’s theme is #OurActionsMatter.
The next annual meeting of the FPT Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women will be hosted by Newfoundland and Labrador in Fall 2020.
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
Manager, Communications Services
Women and Gender Equality Canada
Government of British Columbia, Ministry of Finance – Gender Equity
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