Clark’s BC Liberal Government Gets A Failing Grade On Women’s Equality

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VICTORIA- The B.C. Liberal governmentonce again racked up failing gradeson the West Coast Legal Education andAction Fund’s annual women’s equalityreport card, say New Democrats.”Affordability is one of the key issuesaffecting women in British Columbia,”said Karagianis.”As the report card notes, many peopleworking full time at minimum wage jobsare living in poverty,and there are twice asmany women over 25making minimum wagethan men.Add on unaffordableand hard to accesschildcare, and itbecomes clear whychildren make up 30per cent of B.C.’s foodbank users.”The annual report cardexamines how BritishColumbia is doing onkey measures ofwomen’s equality identifiedby the UnitedNations Conventionon EndingDiscrimination AgainstWomen (CEDAW).”This report card confirms that manywomen in B.C. struggle to access childcare,the justice system, and safe, affordablehousing,” said New Democratwomen’s critic Maurine Karagianis.”It also sounds the alarm about how theLiberal government’s failure to ensurewomen have access to legal aid is makingit harder to address issues of custody andchild support, as well as increasingwomen’s vulnerability to domesticabuse.”The report also singled out the B.C.Liberal government’s failure to takeaction on the recommendations made bythe Missing Women’s Commission andgave them a failing gradefor their lack of action tocombat violence againstAboriginal women.”It’s been almost a yearsince the commissionissued its recommendations.These recommendationswould improvesafety along the Highwayof Tears and help preventanother serial killerlike Robert Pickton frombeing able to kidnap andkill vulnerable womenfor years,” saidKaragianis.”These life and deathrecommendations areaimed at ensuring ourpolice forces and justicesystem are not allowingracism and prejudice to erase the lives ofAboriginal women.It’s long past time for the B.C. Liberalsto stop stalling the implementation ofthe Missing Women’s Commission recommendations.”