This newsletter is our way of sharing news and information on what’s going on at the Council, what we’re currently working on and what topics the Council members are interested in bringing forward. 
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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone and welcome to the January newsletter of the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women! We are excited to start 2016 with recharged batteries and new energy – and with a brand new Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, the Honourable Cathy Bennett. 

As it is our task to provide recommendations to the Provincial Government on issues affecting women in our province, we look forward to working with Minister Bennett. We would like to applaud all the women who put their names forward as candidates at the 2015 Provincial election and extend our congratulations to those, who won their seats! 

 

 

Our Favourite Quotes

 
“I like to help women help themselves, as that is, in my opinion, the best way to settle the woman question.

Whatever we can do and do well we have a right to do, and I don’t think anyone will deny us.”

(L.M. Alcott)


 

Keep up with us

PACSW Website
PACSW Twitter
15 Hallett Crescent
Suite 103
St. John's, NL, A1B 4C4
Tel: (709) 753-7270
Toll-free: (877) 753-7270
Fax: (709) 753-2606

Presenting the Council Members

Who are they and what are they all about?

In our upcoming editions of the newsletter we will present our individual Council members one by one for you to get a better idea of the experience, views and motivations behind each Council member and why they are passionate about promoting the status of women in Newfoundland and Labrador. First up is our Vice President, Carolyn Lavers from Port au Choix.

Carolyn comes from a small community, where women have traditionally played an important role on the land, while men were out on the water fishing. She grew up among strong female figures and never had to question her abilities only because of her gender. “I was surrounded by strong women, I could name 100 women in my life who just automatically took charge, because they were left in a position where they simply had to”, Carolyn says.

Carolyn appreciates the Advisory Council for its role as an independent body, which brings together a wide range of women with expertise from their respective areas. “You have cohesiveness and understanding and coming up with solutions to what we can do to solve some of the concrete issues affecting women in the province”, she points out. 

“We do receive some criticism too, but I’ve been happy with the Council in terms of how they address issues. If you’re not criticized, it means you’re not doing anything. My measure of success is how much criticism I get.”

Limited access to child care, and in particular affordable child care, is in Carolyn’s view one of the biggest challenges women face on the Northern Peninsula. “I believe in my heart and soul that every career should be accessible and available to women, and women should be financially independent. That is however not possible, if child care is not available for women to work full time”, Carolyn continues. In her very limited free-time, Carolyn runs Dot’s Pantry bakery and enjoys dancing. While it’s not quite like dancing for the coastal boat captains in her youth, you’ll find that not many will be able to keep up with her on the dance floor.

Remember that the Council meets four times a year and the next meeting is scheduled for March 14-15, 2016.

Update on recent activities

At its December 2015 meetings, the Council had the pleasure of meeting with Donna Ballard, who is the new Deputy Minister at Women’s Policy Office. A close cooperation between our two organizations is very important for the Advisory Council to be able to provide advice to the Government and to raise awareness about issues affecting women, which is why we were particularly happy to discuss some of our concerns with DM Ballard.

One of the main topics brought up at our meetings was the status of public education in Newfoundland and Labrador. In our research, public engagement and awareness-raising activities we are constantly faced with the reality, where issues related to the education levels and the education system are identified as impacting the economic and social security of women in a negative way.

The Council is concerned about issues, such as sexual harassment and bullying taking place in our schools, despite the fact that policies are in place to prevent such events. We are also concerned about the low guidance counsellor to student ratio, which is reported to be 1:500.
Did you know that…
 
In 2012-13 on any given day, more than 6,000 of the province’s
65,000 pupils were absent from school?
More than 2,800 of them provided no reason for their absenteeism.
Source: Department of Education: Attendance Information
Our website has been revamped
A new Council, a new year and a new website with, hopefully, easier access to information and a more streamlined and transparent approach to our work. We hope you like it and will find what you are looking for. We’ve collected together a (long) list of key contacts for anyone looking for help. Should your organization be missing from the list, and you think it should be added, do let us know. We’ve also got an events calendar displaying events that share an agenda to advance women’s equality and are of relevance to the status of women in our province. If you’d like your event included in our calendar of events, please contact danaaylward(at)pacsw.ca.
Visit our new website here!
16 days of activism and the White Van
The Advisory Council partnered with the Coalition Against Violence – Avalon East and its members for the launch of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence on November 25th. We helped in the design of fact cards displaying information on gender-based violence and took part in the social media campaign during the 16 days until the International Human Rights Day on December 10th.
Congratulations Sister Margie Taylor, recipient of the inaugural Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Award!
On December 10th, Sister Margie Taylor, a member of Sisters of Mercy received the inaugural Human Rights Award, presented by the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission. The Advisory Council has been fortunate to collaborate with Sister Margie on several occasions, most recently in connection with the Newfoundland and Labrador Coalition Against Human Trafficking. We have witnessed her dedication to working towards promoting the human rights of those, whose voice does not normally get heard. As a member of the Human Rights Working Group, the Advisory Council was honoured to take part in the selection committee.  
Relationships First – Restorative Justice in Education launch
On November 19th, the Council joined key education partners as members of the Relationships First – Restorative Justice in Education Consortium NL to announce our commitment to ”Restore Justice Together” for the well-being of children and youth in the province. Launched during National Restorative Justice Week as well as the United Nations Universal Children’s Day, the evening event highlighted the experiences of educators and administrators who are using restorative justice in educational contexts around the province as well as the services the Consortium is providing.
Talking about Feminism on CBC CrossTalk
On December 2nd, our President and CEO Linda Ross was on air with CBC CrossTalk to talk about feminism. The show opened with a very meaningful call, where GLOW NL (Generating Leadership Opportunities for Women) called in to raise concerns about an online survey developed by students to bully girls at a high school in Torbay. The follow-up to that story went viral and has helped to bring attention to the issue of bullying in our province’s schools.

…and what did the other callers say? Let’s just say that it’s a good thing Linda does not get embarrassed very easily!
Advancing Equity and Inclusion – A Guide for Municipalities

The Advisory Council has been made aware of a great resource by the City for All Women Initiative. Advancing Equity and Inclusion – A Guide for Municipalities, is a resource for elected officials, senior and middle management, municipal staff and different organizations partnering with municipalities on how to apply an equity and inclusion lens on their work. In those lines, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities is introducing a new initiative Diverse Voices for Change to increase the number of women from diverse communities who are actively informed by, and engaged in, local government decision-making.


Stay tuned for more news from us! 
Copyright © 2016 Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women, All rights reserved.


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