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Ottawa – “It is outrageous that the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) has been forced to layoff its full time staff and close its doors because Stephen Harper’s government does not believe it deserves funding,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.

The Harper minority government changed the mandate of Status of Women Canada – the agency that funded groups like NAWL, and took out references to the advancement of feminist work. “Someone needs to share the latest census data with Mr. Harper,” said Helen Kennedy, co-chair of CUPE National Women’s Task Force. “Women earn less than men for work of equal value, almost 50% of all households are headed by single parents – who are mainly women, and childcare is beyond the financial reach of many women,” added Kennedy.

We, as a society, have a long way to go before the important role of feminist advocacy groups – like NAWL, are no longer needed. This is an attempt by Mr. Harper’s minority government to silence women. Slashing funding to such respected groups like NAWL will prove to be a flawed strategy when the time comes to court women and their vote,” added Moist.

In addition to the many regional women’s organizations faced with impending closure, the Harper government has also withdrawn funding from several other national women’s organizations including the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW), the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) and the Canadian Child Care Advocacy Association (CCAAC).

We condemn the decision of Prime Minister Harper and oppose his government’s decision to weaken the mandate of Status of Women. We lend our voice to the millions of women in Canada who continue to oppose violence in the workplace and at home, who struggle for respect and equality in their everyday lives and who refuse to be silenced,” concluded Moist.

For more information please contact:

Paul Moist, CUPE national president, 613-558-2873 (cell.)
Helen Kennedy, CUPE National Women’s Task Force co-chair, 416-561-3163 (cell.)
Catherine Louli, CUPE Communications, 613-237-1590 (office) or 613-851-0547 (cell.)