Charlottetown – On this International Women’s Day, CUPE PEI calls for more women’s voices in government and more attention to women’s perspectives in public policy development.
“2014 is a landmark year for Canada as it is the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference. This conference helped create the political foundation for our country,” said Lori MacKay, President of CUPE PEI. “It is unfortunate that no women were at the table when the 23 men met in 1864, but we have made great strides since then in political life. Women now hold leadership roles at all levels of government, but we are still underrepresented in elected positions.”
“CUPE applauds the initiative “A Bold Vision” which is being organized by PEI women’s groups to mark this important milestone,” continued MacKay. “This conference will provide an opportunity for women leaders from across the country to come together to celebrate, support and learn from one another about women’s leadership. An exciting feature of this unique conference will be a day-long session where 23 women discuss their vision for our country for the next 150 years. “A Bold Vision” will be a tremendous learning opportunity for women and I hope as many Islanders as possible will participate.”
“All is not rosy for women when it comes to our political system,” noted MacKay.
“Citizen disengagement is a huge problem. Many women are reluctant to get involved because party politics doesn’t favour the kind of long-term planning and decision-making needed to improve people’s lives. It is time for a new vision.”
“It’s not that women are better decision-makers than men, but they can bring different and valuable perspectives to the table,” said Melissa Bruce, Chair of the CUPE PEI Women’s Committee.
“The recent EI reform is a good example of why we need renewal in our political system. Did decision-makers consider the impact EI changes would have on women?” asked Bruce. “Women are hit harder than men by the new rules because they have heavier family responsibilities, fewer job options, they receive lower benefits and run out of benefits earlier.”