TABLE of CONTENTS
Part I : Status Report 1996-97
Part II : Action Plan 1997-98
Part III : What do you think of our Action Plan?
The Report & Action Plan is available for download in Word for Windows format. Please be advised that the size of the Paper is 86 Kb.
STATUS REPORT 1996-1997 and ACTION PLAN 1997 - 1998
Implementation of Section 41 of the Official Languages Act
1996-97 Summary of Acheivements
Status of Women Canada
Responsible Minister : The Honourable Hedy Fry
Principal National and Regional Achievements
During 1996-97, SWC accomplished the following under Section 41:
Disseminated information widely on results of the official-language minority organizations consultations and the Action Plan to national and regional staff of SWC and ensured SWC’s involvement in the Consultations of official-language minority organizations co-ordinated by the Department of Canadian Heritage;
Ensured the active participation of official-language minority women’s organizations in the SWC consultations held from March to May 1996, as well as in teleconferences involving the Secretary of State (Status of Women) and women’s organizations;
Provided ongoing financial and technical support to official-language minority women’s organizations to address issues of concern to them in the areas of economic equality, social justice and access and participation;
Disseminated information on the new direction of the Women’s Program to national, regional and local women’s organizations, including official-language minority women’s organizations;
Established a researcher contact list for SWC’s Policy Research Fund which includes women in official-language minority communities and official-language minority organizations, and distributed calls for policy research proposals using this contact list;
Initiated work to develop the SWC Internet site, accessible in both official languages, for launch in 1997-98.
Distribution of the Report on Accomplishments to national and regional staff of SWC, as well as to key organizations at local, regional and national levels, and the Commissioner of Official Languages.
1996-97 Action Plan
From March to May, 1996, SWC pursued a three-month consultation process across Canada to seek input on: a) ways to enhance the working relationship between SWC and organizations and individuals interested in the advancement of women’s equality; b) the development of a new Policy Research Fund; and c) the future direction of the Women’s Program. Through meetings and in writing, SWC gathered the views of national, regional and local women’s organizations, researchers and research organizations, community, social service and professional groups, other levels of government, and other groups and individuals committed to women’s equality. Input and advice was received from some 400 participants, including women from official-language minority communities and official-language minority women’s organizations. In November, 1996, SWC disseminated the Report on Consultations Held March-May 1996 and Follow-up Action Plan, to all participants and to additional interested parties. This document summarizes the main themes raised by participants, reflects their views and concerns and provides SWC’s Action Plan to implement the suggestions received, beginning in the fall of 1996.
SWC staff participated in the consultations of official-language minority organizations co-ordinated by the Department of Canadian Heritage at the national and regional levels across Canada.
SWC staff maintained contacts with official-language minority women’s organizations at national and regional levels to remain informed of their needs and concerns.
External Relations and Communications
A variety of communications products including SWC’s Perspectives, educational materials for Women’s History Month and SWC’s Key Dates for Women in Canada were sent to individuals and organizations on SWC’s mailing lists, including women in official-language minority communities and official-language minority women’s organizations.
Official-language minority women were selected to serve on the Canadian delegation to this year’s United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW41) in March,1997 and on the Council to Commonwealth Women’s Affairs Ministers (WAMM-5) in November, 1996.
Policy Analysis and Development
In 1996-97, the Policy Analysis and Development Directorate released Gender-Based Analysis: A guide for policy-making, the purpose of which is to assist policy-makers in taking into account the differing impacts of policies and legislation on women and men. One of the key elements of gender-based analysis is to give consideration to the diversity of women, including race, disability, official-language minority status, age and sexual orientation. This guide was distributed to official-language minority women’s organizations.
In 1996 and again in 1997, a bilingual teleconference was held between the Secretary of State (Status of Women) and women’s organizations after the 1996 and 1997 budget speeches of the Minister of Finance. Official-language minority women’s organizations participated.
In May, 1996, SWC and the Caledon Institute organized a round table on gender implications of Canada Pension Plan reform. A report was produced by the Caledon Institute and distributed to official-language minority women’s organizations.
Women’s Program Funding
In 1996-97, the Women’s Program of SWC provided funding in the amount of $ 502,736 in support of 23 projects aimed specifically at addressing the concerns of official-language minority women across Canada. The percentage of budget awarded to official-language minority women’s organizations may vary from region to region, as well as from year to year.
The activities which were funded were aimed at addressing issues within the Women’s Program’s three funding areas of economic equality, social justice and access and participation. For example, Women’s Program funding was provided to:
the Association des femmes acadiennes et francophones de l’I.-P.-E. for a series of provincial activities under the theme of family violence, including a needs assessment and a workshop on Beijing follow-up action;
the Association des Acadiennes de la Nouvelle-Écosse to organize a two-day provincial symposium on Acadian women’s participation in the economy and to carry out a regional study serving to identify the barriers to Acadian women’s involvement in local community economic development and entrepreneurship;
Studio XX to undertake a research-action aimed at identifying the needs of 12 to 15 francophone, anglophone and bilingual women’s organizations in Quebec in regards to new information technologies, the barriers to their acces and appropriate strategies, as well as to prepare recommendations to women’s organizations, industry and government.
the Fédération nationale des femmes canadiennes-françaises to undertake a program of activities aimed at addressing economic equality, social justice and access and participation barriers to equality for women living in official-language minority communities;
the Comité des femmes francophones du nord-ouest de l’Ontario for the development of local strategies for economic autonomy for women in six communities and addressing systemic barriers to their economic participation;
the Fédération provinciale des Fransaskoises for a project aimed at improving the networking and communication for francophone women in Saskatchewan, enhancing career choices for young francophone women, and increasing accessibility to information and services for young women and adult women through workshops on women’s equality;
the Comité aviseur à la programmation/Femmes du centre éducatif communautaire to inform francophone women in Alberta about the Beijing Platform for Action and the Federal Plan for Gender Equality, to involve them in the development of regional plans of action and to ensure francophone representation within Alberta’s Beijing Umbrella Network in pursuing follow-up work to the Beijing conference;
the Réseau-Femmes Colombie Britannique to undertake research, in partnership with La Boussole, a francophone-serving agency, to identify and analyze barriers faced by official-language minority women who are homeless, in three urban centres of the province; and
Les Essentielles for a survey and strategic action planning workshop to address issues related to language, isolation, violence, economic security and health for francophone women living in the Yukon.
As is standard practice, all requests for funding are reviewed on a case by case basis, according to Women’s Program criteria, funding areas and available resources, with particular attention to initiatives which are aimed at addressing the concerns of women facing multiple barriers, including official-language minority women.
In the British Columbia/Yukon region, as well as in the Prairies region, annual planning with respect to Section 41 was integrated into the regional planning and evaluation process. In the Quebec region, annual planning with respect to Section 41 was integrated to the annual planning of social development strategies. The Atlantic region and the Ontario region, as well as national program delivery incorporated annual planning with respect to section 41 into their annual planning process and development of workplans.
In 1996-97, Women’s Program funding criteria were reviewed, based on input received from participants in the SWC consultations in March-May, 1996. Participants reinforced the need to recognize that women who face multiple barriers will be affected differently by many women’s equality issues. In response, the Women’s Program will maintain its commitment to the principle of diversity. This commitment is reflected in the new Women’s Program direction, which took effect in April, 1997 and have been incorporated in a document disseminated in the spring of 1997 to women’s and other voluntary organizations, including official-language minority organizations and entitled New Direction of the Women’s Program of Status of Women Canada. Also, they are reflected in a document entitled Women’s Program Guidelines and Funding Criteria for 1997-98 which was developed for dissemination in the spring of 1997 to women’s and other voluntary organizations across Canada, including official-language minority organizations.
Policy Research Fund
The Research Directorate has ensured that official-language organizations and individuals are included among those receiving calls for proposals, and has funded research projects which reflect the diversity of the Canadian population, including official-language minority women. Factoring diversity, including official-language minority women, into policy analysis and development, has been one of the two themes for call for proposals in 1996-97.
Dissemination of this Status Report
This Status Report will be disseminated, along with SWC’s Action Plan for 1997-98, to SWC staff in headquarters and regional offices, as well as to key organizations at the national, regional and local levels, and to the Commissioner of Official Languages.
Last updated : dec 8 1997