Round table discussion on rural women (Canada)

Themes:

Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose held a round table session today, Feb. 27, with four Canadian delegates and two NGO representatives as part of their 56th session of the UNCSW. I was fortunate to be included. In my comments, I focused on violence against women and girls, and most specifically, rural females. My message emphasized the importance of providing incentives for qualified teachers to work in rural and isolated areas and introduce measures to ensure their safety.

Other issues identified were the lack of transportation in rural Ontario affecting individuals with disabilities and daycare challenges. It was suggested that government remove restraints on school bus usage thereby allowing these vehicles to benefit all rural residents. The lack of rural physicians and the importance of foreign credential recognition were also identified coupled with the need for rural communications infrastructure enabling electronic record keeping and distance consultation. The challenge of gender roles on farms identified the needs for incentives for trade programs benefitting female farmers in their daily lives. The lack of daycare for these farmers identified the jeopardy their children are placed in where they are taken to “work” with their mothers.

Minister Ambrose suggested individuals lobby their MPs to identify long term plans the government has for rural communications infrastructure and daycare initiatives.

Katherine Mackwood is President of the Yukon Teachers’ Association

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