With the upcoming 35th anniversary of the first New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women (NBACSW) and less than 2 years after it was abolished, the Ad Hoc Committee for an Advisory Council on the Status of Women welcomes the recent efforts of the Minister responsible for Women’s Issues in giving women of this province an independent voice once again.
The Minister responsible for Women’s Issues, Marie-Claude Blais, announced last week the establishment of a working group whose mandate is to make recommendations on possible new mechanisms to ensure women’s voices would be heard.
“This is a positive development following last year’s elimination of the NBACSW and we are hopeful that our demands will really be taken into account” explains Jeanne d’Arc Gaudet, spokesperson for the Ad Hoc Committee. This group includes representatives of the community who advocate for the continuation of the core functions of the former Advisory Council. “We are open to the implementation of a new mechanism with a mandate and actions that would be in line with the same objectives as the former NBACSW”.
“Even if we have seen some positive developments for women’s rights in the last 35 years, it is still vital for them to have an independent voice that advises the government” declared Jeanne d’Arc Gaudet.
35 years ago, on December 8th, 1977, the government appointed the first NBACSW. This agency had the mandate to advise the government on women’s issues by recommending legislation, policies and practices, bringing awareness to the population, as well as conducting research.
The abolition of the NBACSW in the spring of 2011 was a cause of dismay for many.