May 18, 2017
Earlier this month, the New Brunswick Women’s Council Act was proclaimed and came into force. The act had previously been introduced in the Legislative Assembly in May 2016 and passed into law with support from both sides of the House and Royal Assent from the Lieutenant Governor in July 2016.
With the proclamation of this law, New Brunswick once again has an independent public advisory body on women’s equality issues.
This is the result of over six years of work to ensure our province has such an entity. It could not have been accomplished without the committed advocacy of many individual women, ad hoc groups, and equity-seeking organizations who refused to accept anything less than a truly independent council for New Brunswick. Their voices and the pressure they exerted were critical in pushing government to appropriately fund and legislate the mandate of the council.
With a strong foundation now in place, the council is eager to turn its full attention to our mandate: raising public awareness and providing independent advice on issues of importance to women and their substantive equality.
Within this context, our next priority is connecting with the women of New Brunswick. Over the summer months and into the fall, staff members will be travelling throughout our province to ask women what issues are priorities for them, how those issues are affecting their lives, and what ideas they have to address them. We will also be connecting with organizations to discuss the issues they are working on, as well as the challenges they face in their work to advance women’s equality in New Brunswick.
It is critical that the council’s work be driven by such grassroots engagement. If we are to effectively work toward a New Brunswick of real and deeply-rooted gender-equality, the council must be grounded in and reflect the voices of women who are experiencing sexism, misogyny, and other forms of oppression within our province.
We welcome you to reach out to us as we plan this engagement process to help us identify communities to connect with in the coming months. Our understanding of communities is broad – they may be based on regions, on common experiences, shared identities, etc. Please connect with us in whatever way works best for you: call our office (1-844-462-5179), send us an email, or reach out via our Facebook or Twitter.
We look forward to hearing from you.