This is just terrible news! It appears that because of the new funding criteria for grants from the Status of Women Canada, organizations that have been mainstays in the women’s community and great advocates for women’s issues, are looking down the barrel of their own demise. This article comes off the Liberal Party’s website, but despite its partisan nature, I think it articulates a crucial issue facing women’s groups right now.

As feared by many women across Canada, the anti-women ideology of the current Conservative government is forcing more women’s groups to lay off staff and close their doors,” said Ms. Minna.

The most recent victim of the Conservatives’ anti-women agenda is the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW), which had to lay off three out of five staff because the organization no longer qualifies for funding from Status of Women Canada.

The Conservative government made changes to the rules that prevent any group that advocates for women’s equality from receiving funding. “Minister for Status of Women Bev Oda uses smoke and mirrors to try and keep from Canadians what is really happening,” said Ms. Minna. “In addition to denying funding to women’s groups, 12 of 16 Status of Women’s regional offices have been closed, a move that particularly isolates women in rural areas.”

Time is running out for many other organizations. For example, the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) and the Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) are deeply concerned for the future well-being of their organizations. Ms. Minna said this story is becoming far too common among women’s groups.

“The Conservative government is trying to silence the voices of Canadian women when there is so much work still to do to for them to reach true social, political, economic, cultural, and legal equality in Canada,” she said.

For those who might not be aware, all of the groups mentioned in the article are groups that have been crucial at securing women’s equality in the past. Without them we would not have many of the priveleges that we as women take for granted.

I think it is such a tragedy to see these groups close their doors or not be able to run their programs properly because of lack of funding. I encourage you all to write your MP about this issue!