UN Day 4: Austrians choke at the amount I pay in day care.Today’s agenda included attending two debriefings, a panel on addressing violence against women hosted by the Nordic governments, and listening to my roommate squealing at unexpectedly getting to interview *the* Gloria Steinem.

I don’t have very much to report on today, maybe because I’m tired from the chaos and the walking. Maybe it’s because my hands are raw from washing my clothes in the bathtub. Maybe I’m just plain tired.

I’m so happy that my friends are reading this. I’m excited and it’s so nice to have my excitement shared. I’m rather saddened that there isn’t a bigger Canadian Government presence here. It seems that all the other nations are broadly represented, but the only one that is visually present from Canada is the NGOs. It’s been explained that because of the budget there was a travel ban issued because the budget was being released today however I don’t see why it would prevent the MPs sending their underlings.The Nordic countries put on an interesting panel.

They have a proactive approach to address violence against women in all stages of their people’s stages. It is included in early education in the form of implementing emotionally resiliency in daycares and schools. They have psychological counseling for perpetrators following violent acts. Sweden, I think, even has an entire University dedicated to the research of violence against women that includes a national hotline that does not show up on phone bills. They have medical clinics and all members of the justice department have handbooks that describe health based protocol relating to violence against women in order to help the justice department better investigate incidents.

I have a copy of the complete Swedish strategy that I intend to bring home. It would be nice to see something concrete happening in our community rather than perpetual wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth at our overwhelmingly high rate of violence against women. Actually that didn’t quite come out right. It would be even nicer if the family violence coalition could use this information to their advantage to solidify support for the work that they have already been doing.

Because I just happen to be a cheeky brat, and their panel left me nothing really learned, but also nothing to really complain about, I decided to throw out something really controversial to this panel of socially conscious countries. So I threw up my hand and asked if any of their research indicated higher levels of success with their current treatment programs than have been shown with previous methods of chemical and physical castration. *hee hee hee* I kind of did it soley to be a brat, but the backrounder is that castration combined with psychotherapy is empirically the most effective way of treating pedophilia.So there was an audible gasp from the crowd and the head of research at the University said that she wasn’t aware of any study that compared the success rates between the two treatment plans.

Of course immediately following her saying that, a Swedish woman behind me said that the state had indeed studied the matter and found that castrations with psycho therapy is indeed more effective that either on their own. (Castration on its own does not address the expression of power within the act of sexual violation.)

So anyways, I also attended a meeting on Muslim women in business. I heard about economic strategies used in Dubai, and micro loan projects out of the Sudan. It was interesting, but not very relevant to the North.I had coffee with the executive director of an NGO from Austria. She runs high quality subsidized daycare programs throughout the country. She choked on her coffee when I told her how much I pay for childcare.

On that note, did you know that Canada is even behind Mexico in their total investment of funds to daycare? The request from the Canadian people for quality accessible daycare is 25 years old, while our government is whittling away resources that could have been moved into providing a national day care strategy, the multinational people that I’m coming across here are choking. Even including the exchange rates I figure we’re paying some of the highest rates in the world.

A lack of accessible day care simply ignores the promise that the Canadian government has made to its own population and the other member states at the UN when it declared its supposed commitment to gender equality. Lack of affordable daycare does indeed provide a gender based barrier to women’s employment, and I’m sick to death of all of the governments dropping the ball on this issue.

Grr. I just found out that they took away the millennium fund for undergrads and added 20, 000 to funding for masters programs. Now the government will pay 50, 000$ for a masters student.

Anyways I hope everyone is doing well, And I look forward to getting a full debriefing on the budget