For Immediate Release
October 19, 2017
PANSOW expresses disappointment at lack of government consultation
Following the In Her Name Vigil for missing and murdered women and girls of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Action Network on the Status of Women (PANSOW) and a coalition of anti-violence groups called for the establishment of a Provincial Task Force on Gender-Based Violence. This week the Provincial Government announced the formation of a Minister’s Committee on Violence Against Women and Girls. PANSOW is expressing disappointment in this approach.
PANSOW and its community partners called for the establishment of a task force to oversee the implementation of a comprehensive, provincial plan to end domestic violence, and all violence, against women and girls. The Minister’s Committee on Violence Against Women and girls will be comprised of government and community representatives; membership is by invitation only.
Jenny Wright, PANSOW Co-Chair and Executive Director of the St. John’s Status of Women Council:
“The way in which the government has established this committee circumvents the work of a coalition of anti-violence and domestic violence experts. The government did not acknowledge PANSOW’s request or engage in any consultation on the matter. Telling organizations to wait for an invitation is not a consultation.”
PANSOW had asked women-serving anti-violence organizations to join the call for a provincial task force and had responses from organizations across the province.
Janice Kennedy, PANSOW Co-Chair and Executive Director, Bay St. George Status of Women Council:
“The shift from a task force informed and led by anti-violence experts to an invitation-only committee is disappointing. Consulting with those who issued the call for a task force on gender-based violence should be an imperative for this government.”
PANSOW is calling on Minister Parsons to halt the further development of this committee until his department has met with the organization and its partners.
Executive Director, Bay St. George Status of Women
The Provincial Action Network of the Status of Women (PANSOW) is a grassroots, feminist, and non-partisan network which gives a provincial voice on the issues facing the Status of Women in Newfoundland and Labrador. PANSOW consists of all eight Status of Women Councils in Newfoundland and Labrador.