In the run-up to the provincial election on May 16, 2019, the Provincial Action Network on the Status of Women (PANSOW) collaboratively designed a questionnaire for the four party leaders to address concerns that are relevant to women and their families.
The questions focused on nine issues including women’s leadership, violence against women and girls, childcare, and pay equity.
“It is vital that voters understand the party stances on the issues,” said Paula Sheppard Thibeau, Co-Chair, Provincial Action Network on the Status of Women and Executive Director, Corner Brook Status of Women Council. “The election’s quick turnaround time has not allowed everyone to become familiar with the candidates and the issues. We hope that in gathering these party responses we are able to help voters feel informed on issues of relevance to them.”
PANSOW applies a provincial lens to issues of equality and ensure a public voice for women from a non-partisan, grassroots, and feminist perspective. PANSOW consists of the Executive Directors of all eight Status of Women councils in Newfoundland and Labrador. PANSOW’s mandate is two-fold: To educate and build awareness on broad issues related to gender equity and justice in the province; and to advocate for change in government policy and legislation that facilitates gender equity and justice.
FACE TO FACE MEETINGS A key partnership with ‘Empowering Indigenous Women for Stronger Communities’ has informed and shaped so much of the qualitative work we have accomplished to date. Odelle Pike and an ever-growing list of feminist activists have shaped the way we are asking questions and building key concepts for the discussion groups. Beginning with two trips to Labrador (key meetings with the Mokami Status of Women Centre in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and a paper survey session in Rigolet), outreach to date has also included an early presentation to the Board of the NL Federation of Labour in Terra Nova and a timely, dense and powerful connect with all of the Executive Directors of the Status of Women from across the province in Grand Falls-Windsor at their AGM in September.
Your ‘tiny but mighty’ duo of policy analysts will be travelling as far as our limited travel budget allows! Qualitative data is being gathered steadily – initially thanks to a series of road trips. We couldn’t wait to communicate directly with frontline workers alongside women who were so eager to share their relevant lived ‘DV in the workplace’ experiences. Our two Roundtables in Stephenville and a bonus meeting in Corner Brook, along with a recent focus group at the Multicultural Women’s Organization here in St John’s have left us neck deep in notes and so anxious to talk to more groups and take…more notes! Special thanks to all the Status of Women Councils who continue to help us arrange meetings with key community front line service providers.
BEFORE THE END OF 2018
We are so thrilled to share that both Tina Pretty from UNIFOR/FFAW and the Allan Horwood from the Military Family Resource Centre in St. John’s leapt at the chance to share the survey with their networks – putting the survey link on their websites immediately. The FFAW went above and beyond – printing the survey link on 2000 business cards along with distributing the cards to women’s advocates and including the link and background flyer in their magazine – with a distribution reach of 10,000 workers. Included were the fish and processing and non-fish industrial units along with their members in brewery, hospitality and metal fabrication. We are so grateful for all the help we are getting from so many corners.
Finally, some of the most critical moments in the project, in addition to the Roundtables and survey sessions described, have been the one-in-one interviews with DV survivors and their co-workers. We are so grateful for those who have reached out by email – willing to share their lived experience and ideas for better resourced workplaces.
Has your workplace been impacted by domestic violence – we want to interview you!