For Immediate Release: Provincial Parties Respond to PANSOW’s 2019 Election Questionnaire

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.”

To view the party responses, open the PDFs below.

Women in Government
Economic Equality
Women in Prison


Media Contacts
Paula Sheppard Thibeau
Co-Chair, Provincial Action Network on the Status of Women
Executive Director, Corner Brook Status of Women Council
Tel. 709.639.8522

Janice Kennedy
Executive Director, Bay St. George Status of Women Council
Tel. 709.643.4444

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.

“They feel heard. They feel relief. They feel hope.”

As a counsellor, it is staggering sometimes to see the “before and after” of a counselling session. Many women have shared with us that it’s difficult to get in the door but once they do it is unlike any other counselling experience they have had. They feel heard. They feel relief. They feel hope. But what are women saying about getting in the door?

Working up the courage to walk in the door can take weeks. even months. Why is that? Sometimes it seems daunting to reach out and accept help. The process is unknown as well as the location and that can be intimidating. Some women have had other therapeutic experiences that have been negative.  Women also have said that “other people” need the service more than they do and it’s free – so that’s too good to be true.

Counselling can be a vulnerable experience but it can also be empowering. It is meant as a time for you to explore ideas and practices that will support your struggles and concerns. The process is about hearing and supporting you and making a plan, not judging you or fixing you. You deserve service that works for your life. Women are the backbone of families and when we are mentally healthy our relationships are better. Drop in counselling is first and foremost a service to support women wherever they are in their lives.

So what is drop in counselling? Well, you can just drop in. You don’t need an appointment. You don’t need a referral. The most a woman has ever waited to date is an hour. Yeah, it might sound too good to be true but every Tuesday and Wednesday (12-5) you can drop by the Women’s Centre and we will be here to meet you with no strings attached. If you want to come back, we welcome you. If one session is enough, that’s your choice. We have built a program to serve women in whatever way they need it. So come on by!

Dana Warren, BSW, RSW

PANSOW wants Baby Box for every child born in the province

Baby boxes first designed in Finland to ensure that every child born receives necessities (clothes, blankets and the box to sleep in) is a vital and preventative pre-and postnatal care policy. 

They support healthy infant development, maternal health and knowledge and they can serve to level poverty. The educational information within the boxes is critical in reducing infant mortality and supports healthy maternal mental health and parenting skills.

We commend the distribution of baby boxes in Indigenous and rural communities where access to healthcare and specifically pediatric care is lacking or non-existent. We now ask that the government of Newfoundland and Labrador quickly adapt this as a standardized healthcare policy and practice and fully fund this project to ensure that every child born in this province receives one.

This practice is an important step in closing the healthcare gap in rural and indigenous communities, creating healthier outcomes for families throughout the province and demonstrating this governments committment to infant and maternal care.

The Provincial Action Network on the Status of Women (PANSOW) is a grass roots, feminist organization & nonpartisan network which gives a provincial voice on the issues facing the Status of Women.