Provincial Action Network on the Status of Women supports the call for a Provincial Task Force on Gender-Based Violence


For Immediate Release
October 4, 2018

There has been a significant rise in the rates of domestic and sexual violence in Newfoundland and Labrador. In advance of the In Her Name vigil for missing and murdered women and girls of NL, the St. John’s Status of Women Council and St. John’s Native Friendship Centre are calling once again for the establishment of a provincial task force on gender-based violence. The Provincial Action Network on the Status of Women (PANSOW) is fully supporting this call to action.

We wish to see the establishment of a task force that is well-resourced, which includes a budget, staffing, strong terms of reference, and ministerial level accountability. If we are to see tangible change in the levels of violence women and girls experience daily we must have the political will to drive significant changes in legislation, policy, and funding.

We are aware of the Minister’s Committee on Violence Against Women and Girls in Newfoundland and Labrador struck last year and support that community collaboration. The committee can be a significant and vital part of the work of the task force. However, a St. John’s-centric committee alone is simply not the right mechanism to deal with the magnitude of the issues of violence against women and girls in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Paula Sheppard Thibeau, PANSOW Co-chair and Executive Director, Corner Brook Status of Women Council:

“Only through a collaborative approach that includes stakeholders from various sectors and areas of the province can we reduce violence in our families and communities. The work of a gender-based violence task force must focus on strengthening efforts for early identification and intervention, and providing individuals affected with the necessary supports to gain economic, psychological, and physical well-being.”

Raelene Vickers, Executive Director, Mokami Status of Women Council:

“Violence against women and girls in Labrador is a massive concern that needs to be addressed through a province-wide task force on gender-based violence. Labrador communities have some of the highest rates of domestic violence across the country, and too many women are at risk. The cultural needs of Indigenous communities in Labrador must be included in a provincial plan to end gender-based violence. Women and girls in Labrador need to know that their safety and lives matter to the province.”


Media Contacts

Paula Sheppard Thibeau
PANSOW Co-chair
Executive Director
Corner Brook Status of Women Council
Tel. 709.639.8522 

Jenny Wright
Executive Director
St. John’s Status of Women Council
Tel: 709.753.0220

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 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.

For Immediate Release: PANSOW expresses disappointment at lack of government consultation

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.


 Media Contact

Janice Kennedy

PANSOW, Co-Chair

Executive Director, Bay St. George Status of Women

Tel: 709.643.4444



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.


Ment-HER! A revolutionary women’s mentorship program

Ment-HER! A revolutionary women’s mentorship program

Application Deadline: September 15th, 2017

For an application contact:

We are seeking strong women willing to dedicate themselves to a 2-month program that will help to create community connections with lifetime benefits.

Why should I do this?

For the mentee, having a mentor can increase your professional capabilities and personal relationships exponentially! The mentor is provided with the opportunity to develop valuable professional skills such as leadership, capacity-building, and community outreach.

Who are you looking for?

For Mentors:

You are a woman who has built herself a well-organized, successful life, a woman with a dynamic career, community connections, and healthy satisfying interpersonal relationships. More importantly, you have the time and capacity to devote 2-3 hours per week for October and November of 2017 to lay the foundation for a lifelong relationship.

For Mentees:

You are a woman dedicated to improving your life and open to accept whatever resources are offered that might help you succeed. You want to build your capacities in your career, your personal relationships and become a community leader!

What exactly am I signing up for?

For Mentors

You will participate in:

1 mentorship training session (early October)

3 group meetings (mid-October, early November, late November)

4 1:1 sessions (scheduled with your mentee, 1 per week for all of November)

For Mentees

You will participate in:

1 mentee training session (early October)

3 group meetings (mid-October, early November, late November)

4 1:1 sessions (scheduled with your mentor, 1 per week for all of November)

When and Where

Time: October and November of 2017 (8 weeks total)

Location: 170 Cashin Ave.

How do I get involved?

To receive an application package or find out more contact:

Organizer Chandra Kavanagh at

IMPORTANT NOTE: This program is open to women of all ages in all career streams.




Maggie Burton on running for St. John’s city council and why she wants your help

I remember being shocked. It was 2013, and we had just elected a council of eleven men and zero women. Zero.

* * *

Although we’re a majority of the population, women usually only expect an equal voice. 50%. We’ve never got there, not on St. John’s City Council.

Apparently the United Nations says that women’s issues start getting heard when a legislative body contains 30% women. I don’t know how they came up with that number. We’ve got there once, I think. In 1990 there were nine people on Council, and Suzanne Duff and Dorothy Wyatt and Wendy Williams made up one third.

But one woman on council—it was easy to take that for granted.

* * *

Dorothy Wyatt became the first woman on St. John’s City Council in 1969, and for the next forty-four years there was always at least one woman. It seemed like a sure thing. It wasn’t.

The long wait until 1969 wasn’t a sure thing either. Believe it or not, in 1925, in the very first election in Newfoundland or Labrador where women were allowed to vote, Julia Salter Earle came within eleven votes of winning. Eleven votes isn’t very many. You can get that putting up a lawn sign, or talking to your friends and family.

Hillary winning was supposed to be a sure thing.

I don’t believe much in sure things anymore.

* * *

I can’t pretend the only reason I’m running is that we need more women on council. I have lots of reasons; if you want to know what I believe in, look me up or get in touch! But: we need more women on council, and that’s definitely a big reason why I’m running.

I didn’t plan to run in 2017. I’m 26 years old. I have two young children and a few careers. I thought I’d help out, maybe work on a campaign. So I started asking people I respect who I should help, and how, and what they said was: Run yourself. We need women to take the plunge and run.

So I did.

* * *

They say incumbents always win in municipal politics. They say name recognition always triumphs. They say that’s a sure thing.

Let’s not be fooled by sure things anymore. St. John’s is a small town, and one person—you—can make a big difference here.

This is the part where I ask for your help.

I need a lot of help right now. Any kind of help; whatever you can spare, I need it. So please, think if there’s anything you can do!

Can you volunteer? Take a lawn sign? Donate? Join my email list? Talk to your friends and family? Can you like or share stuff on Facebook?

Get in touch. Vote for a new voice, a strong voice on council.

Facebook: @votemaggie2017

Twitter: @mmburton


Phone: 709-685-1737

Maggie is running for councillor at large for St. John’s. As a teacher and musician, a non-profit administrator and leadership coach, a writer, and as the mom of two young children, Maggie has a lot of experience to offer—and a different perspective.



 The St. John’s Status of Women Council (SJSWC) is a feminist organization that since 1972 is continually working to achieve equality and justice through political activism, community collaboration and the creation of a safe and inclusive space for all women in the St. John’s area. The SJSWC operates the St. John’s Women’s Centre, Marguerites Place Supportive Housing and Safe Harbour Outreach Project (SHOP).

Marguerite’s Place Supportive Housing Program is a supported living program delivered within a safe and secure women only environment. Residents are supported by a team of professional staff, who provide individualized case management, ongoing programming and 24 hour support and crisis management. We strive to assist individuals with complex needs identify and overcome barriers that prevent them from successfully accessing and maintaining safe and independent housing in the community.

We are currently seeking Relief Housing Support Workers to fill shifts as required for vacation relief, sick leave, etc. Shifts may be pre-booked or filled on an on-call / emergency basis. This position is single staffed for 8 and 12 hours shifts for evenings, overnights and weekends.


 Completion of post-secondary education preferably in human services. A combination of the following skills and experiences is an asset:

  • Post secondary degree in human services or equivalent
  • Experience working in a women’s shelter/housing (or other direct service delivery to homeless women)
  • Experience working with survivors of trauma, abuse and consumers of mental health preferred
  • Strong written & oral communication skills
  • Ability to work shift work

Hours of Work – Relief positions provide coverage to a variety of shifts as needed Salary  Step 1 – $19.50 per hour plus 4% vacation pay

To Apply: Submit your resume and cover letter addressed Raylene Noftall at by Monday April 3rd, at 5pm.


St. John’s Status of Women Council/Women’s Centre 170 Cashin Ave. Extension, St. John’s, NL A1E 3B6

P: 709.753.0220 ext. 223  F:709.753.3817 Twitter: @SJSOWC