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Equality time » StraightGoods.ca

Equality time

Jul 262013
 

New Brunswick continues to top the charts in sexual violence.

by Jody Dallaire

The good news is that New Brunswickers are #1 in Canada in at least two important social indicators. The bad news is that those #1 positions are in unemployment (11.2 percent in June, vs the 7.1 percent Canadian average — and urban sexual assault.

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Jul 212013
 

Does NB's Health Minister also think penicillin is a new wonder drug?

by Beth Lyons

Last week, the province’s Department of Health announced announced that the Midwifery Council of New Brunswick (MCNB) would not receive its annual $10,000 funding. An email statement from Health Minister Ted Flemming explained that, “In this time of change, the department has decided to postpone the introduction of midwives. It does not seem prudent to introduce a new profession in the midst of systemic change…  In addition, the fiscal challenges make it more complicated.”

Hold up: the Health Department thinks midwifery is a new profession?

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Jul 152013
 

Women win — province creates replacement for Status of Women Advisory Council.

by Jody Dallaire

In spring of 2011, the New Brunswick suddenly announced that it would be abolishing all funding to the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women.  Two years and two months later, after constant vociferous lobbying by women’s groups, the Minister responsible for the Status of Women, Marie-Claude Blais announced the province will create an independent Voices of New Brunswick Women Consensus-Building Forum, composed of representatives from organizations in New Brunswick.

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Jul 042013
 

Aboriginal people still pay for European conquest.

by Beth Lyons

A few years ago, a feminist gathering in Winnipeg, Manitoba sharply challenged my thinking about Canada and Canadian identity, particularly my limited understanding of Aboriginal identities, experiences, and oppressions. Continue reading »

Jun 272013
 

In six years, new NB feminist group has met four key goals.

by Jody Dallaire

The Regroupement féministe du Nouveau-Brunswick’s (RFNB for short, which translates to the Feminist Organization of New Brunswick) was founded by New Brunswick women in June 2007, and is already having a considerable impact on public policy and on the Acadian community.

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Jun 202013
 
ThelmaAndLouise

Bechdel's test identifies movies with independent women.

by Beth Lyons

The summer blockbuster movie season is upon us — and with it comes a barrage of films featuring women and girls in limited, sexualized and trivial roles. Just how abysmal is the representation of women and girls in film and television? Let me introduction you to a little something we feminists call the Bechdel test.

Bechdel is a concept that originates from a 1985 comic strip by Alison Bechdel, a queer American cartoonist. In this strip, a character mentions that she doesn’t watch films that don’t meet a basic criterion: they must have at least two female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man (bonus points if these characters actually have names). The joke of the strip is, of course, that the character doesn’t get to watch many movies.

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Jun 122013
 

In Canada, Aboriginal women are most vulnerable to being exploited.

by Jody Dallaire

The Whistleblower is a 2010 made-for-TV movie dramatizing one real-life investigator’s efforts to stop human trafficking in a war zone.  Rachel Weisz stars as Kathryn Bolkovac, a Nebraska police officer who served as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia and who exposed how the United Nations was involved in covering up human trafficking and the exploitation of women.

The film (partly funded by Ontario) is very moving and well done, although it is tough to watch at times.  After  watching it, I decided to find out more about the prevalence of human trafficking in Canada – and yes, it does happen here. Although not all victims of human trafficking are female, the vast majority are.

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Jun 062013
 
Marie-ClaudeBlais

Women lobbied for two years to restore axed Status of Women Council.

by Beth Lyons

Last week, the province’s Women’s Issues Branch renamed itself the Women’s Equality Branch, then followed up with plans for a new independent forum to advance the equality of women and girls in New Brunswick. The Voices of New Brunswick Women Consensus-Building Forum is slated to be active by the fall.

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May 302013
 

Colleagues, media, criticize women colleagues on personal matters, not issues.

by Jody Dallaire

Lately, New Brunswick Members of Parliament made headlines for their sexist comments.

Take Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield’s comment at a photo op staged after Harperites presented the new federal budget.  At the home of a local family, Minister Ashfield sampled the fresh bread baked by Grace Moreno, a high school student.  He praised her cooking by saying that she would, “make a wonderful wife for somebody.”

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May 232013
 
MeridaMakeover

In Disney’s world, only sexed-up females are relevant.

by Beth Lyons

Over the past few weeks, the Walt Disney Company has faced on online uproar over their makeover of Merida, the protagonist of the film Brave. The makeover was in preparation for Merida’s induction to the Magic Kingdom’s Princess Hall of Fame and involved sexualizing the youthful character by making her older, more polished, and giving her a classic come-hither countenance (that kind of looks like a facelift, if I’m being perfectly honest).

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