Canada (CEDAW 25-11-2016)
The Committee considered the combined eighth and ninth periodic reports of Canada (CEDAW/C/CAN/8-9) at its 1433rd and 1434th meetings, on 25 October 2016 (see CEDAW/C/SR.1433 and 1434). The Committee’s list of issues and questions is contained in CEDAW/C/CAN/Q/8-9 and the responses of Canada are contained in CEDAW/C/CAN/Q/8-9/Add.1.
D. Principal areas of concern and recommendations
National machinery for the advancement of women and gender mainstreaming
- The Committee welcomes the creation, within the newly appointed federal Government, of a full-fledged Minister of Status of Women position. The Committee is, nevertheless, concerned about:
(a) The lack of clear and coherent coordination and management of gender mainstreaming efforts between the federal and the provincial or territorial level, the uneven level of implementation of the Convention at the provincial or territorial level, and the lack of comprehensive monitoring and impact evaluation mechanisms and measures;
(b) The absence of a comprehensive national gender equality strategy, policy and action plan addressing the structural factors that cause persistent gender inequalities;
(c) The fact that the indigenous women’s organizations are not included in the countrywide nation-to-nation relationship on equal footing with other indigenous people’s organizations;
(d) The closure of 12 of the 16 Status of Women Canada regional offices, which has limited women’s access to the services provided by Status of Women Canada, in particular in remote and rural areas.
- The Committee recommends that the State party:
(a) Ensure that the Minister of Status of Women is provided with a strong mandate and the human, technical and financial resources necessary to effectively coordinate gender equality plans, policies and programmes in all areas and at all levels of government, including by allocating earmarked resources to provincial and territorial governments;
(b) Develop a comprehensive national gender strategy, policy and action plan addressing the structural factors that cause persistent inequalities with respect to women and girls, including intersecting forms of discrimination, with a special focus on disadvantaged groups such as women and girls with disabilities, those who are single parents, indigenous, Afro-Canadian, migrant, refugee, asylum-seeking, lesbian and bisexual women and girls, and transsexual and intersex persons;
(c) Ensure that indigenous women’s organizations are included in the countrywide nation-to-nation relationship in all cases in which issues of relevance to women apply;
(d) Strengthen the implementation of gender equality policies at the provincial and territorial levels and ensure that all government bodies involved receive sustained guidance and support in their implementation efforts, including sufficient human, technical and financial resources;
(e) Reinforce monitoring mechanisms to comprehensively and regularly assess progress in the implementation of provincial and territorial gender equality policies, plans and programmes and evaluate the impact of such efforts with a view to taking remedial action;
(f) Reopen the Status of Women Canada regional offices and ensure that they have adequate resources to provide appropriate services to women, especially those living in remote and rural areas.