Gender Sensitive Budget Policies

NAWL has called on the federal government to ensure that all women have access to decent housing, quality health care, adequate income security, improved maternity and parental benefits and universal, publicly funded childcare. These measures require federal funding. NAWL wrote to the Minister of Finance to stress the importance of developing gender sensitive budget policies.

Honourable Ralph Goodale
Minister of Finance
House of Commons, Ottawa

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Minister Goodale,

I am writing on behalf of the National Association of Women and the Law to congratulate you on your recent re-appointment to the Cabinet as Minister of Finance.

NAWL is a national non-profit organization that promotes women’s equality rights through law reform. Over the last few years, NAWL has submitted extensive briefs to different federal departments’, task forces and committees working on a host of issues that are relevant to ensuring women’s equality, such as improving the Canadian Human Rights Act, improving legislative provisions on pay equity, reforming the Divorce Act provisions on custody and access and improving access to family law legal aid, for example. Through our work with other women’s groups, we have been calling on the federal government to ensure that all women have access to decent housing, to quality health care, adequate income security, improved maternity and parental benefits and universal, publicly funded childcare.

Obviously, all these measure require federal funding and adequate budget allocations. NAWL has in the past submitted briefs and made presentations to the Finance Committee in the course of its’ pre-budget consultations. However, we have been very disappointed to the lack of interest in assessing the impact of budget allocations and fiscal policies on women, despite the fact that many jurisdictions and international institutions are acknowledging the importance of developing gender sensitive budget policies.

We are writing to request a meeting with you to discuss our concerns and to discuss how your department could start using gender sensitive budget methodologies.

Yours truly,

Andrée Côté

For NAWL’s Budget and Fiscal Policies Working Groups Co-Chairs
Professor Kim Brooks, Law Faculty, University of British Columbia
Professor Lisa Philipps, Law Faculty, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University

c.c.: Madame Liza Frulla, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women