What Do Canadian Women Have Against Stephen Harper?

Do you want to know the pick up line that goes over best with Canadian women?  Check out this video to find out:


Over the five years Stephen Harper has been prime minister, he has:

  • closed 12 out of 16 status of women offices across Canada

  • eliminated funding of legal voices for women, including the National Association of Women in Law

  • eliminated funding for Sisters in Spirit, an internationally praised organization leading investigations into 600 cases of missing and murdered aboriginal women and girls.

Since 2006, Harper has cut funding for women’s advocacy by 43%.

More links:

Project For Slain Women Faces End: Federal Funding for Sisters in Spirit Ends March 31

Tories Accused of Culture of Intimidation

Sisters in Spirit

Canada’s Environment Minister Says Cutting Greenhouse Gases is Pointless

Stand With The “Sisters on the Planet” on International Women’s Day

Oxfam’s Sisters on the Planet initiative recognizes that climate change hits poor people hardest—especially poor women, who are disproportionately affected. As their website states:

People like to talk about global warming like it’s a problem to deal with in the future. But the reality is that poor people are already struggling with it right now. You don’t have to go to drought-riddled Ethiopia or flood-threatened Cambodia or malaria-prone South Africa to witness it. Just take a trip to the hurricane-battered US Gulf Coast or look at the damage done by the wildfires in California. Climate change kills off crops, destroys homes, and creates massive refugee problems. There’s no time to waste. We must help poor communities deal with the effects right now…

If we act quickly, we can reduce the damaging impact that climate change has on poor people’s lives and livelihoods. But if we fail to help in time, they will suffer far greater damage, and at a much higher human and financial cost.

Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) recently presented an extensive report on women and climate change to the British House of Commons.  The report documents how catastrophe related to climate change will have a much greater impact on women. Entitled ‘Engendering Change’, the report points out that because of ongoing gender inequality, different social roles, and simple biology, women are more likely to die in extreme weather conditions, to  suffer from increased workload,  and be subject to abuse, including sexual violence, in resource conflicts exacerbated by climate change.  As their Women & Climate Change blog states:

The report’s conclusions include a sobering fact, that women constitute up to 80% of climate refugees, that 20 million women have already lost their homes and livelihoods due to climate change related weather chaos. The IPCC says that extreme weather conditions are set to increase and become more frequent. The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction shows clearly that since 1970 the numbers of extreme weather events has increased from around 25 per year for floods to 200 per year with incidences of droughts, wind storms and related disasters also increasing. As we discovered in Copenhagen, climate change is already causing chaos around the world and disproportionately claiming women’s lives, safety and health.

If you are a woman, or you have a wife or a daughter or a mother that you care about, use this International Women’s Day to take action to ensure a better, safer future for them.  Some of things each of us can do are:

Tell our political leaders that climate change is an urgent issue and needs to be addressed.  Click here for more on how to do this.

If you are in the US, click here to go to the “action” page of Sisters on the Planet, and sign up to become a sister (or brother).

To read about how climate change is affecting women in Africa, go to allAfrica.com. To find out more facts and figures on gender and climate change, go to this UNIFEM page.

Click here to visit the Women’s Environmental Network blog.

Canada’s Environment Minister Says Reducing Green House Gases Pointless

If you want to tell Mr. Prentice that it is pointless to ignore the risk of global climate destabilization from climate change any longer, click here for his contact info.

  • In an interesting twist, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is now saying he wants to work on saving the most vulnerable people on earth, women and children.  In a recent opinion article in The Toronto Star, Harper wrote:

“As president of the G8 in 2010, Canada will champion a major initiative to improve the health of women and children in the world’s poorest regions.”

However, as Star environment columnist Peter Gorrie points out, the most recent UN “State of the World’s Population Report” states women are the segment of the population most vulnerable to suffer from climate change -related effects:

Women … are among the most vulnerable to climate change, partly because in many countries they make up the larger share of the agricultural work force and partly because they tend to have access to fewer income-earning opportunities.

Women manage households and care for family members, which often limits their mobility and increases their vulnerability to sudden weather-related natural disasters. Drought and erratic rainfall force women to work harder to secure food, water and energy for their homes. Girls drop out of school to help their mothers with these tasks (creating a) cycle of deprivation, poverty and inequality.

Gorrie goes on to conclude:

If Harper were serious about his new campaign, he’d put Canada in the lead on climate change rather than keep us a laggard. He’d make that policy part of a coherent effort to change the conditions that condemn so many women and children to desperate, short lives.

Click here to read Gorrie’s full article.