FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has released a report on advancing women’s equality stemming from the stakeholder engagement process to develop the New Brunswick Family Plan.

“We are focused on growing the economy and offering a good quality of life to all New Brunswickers,” said Finance Minister Cathy Rogers. “Advancing women’s equality helps grow the economy, strengthen education, and improve healthcare.”

The report aims to address inequities that persist in the workforce, including representation in positions of leadership, and challenges affecting the personal, economic and social security of all women. This is to be achieved through initiatives that reinforce access to education and training, financial independence and the right to live free from violence.

To promote gender equality and reduce systemic discrimination against women, efforts will be undertaken in the following areas of focus:

  • recruiting more women to fill positions of influence
  • enhancing gender equality
  • enhancing pay equity
  • increasing access to services and support for female victims of intimate partner violence
  • removing barriers to access and opportunities

“Participating in events and working groups in conjunction with the Women's Equality Branch has been important for our membership, over two-thirds of whom are women,” said Robert Burroughs, executive director of the New Brunswick Student Alliance. “We have a responsibility as an organization, and as a student movement, to work in partnership with the government and other stakeholders to advocate for gender equality, which is why we are supporting this initiative within the Family Plan.”

“As an agency that has been involved in ongoing engagements with the Women’s Equality Branch, the YWCA supports the initiatives to advance women’s equality in New Brunswick,” said Jewell Mitchell, executive director of the Moncton and Saint John associations. “We look forward to continuing our work through partnering with the Government of New Brunswick in support of the goals and actions of the Family Plan, which complement many of our programs and services for women and girls.”

The New Brunswick Family Plan builds on the goals and achievements of the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan and 10-year education plans. It also works in tandem with those plans to ensure that the government is tackling important issues in an integrated manner.

The New Brunswick Family Plan focuses government action in seven priority areas: improving access to primary and acute care; promoting wellness; supporting people with addictions and mental health challenges; fostering healthy aging and support for seniors; advancing women’s equality; reducing poverty; and supporting people with disabilities. Each pillar is the starting point for the development and implementation of policies, programs and strategies.