Media Release: Women's Full Participation Part of Economic Recovery

Elementary Teacher's Federation of Ontario

Elementary Teacher's Federation of Ontario Media Release on International Women's Day:

Women's Full Participation Part of Economic Recovery

TORONTO, March 4 /CNW/ - International Women's Day which takes place on March 8th each year is a time to celebrate women's achievements in Canada and around the world and to reflect on the work yet to be done both at home and abroad.

Unfortunately it will not be a time of celebration for many Ontario women who face the prospect of disappearing subsidized child-care spaces and higher child-care costs. Canada has been criticized internationally for its lack of a universal child-care program. In Ontario, with federal funding to support the expansion of regulated child care coming to a close, nearly 8,000 subsidized child-care spaces and several thousand child-care sector jobs are at risk of disappearing.

"Our federation will continue to press the federal government to restore funding for child care. In the meantime, it is critical that Ontario find a way to restore the $130 million in child-care funding cut by the previous Conservative government. Like Ontario's continued investment in public education, support for child care is key to the healthy development of young children and to the ability of parents to work, retrain, or attend school. This investment would work toward economic recovery and give thousands of children the early childhood education and care they need to thrive and succeed," said Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) President Sam Hammond.

This year the 54th Session of the UN Status of Women (March 1-12) also marks the 15th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This platform outlines 12 critical areas of action for governments in order to ensure the full participation of women in civil society. As one of the signatories, Canada can be proud of its work over the past decade but the government must recognize there is much more to be done. Far too many Canadian women continue to live in poverty, are victims of violence, and are under represented in decision making. For Aboriginal women the record is appalling.

"The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario is proud of the leadership it has taken on equity and women's issues. We continue to call on the government of Canada to focus on real ways to enable women's full participation in society and to honour all of its commitments to the Beijing Platform for Action," said Hammond.

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 73,000 elementary public school teachers and education workers across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

For further information: Sam Hammond, President, ETFO, (416) 962-3836 (office); Larry Skory, ETFO Communications, (416) 962-3846 (office), (416) 948-0195 (cell)