VICTORIA, B.C. – Sonia Furstenau, Deputy Leader of the B.C. Green Party, issued the following statement in recognition of International Women’s day:
“Today in British Columbia and around world we celebrate the accomplishments of women. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress, inspired by a time of growing activism around the world,” said Furstenau.
Furstenau also tabled a petition from Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) requesting the restoration of core funding. Following 2004 funding cuts, one half of B.C.’s women-serving organizations were forced to close. The WAVAW petition says that while the organization is heartened by recent project funding for counselling services in the 2018 provincial budget, core funding will provide greater stability. Due to lack of core funding, WAVAW presently has an 18 month waitlist for counselling services.
“In the past year we have seen another Women’s March, the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement, and more. Yet in spite of this, the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap reports that gender parity is still 200 years away. Women continue to face disproportionate levels of violence, experience poverty at higher rates and have limited access to education and healthcare. These problems are especially prevalent for LGBTQ+ women, differently abled women, women of colour and Indigenous women.
“The B.C. Green Party is proud to take part in the International Women’s Day celebrations and to recognize the women in our lives. We celebrate today on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen, Songhees and Esquimalt peoples, whose Missing and Murdered Sisters demonstrate the tragic and ongoing effect of colonial gender-based violence in our community.
Today, as proud feminists, we voice our support for the global movement towards gender parity. We will fight for a future without gender-based violence, where women of all backgrounds are heard, believed and represented equally in all of our institutions.”