Saturday, May 9, 2009

What matters to you in the 2009 Nova Scotia election?

Women, girls and our allies - what issues are important to you in this election? If you could send a message to all the candidates and party leaders, what would it be?

Here are some of my thoughts...

  • Women's Centres are underfunded and need provincial government support so they can provide adequate salaries and attract/retain staff.
  • Women seem to be invisible in political discourse surrounding the economy, rural poverty, etc. Women's voices need to be heard in this election!

What do others think?


  1. What matters to me is that somehow the intent to build a poverty reduction strategy for NS is followed through and results in real positive changes for women. This would include more affordable housing to be built by community groups, higher welfare rates, more childcare in rural and urban areas, a rural transportation system that's accessible and affordable, more funding for post-secondary education (up-front grants to lower-income students, plus debt relief), and a thorough integration of a gender analysis in all government programs.

  2. Lucille, this blog is a great idea. I have been encouraged in the past few years with efforts to engage women into the political process especially through the campaign schools facilitated by NSACSW. As a working member of the Domestic Violence Committee struck by the Dept of Justice last spring, we know too well that poverty is one (if not the biggest) barrier for women leaving domestic abuse in this province. The transition houses are underfunded and in my case Alice HOusing is embarrassingly funded at a mere 11% by government. In the meantime, women continue to live in violence and in Nova Scotia, an alarming number die from intimate partner violence. I think it is always important to remember that just because parties field female candidates, womens issues may not be their priority and in some cases they are often anti women entrenched in patriarchal thinking. "Sperms with perms" is what I often hear these female candidates and/or elected official referred to.

  3. Nancy O'ReganMay 11, 2009 at 4:47 PM education, employment, social support and health care are all severely restricted to low income women by the lack of an adaquetly funded inclusive transportation system in Nova Scotia. In rural area it is the barrier that surfaces in almost all discussions about the needs of under-employed women, women who are aging without adequate financial support and women who have additional learning and physical challenges. I'm so tired of hearing about it and nothing gets done. Until all levels of government accept their responsibilities for safe, affordable infrasture, women will not be able to particpate fully in opportunities and programs.

  4. One issue I’d like to see addressed is access to reproductive health care. Midwifery care and abortion services are two health services where Nova Scotia women do not have equitable access. For midwifery care, I think it’s great that three test sites (in Antigonish, on the South Shore, and at the IWK in Halifax) have been established; however, there needs to be a concrete plan (including a timeline) for implementation in the rest of the province. As it stands right now, some women have access to midwives, but most don’t. Midwives essentially can’t work outside of the three test sites. In order to ensure access for all women in Nova Scotia, we need to have a plan – and hopefully that plan is implemented soon.

    Another issue of equitable access exists around abortion. In Nova Scotia, only 4 out of 30 hospitals offer abortion services – and there is only one facility that provides open abortion access. That’s the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, and it accounts for 85% of Nova Scotia’s abortions. Many women in rural areas have to travel long distances to access abortion services, and this can be time consuming and expensive; access is clearly not equitable across Nova Scotia.

    Simply put, these are issues of reproductive rights. Access to reproductive services isn’t something that always gets much air time, but reproductive rights issues are women’s issues, and something needs to be done.

  5. Access to mental healthcare is an important issue for me. I believe that women and girls suffer far too long before they get the care they require. Those healthcare professionals working in this field are doing their best more funding is needed.

  6. NS Buy Local Food planning concerns;Community Services,Labour Market Development, Natural Resources, Rural Economic Development, and Infrastructure Renewal; Health Promotion and Livelihood Protection to recover cultural culinary practices and restore health.

    When a population has food access, price, and stock concerns we store food, which leads to depletion; or collectively produce food; or insist food security is addressed by governments. (Maxwell ‘95,’99). Food quotas, susbsidies, and tarrifs affect local politics. The debate over agriculture and food negotiations is understood.