Provincial Government Supports Gender Equality and Consent Awareness Weeks
September 18, 2023
The Honourable Pam Parsons, Minister Responsible for Women and Gender Equality, is encouraging Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to join the Provincial Government in its support for Gender Equality Week (September 17-23) and Consent Awareness Week (September 18-22).
Gender Equality Week resulted from the Federal Government’s passing of Bill C-309 – the Gender Equality Week Act, in June 2018, and is designated annually to raise awareness of the important contributions women and gender diverse communities have made and continue to make towards the growth, development, character and identity of Canada. This year’s theme is “United for Gender Equality: Stronger Together.”
Consent Awareness Week is an opportunity to reflect on, champion and celebrate consent as a cornerstone for all types of relationships, not just intimate ones. The week is also an opportunity to explore valuable life skills related to consent, including how to respond to rejection, articulate boundaries, respect bodily autonomy and actively listen to others.
Both Gender Equality Week and Consent Awareness Week coincide with Newfoundland and Labrador’s first-ever Well-Being Week, a time to bring awareness to the influence of social factors on health outcomes and quality of life. Inclusive and stigma-free social connections are social determinants of health, and working toward a province that achieves gender equality and where bodily autonomy and personal boundaries are recognized and discussed in an open, stigma-free way is key to promoting well-being among women and gender diverse individuals.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador recognizes the value of human rights, freedoms, and of supporting people to live as their most authentic selves. This is particularly evident in the expanded mandate of the Office of Women and Gender Equality, which aims to advance the social, economic, cultural, and legal status of women in our province, and works to advance violence prevention initiatives and equality among people of all genders.
In recent years, the office has advanced key initiatives to advance gender equality and violence prevention, including:
- Creating the Premier’s Roundtable on Gender Equity, a dedicated space to further advance gender equity in the province and providing stakeholders with an opportunity to help shape solutions that foster inclusion and respect in Newfoundland and Labrador. The most recent roundtable in February 2023 had close to 60 participants, with health and well-being at the forefront of the discussion;
- Continuing to advance workforce development initiatives that help upwards of 2,300 women annually to get the training to become employed, and women entrepreneurs get the necessary supports to create jobs for themselves and others by starting their own business;
- Budget 2023: Your Health. Our Priority. Invested more than $3.3 million to violence prevention and equity-seeking organizations, and the Provincial Government continues to work with the Federal Government to enhance crisis hotlines in Newfoundland and Labrador;
- Along with the Office of Indigenous Affairs and Reconciliation, established a Provincial Indigenous Women’s Reconciliation Council to establish a collaborative ongoing working relationship between Indigenous women and the Provincial Government. The first meeting was held in June 2023; and
- Introduced legislation to address pay equity and pay transparency in the province, and consulted with members of the public and stakeholders to inform the regulations for the legislation.
“In order to improve the well-being of women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals in this province, our government continues to prioritize collaboration with groups working toward achieving gender equality, including Indigenous Groups and Organizations. We are also committed to fostering a culture of respect where valuable life skills related to consent are respected, and where violence of any kind is not tolerated.”
Honourable Pam Parsons
Minister Responsible for Women and Gender Equality
Gender Equality Week
Consent Awareness Week
Premier Furey Announces the Launch of Well-Being Week 2023