06 MARCH 2015
(FREDERICTON, NB) – New Brunswick's Green Party Leader and Fredericton South MLA David Coon joins in solidarity with women across New Brunswick and throughout the world in embracing the theme of International Women's Day 2015, "Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It."
"Sunday is a celebration of spirit," Mr. Coon said. "Women's inequality in our communities must be eliminated by focusing on effective action by whatever means we have available to us as individuals and policymakers. I was delighted to learn that Sue Calhoun, who has done so much on behalf of women in New Brunswick, is a delegate at the 59th Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York," the Green Party Leader added.
He said that while much progress has been made since the first Women's Day was observed over a century ago, there is still more to be done.
"With social assistance rates in New Brunswick the lowest in Atlantic Canada, it is no wonder women and children still represent the majority of people who rely on food banks," he said.
Megan Mitton, the Women's Equality critic for the New Brunswick Green Party is in agreement. "We cannot remain complacent and accept the injustice and inequality that still affect women in our communities. Women in New Brunswick are negatively impacted by the lack of pay equity, universal childcare and access to the reproductive healthcare services they need."
The MLA for Fredericton South said the government's decision to repeal regulation 84-20 of the Medical Services Payment Act that had required women to seek permission from two doctors to access abortion services is an important step forward, but said it is failing women by not funding services in the community where more compassionate and affordable care can be provided than what is possible through Moncton-area hospitals.
The first Women's Day was observed in February 1909 in recognition of the 1908 garment workers' strike in New York when women protested against poor working conditions. In 1913 a group of Russian women campaigning for peace agreed March 8th would be celebrated annually as International Women's Day.