Women & Social Assistance

In 2008, the CEDAW Committee expressed concern “at reports of cuts in social assistance schemes in many provinces and at the resulting negative impact on the rights of vulnerable groups of women such as single mothers, aboriginal women, Afro-Canadian women, immigrant and migrant women, elderly women and disabled women, who rely on social assistance for an adequate standard of living.” While the Government of BC is responsible for implementing social assistance programs and standards, the CEDAW Committee was concerned at the lack of federal accountability and recommends that such programs be assessed and monitored to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable women are served. The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has also expressed concern about women’s poverty in BC, and noted that inadequate social assistance presents an additional obstacle for women fleeing abusive relationships.

In its 2008 shadow report, the BC CEDAW Group documented numerous problems for women resulting from BC’s social assistance scheme. In 2009, BC’s Ombudsman released a report that is critical of social assistance in the province, and the Ministry of Housing and Social Development accepted 27 of the 28 recommendations. The resulting legal and policy amendments included one important change for single mothers of children aged three and under, who are no longer required to comply with a three week work-search requirement prior to being eligible to receive welfare. Despite this positive step, there has been little progress on improving social assistance for women since the last CEDAW Committee review in 2008. In fact, BC continues to have the highest overall poverty rate in the country at 13%, which includes disproportionately high numbers of women, children and Aboriginal people. With the economic crisis resulting in 47% more recipients of social assistance between September 2008 and May 2009, the government needs to work harder on ensuring equal access to sufficient social assistance for women and marginalized people.


About ritajasper

Rita Jasper strives to produce work that makes social impact or simply provokes thought to bring about awareness & different points of view.
This entry was posted in Poverty awareness and how issues can be addressed, Secrets in the Forest, Women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Women & Social Assistance

  1. ritajasper says:

    The statement below is copied from the above post:
    “The resulting legal and policy amendments included one important change for single mothers of children aged three and under, who are no longer required to comply with a three week work-search requirement prior to being eligible to receive welfare.” Unless the government has changed this I want to point out that if a woman has a child that is 4, 5, 6 or older, the chances of her being out of the work force taking care of her children are quite high; so, if she has been out of the work force for that length of time, a job search would prove difficult and highly unsuccessful as her work skills would be out of date.

  2. When a government doesn’t value its children it has no moral authority. And the Campbell government has none. Women must get it together, as women, and as mothers and grandmothers, and demand that children become a priority. The problem as I see it, is that women are too divided by race and class to present a unified challenge to government. When high income women vote to preserve their wealth instead of an equal division of wealth so that all children may prosper they are not a friend of women and children provincially, certainly not when we have the highest rates of child poverty in the country. But I think this can change. Especially as more and more women who believe themselves to be securely anchored in the middle classes may find their own financial security threatened with the increasing threat of global economic chaos. Gordon Campbell, with his greedy, grasping heart and shriveled soul may prove to be a catalysis that will waken more women and bind them together. Mother Nature works in mysterious ways.

  3. Rita Jasper says:

    Hi Betty,

    Thanx for your comment. I’m very happy to know you.

    If you like what I’ve done so far, could you:
    subscribe to the blog?
    send an email to your contacts to let them know about this & other discussions with this link https://ritajasper.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/women-social-assistance
    The reason is that I suspect you may know lots of like minded women that would like to share their comments because that’s how we:
    educate and empower each other, and
    my blog, with help from you and others, will by the end of September be a very large GATHERING place for like minded people.

    Juan Sanchez, an artist I interviewed for a magazine, told me that the reason the government (S. American) ordered soldiers to tear down the paintings he hung in the PUBLIC market is because they provoked THOUGHT. And as a GATHERING place it is important to note that, when people come together they have power in numbers; this is what blogs can be and this is what I hope my blog turns into.

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