FREDERICTON (GNB) – Federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) ministers responsible for the status of women, including Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister Tammy Scott-Wallace, endorsed a declaration for gender-based violence. The ministers held their annual meeting online Jan. 21 and 22.

“It is so important we work together as advocates to ensure the safety of New Brunswickers who face violence in their homes and relationships,” said Scott-Wallace. “We have seen gender-based violence become more widespread with COVID-19. This forum provided an important opportunity to discuss these timely issues with my counterparts from across the country. I would like to thank all of the ministers for their dedicated work and collaboration.”

The joint declaration affirms a common vision, principles and goals for responding to gender-based violence. The ministers said this federal, provincial and territorial collaboration represents an important step in developing a National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence in Canada. The National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence is separate from but complementary to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls National Action Plan.

The online meetings included discussions where the ministers shared perspectives and experiences from their jurisdictions. They also outlined their priorities and most pressing concerns about gender-based violence, including:

  • human trafficking, another significant danger to the health and safety of women and girls today;
  • COVID-19; and
  • the importance of taking into consideration gendered and intersectional economic impacts.

During the meetings, the ministers reiterated the importance of their collective work on gender equality, and the use of Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) to guide initiatives through the pandemic, taking into account the perspectives of National Indigenous leaders and representatives and the 2SLGBTQQIA communities.

Since the last FPT meeting in December 2019, the ministers said, the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified historic and systemic gender inequalities that continue to have a disproportionate impact on women.