B.C. is not meeting its obligations to women under international human rights law. That was the clear message of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in comments issued recently in New York City.
The U.N. Committee singled out the province of British Columbia for criticism in its review of Canada’s compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The Committee is concerned about the disproportionately negative impact on women and girls of a number of recent changes in British Columbia, including: funding cuts to legal aid and welfare assistance; narrowed eligibility rules for welfare; the elimination of the freestanding Ministry of Women’s Equality; the abolition of the independent Human Rights Commission; the closing of a number of courthouses; cuts in support programmes for victims of domestic violence; and proposed changes regarding prosecution of domestic violence.