Feminist agency fights attempt at scrutiny of its ideological bias


Status of Women, Canada’s federal agency promoting feminism in Parliament for over 30 years, is under scrutiny and fighting back, all at taxpayers’ expense, says REAL Women of Canada, a national pro-marriage, pro-family women’s rights organization. Status of Women, established by the Trudeau Liberals in 1973 to promote “gender equity” in Canadian politics, has engineered a “counter offensive” against current efforts to force the agency to come clean on its ideological bias.

In April this year, REAL Women of Canada sent a letter to Canada’s MPs, calling for the defunding and disbanding of Status of Women. Since then, a backlash of letters, media columns and e-mails to REAL Women’s Ottawa and Toronto offices has come from the taxpayer-funded feminist agency.

In an action alert sent out to supporters, REAL Women said the evidence indicates Status of Women itself arranged to have an Access to Information request that would reveal all correspondence to and from MPs in response to REAL Women’s letter. This, said Gwen Landoldt, REAL Women’s vice-president, will expose MPs who might be questioning the agency’s usefulness to pressure from the feminist lobby.

This strategy, Landolt said, is going to be used in the next election. “That the Conservative government dared to question the feminist agenda is going to be a valuable stick for them come election time.”

Columns from prominent Canadian feminist journalists have appeared, slamming REAL Women for having criticized Status of Women. On June 30, feminist columnist Heather Mallick wrote on the website of the CBC that REAL Women represents a threat to all that feminism has wrought, from the gay-rights movement to abortion-on-demand. Mallick wrote, “If REAL Women were successful, the result would be bullying of these women: those wanting off welfare but who can’t afford childcare … poor women who need abortions and women beaten to a pulp who are afraid to venture on the street.”

Landoldt responded, “Funny how all of a sudden, after years of ignoring us outright, REAL Women of Canada is getting so much press. I wonder what they are afraid of.”

The letters and columns have all emphasized the supposed threat to funding for shelters for battered women should REAL Women’s demands gain a hearing in Parliament. Support of battered women’s shelters, as with all social agencies, however, is under provincial, not federal jurisdiction. REAL Women points out that the appeal to the hard case of battered and impoverished women is a red herring to play on the emotions of Canadians.

Landoldt told LifeSiteNews.com that in the 33 years of its existence, Status of Women has never funded or represented any group that has any other political or ideological position than those of the radical feminist agenda. “Why should the government continue paying for an organization that has always represented only a tiny portion of public opinion, to lobby the government against itself?”

“Canada is the country with one of the most powerful feminist lobbies in the world and it is entirely because it is being funded by the government or, in other words, by taxpayers. No one has dared to question or criticize it until now. Why do we have a standing committee on the status of women? Why a cabinet position? Why not for men? Why not for some other group?” Landoldt asked.

REAL Women’s criticisms of Status of Women have garnered some results. Ian Brodie, Stephen Harper’s chief of staff, said the REAL Women letter “raises interesting points that warrant close inspection” and forwarded it to Bev Oda, the minister for heritage and the Status of Women. On the same day that Mallick’s column appeared, REAL Women was, for the first time, invited to a Status of Women meeting in Ottawa to air its concerns.
Landoldt said, “We do want this radical agency to be disbanded in the government, the cabinet and the standing committee. It’s the only thing that has sustained the feminist grip in Canada. They do not have public support, but are keeping going at public expense.”

Landoldt said that until Parliament resumes this fall, there will not be much movement. In the meantime, REAL Women is calling on supporters to contact their MPs with their concerns about Status of Women.

This article originally appeared August 13 at LifeSiteNews.com and is reprinted with permission.

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