Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have this opportunity to speak to you today about the Status of Women Council of the NWT. Mr. Speaker, the Status of Women Council of the NWT was established in 1990 with a mandate to work towards the political, social and economic equality of all women in the NWT. The council works to achieve its mandate through research, public education, advocacy on behalf of women and assistance to women's groups.
Since its establishment, the council has undertaken an impressive amount of work in the areas of human rights education, wellness, family violence, income and employment, justice, political representation, and child care.
Given the nature of the council's work, Mr. Speaker, it is important to note that many of the projects they have initiated have not achieved overnight success. More often than not, these projects and initiatives have required a number of years of hard work and dedication. Ongoing and consistent efforts by the council and its staff have resulted in many progressive initiatives. These include:
- • continuing efforts to raise awareness about FAS/FAE;
- • the Women and Children's Healing and Recovery Program, which resulted from the work of the Coalition for New Futures for Northern Women; and
- • establishment of Family Violence Awareness Week, which we plan to make an annual event.
Mr. Speaker, there is a common strength that is reiterated throughout the work of the council. It is the strength of partnerships between non-government agencies and government, Mr. Speaker. The Status of Women Council has developed positive, productive working relationships with numerous agencies and they have shown that partnerships do work. We as a government, Mr. Speaker, have been part of this partnership and I am proud that we have been able to move forward with the council on a common agenda and a common purpose.
Mr. Speaker, later today at the appropriate time, I will be tabling the 1999-2000 Annual Report of the Status of Women Council of the NWT. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.