FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government proclaimed legislation formally establishing the New Brunswick’s Women’s Council as an independent advisory body on matters of importance to New Brunswick women.

"We understand that advancing women's equality helps strengthen our economy, education and health care,” said Premier Brian Gallant, who is also the minister responsible for women’s equality. “By restoring the funding and ensuring the independence of the New Brunswick Women's Council, we will be even more in a position to make evidence-based decisions to advance women's equality here in our province.”

The New Brunswick Women’s Council Act provides a legislative framework that ensures funding and independence for the council. This legislation provides the council with the mandate to promote the equality of women and girls, to provide advice to government on matters of importance to women, and to bring attention to public issues of interest and concern to women. The council is comprised of members representing equity-seeking organizations, as well as individuals.  

“The New Brunswick Women’s Council strongly supports this act, which enshrines the council’s independence and mandate,” said Beth Lyons, the council’s executive director. “We look forward to continuing our efforts to provide the government with independent advice on matters of importance to women and their substantive equality.” 

The government and the council worked in partnership to draft the legislation.

The establishment of this act is one of several current initiatives the government has facilitated to advance women’s equality. Others brought forth during this past legislative session include:

  • hosting an Economic Opportunities Summit on gender equality at work
  • creating gender parity among full-time judges presiding over the provincial court
  • developing a financial incentive to encourage the recruitment of female political candidates
  • introducing the Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Act
  • changing the names of two offices to be more gender-neutral
  • establishing a program to provide universal access to Mifegymiso

The government released the New Brunswick Family Plan’s Advancing Women’s Equality report on Thursday. It includes actions that will be undertaken to promote gender equality and reduce systemic discrimination against women.