FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has doubled funding for the New Brunswick’s Women’s Council. The additional resources are intended to increase the council’s capacity to conduct research and publicize data on matters of importance to women’s equality.

“The work of the Women’s Council in advancing women's equality helps inform evidence-based decision-making to grow our economy, strengthen education and improve health care,” said Premier Brian Gallant, who is also the minister responsible for women’s equality. “Continued investments in the New Brunswick Women's Council will support the council in providing government with evidence-based advice on matters of importance to women.”

In addition to supporting the group’s existing work, the funding will allow the council to study and hold consultations on matters identified through its own research or others referred to the council by the government. To that end, the government has asked the council to research the best ways to engage the public in ending gender-based violence while building on existing community, academic and government efforts.

The council has been asked to:

  • Identify key influencers and levers within a broad range of societal and institutional structures to address and end gender-based violence.
  • Provide recommendations on how to encourage intentional leadership to create societal commitment enabling transformative change.
  • Examine the role of all New Brunswickers in ending gender-based violence.
  • Identify ways to specifically engage men and boys in participating, supporting and, where appropriate, leading the work to end gender-based violence.

“This increase in funding will support the council in delivering on its mandate to provide independent advice to government and bringing issues to public attention,” said New Brunswick Women’s Council executive director Beth Lyons. “The council is eager to increase its capacity for data-driven work, as well as public engagement and consultation, and welcomes requests from government for advice on specific issues.”

The 2015-16 budget established an independent budget for the Voices of New Brunswick Women Consensus-Building Forum of $418,000. In spring 2016, through the introduction of the New Brunswick Women’s Council Act, legislative framework was established for the forum, which is now known as the New Brunswick Women’s Council.

In May 2017, the government proclaimed legislation to formally establish the council as an independent advisory body. The New Brunswick Women’s Council Act provides a legislative framework that ensures funding and independence for the council. The council is comprised of members representing equity-seeking organizations, as well as individuals.

An area of focus in the New Brunswick Family Plan framework is advancing women’s equality to promote gender equality and reduce systemic discrimination against women.