Monday, December 04, 2006

Ka-BLOG Day 10: Recognizing online activism in Canada

Woohoo! Now this is great! Pam & Audra's Statusreport.ca gets serious ink in the Canadian Press: "Women upset with cuts to Status of Women Canada take protest to the web"
Audra Williams, who runs statusreport.ca - an online clearing house of information about Status of Women and ways to take action - says Canadians need to see the funding cuts as the "writing on the wall."
"It's important to realize that minister Oda is in charge of Status of Women Canada and it seems to be an agency she feels should not exist," says Williams, who runs a small communications business in Halifax focusing on activism and independent businesses. "Anytime you can steer conversation towards an important issue and follow that up with what you can do, that's super valuable."
And even better? I learned about another group of women who are--literally--taking back "the tech" and working to restore SWC: Bravo to Joanne Hussey for starting www.thewomenareangry.org [from the same CP article]:
Joanne Hussey says Prime Minister Stephen Harper owes her 29 cents - the amount of money, for every dollar, that Canadian women earn less than men. It's the message behind a campaign she and four other Halifax women have started, setting up a website and distributing pins and postcards to argue funding cuts to Status of Women Canada will only maintain that disparity.
And what began as a local project to pique interest in the Nova Scotia capital has quickly grown, with thousands of hits on the site and e-mails of support from across the country. "I think that it's really important the government knows that there isn't widespread support for these types of decisions," says Hussey. "We don't want our government making decisions that reverse strides that have been made over the last 20 and 30 years."
Although the article takes pains to note that Bev Oda hasn't visited either website, I think it's important to point out that Oda isn't really their audience anyway: the audience is us. If enough of us know about the cuts, and enough of us work to make the case for SWC, then funding will be restored. And just when I thought that nobody was listening...Dion uses his first opportunity in Question Period to call Harper on the carpet about the cuts:
“When the government is posting multi-million-dollar budget surplus, thanks to the previous Liberal government, why has the prime minister closed 12 of the 16 Status of Women offices across Canada, if it is not to cripple those who dare challenge his government's neo-conservative ideology?”
I'm no party-flack (neither Liberal, nor NDP, nor Green, etc...) but this certainly augurs well. After days of lamenting the fact that the L-Convention overshadowed all news about the SWC offices closing, I feel obligated to give credit where credit is due. Bravo, Dion! Bienvenue! {And if you do become our next PM, I will harangue you to live up to your word}

And a big, beautiful, booming "Bravo!" to Pam, Audra, & Joanne for your efforts!

technorati tags: takebackthetech

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