Office for the Status of Women

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About the Office

The Women’s Policy Office within the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador supports the development of programs and policies to advance the status of women in the province. The Office is located within Executive Council, and the staff report to the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women.

The Women's Policy Office is also the lead department for the Violence Prevention Initiative. The initiative is the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's six year, multi-departmental commitment to reduce the occurrence of violence in the province.

  • The Women’s Policy Office was established in 1985 to develop and expedite Government policies and programs to enhance the social and economic status of women and ensure that these are communicated to the public
  • Ensure that the impact on women of all legislation, policies and programs is brought to the attention of the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Cabinet, Cabinet Committees and departments
  • Monitor and review programs and other activities of government departments and agencies to ensure compliance and conformity with the government policy of improving the status of women
  • Liaise with provincial government departments and agencies, other governments and advisory councils and women’s organizations on all issues affecting women.

Our Vision and Mission

The Vision of the Women’s Policy Office is true social, legal, cultural and economic equality for women in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

By 2011, the Women’s Policy Office will have contributed to the advancement of women’s social, cultural, legal and economic equality in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Lines of Business

The Staff of the Women’s Policy Office are Responsible for:

Policy Analysis and Advisory Services
The Women’s Policy Office defines policy as any action taken by government. The Office applies gender based analysis to government policy in such forms as legislation, programs and services. By applying gender based analysis to government policy, the Women’s Policy Office provides advice to departments on how women are affected, highlights needs and gaps and advises on how gender equity can be better achieved.

Information Collection and Communication Services
The Women’s Policy Office is responsible for collecting policy relevant information from a variety of sources to provide evidence based policy advice and report annually on the status of women. To meet this responsibility, the Women’s Policy Office collects statistics and conducts research to assess the current status of women, as well as to identify systemic inequities and information gaps. As part of the information collection process, the Women’s Policy Office consults regularly with women and women’s organizations to identify ongoing and emerging issues of special concern as well as potential solutions. Beyond providing policy advice to government departments, the Women’s Policy Office communicates information on the status of women through publications, events and initiatives.

Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI) Services
The Women’s Policy Office administers a grants program for 10 regional violence prevention regional coordinating committees; coordinates the delivery of the Violence Awareness and Action Training Program; conducts research; coordinates departmental projects; facilitates meetings of VPI committees; coordinates public awareness on violence prevention and provides clearing house services for information on violence.

Grants Program
The Women’s Policy Office provides non-repayable grants to women’s organizations for activities and initiatives that seek to advance the status of women in Newfoundland and Labrador subject to approved criteria.

Working Within Government
Many government departments and agencies share responsibility for issues of special concern to women. The Women’s Policy Office works with all these departments and agencies to identify and analyze the issues and to help develop policies, programs, and legislation that advance the status of women.

The Women’s Policy Office acts as a catalyst within government, heightening awareness and initiating changes where needed. The WPO sits on cross-departmental committees such Poverty Reduction, Youth Attraction and Retention, Health Aging, Immigration, Birth Rate and Red Tape Reduction.

Acting as Federal-Provincial Liaison
The staff of the Women’s Policy Office maintains a close working relationship with federal, provincial and territorial counterparts. This includes ongoing participation in intergovernmental working groups which address such issues as child care, violence against women, Indigenous issues, and Acting as Federal-Provincial Liaison.

Working with the Community
The Women’s Policy Office carries out ongoing consultation with women’s groups and organizations as well as individual women. Women are consulted so that we can identify the issues of particular concern to them, and to ensure they have a say in government strategies designed to enhance their economic and social status.

Business, labour, and community groups are consulted to ensure that the concerns of women are considered at every level of decision-making.

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