Strategies for the Year 2000

A Women’s Handbook

By Barbara Roberts and Deborah Stienstra  

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How well has Canada measured up to its obligations under the two agreements it signed during the UN Decade of Women? The authors of this book detail the terms of the conventions (the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Forward Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women by the Year 2000) and have painstakingly chronicled the progress the provincial, territorial, and federal governments have made towards fulfilling their legal obligations in areas such as women’s participation in decision-making, childcare, violence against women and so on. All levels of governments are found wanting. As an assessment of progress on women’s equality in Canada, it is fascinating reading and a thorough resource.

This book also has a second purpose. It is a how-to manual for women in Canada and elsewhere who wish to assess the progress made by their governments in implementing women’s equality obligations incurred by the signing of the two international agreements. The authors explain what these agreements entail and show how readers can select their own priority issues, gather information from official and popular sources, and work with women;s organizations to analyze how their governments have complied with, ignored, or violated these commitments. The book includes step-by-step examples of each stage of the process, and suggests some educational, lobbying and other activities groups might wish to undertake. Each chapter contains a brief list of Canadian and international references with suggestions for obtaining further resources.

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  • Government Obligations and Women’s Equality: The UN Decade of Women Agreements
  • Assessing Compliance
  • Women and Decision-Making
  • Childcare
  • Women, the Economy and Employment
  • Women, Education and Training
  • Women, the Environment and Peace
  • Women and Health
  • Women and the Law
  • Women and Poverty
  • Violence Against Women
  • Conclusion


  • Barbara Roberts

    Athabasca University

    Barbara Roberts teaches women’s studies at Athabasca University. She researches women’s peace and social justice activism. She was a coordinator of the Peace Tent, Nairobi NGO Forum in 1985. She is a long-time activist in helping women’s groups make governments accountable for their UN Decade commitments.

  • Deborah Stienstra

    University of Guelph

    Deborah Stienstra holds the Jarislowsky Chair in Families and Work, is a professor of political science and the director of the Live Work Well Research Centre at the University of Guelph. She held the Royal Bank Research Chair in Disability Studies from 2000-2003 at the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies. She has worked with national organizations including the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, FAFIA, and the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace. Her recent research interests include the effects of changes in public services on people with disabilities, women’s experiences as a result of economic restructuring, intersections between disability, race/ethnicity and Aboriginality, access and inclusion in telecommunications policy, and experiences of people with disabilities in end of life and cancer care. She is co-editor of Making Equality: History of Advocacy and Persons with Disabilities in Canada and the lead author of Women with Disabilities: Accessing Trade.

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