"We are not a 'Special Interest' Group" Feminist organizations nationwide are protesting the latest in a series of attacks on Status of Women Canada (SWC).
On October 11, the Dominion reported that the Conservative government imposed a 40 per cent reduction of SWC's operating budget over two years, as well as new restrictions on the agency's grant program. In what might be described as an effort to de-politicize SWC, the government has forbidden the agency from funding groups that undertake advocacy or lobbying for women's rights. It has also removed the word "equality" from the agency's mandate. Following these cuts and restrictions, on November 28, Bev Oda, the minister responsible for SWC, announced the closure of 12 of 16 SWC regional offices, to take effect on March 31, 2007. Almost half of SWC's employees -- 61 of 131 -- will lose their jobs.
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