He pro-life, pro-family organization, Realwomen of Canada, (realistic, equal, active, for life) has been bitterly attacked by the feminists in the past few months.  Why? Because it dares to put forward a different approach for the advancement and equality of women.  Also, it has dared to apply for grants to the Secretary of State, Women’s Programme, which has been lavishly underwriting the pro-abortion movement in Canada since 1973.  (See elsewhere in this issue for list of organizations receiving grants).

Moreover, Realwomen raised serious questions as to why the government is funding women’s lobby groups.  In the first place, in 1986, are women truly “disadvantaged?”  A very persuasive argument could be made that women as a group are piggy-backing on the genuinely disadvantaged, such as the handicapped, the native and the visible minorities.  It is true that some women who are handicapped are disadvantaged, as are some native women, or members of a visible minority. But are women as a group “disadvantaged?”

Apparently Realwomen is not the only group asking questions.  Deputy Prime Minister Erik Nielsen’s Task Force on Government Spending has recommended that the Women’s Programme budget be reduced from its present $12 million to $3 million.  It is significant that the Task Force states that the Women’s Programme is being used only to support a minority of women.  The report says:

“The study team, however, is particularly concerned that the Women’s Programme as it has evolved may be addressing the needs of upwardly-mobile, middle class professional women which so not necessarily coincide with the concerns and problems of the majority of women in Canada.”

To date, there is no indication thata the government is prepared to come to grips with this issue.  Thus, in view of the fact that the Secretary of State seems intent on continuing to fund “women’s groups,” Realwomen concluded that it has no alternative but to apply to participate in this funding.  To do otherwise would be to place our pro-family organization at an enormous disadvantage to that of the radical feminists.

Awaiting a reply

Realwomen first applied for a grant to the Women’s Programme in September 1984, and that a application was promptly denied.  In December 1985 a new application was made, and Realwomen is still awaiting a reply from the Secretary of State as to its grant.  The feminists of late have been complaining that there has been a delay in their grants.  They have mounted a campaign to pressure the government to return “their” money and, at the same time, are campaigning to prevent Realwomen from receiving any of this money.  In the April 1986 issue of the feminist newspaper, Victoria Status of Women News, funded by the Secretary of State, readers wee advised as follows:

“The Prime Minister’s office is counting letters waiting to see if women will politely wait for their ‘delays’ to be addressed.  Please write to Prime Minister Mulroney… Let him know women’s centre is vital to delivering women’s educational and cultural programs and improving the status of women.”

The feminists are also distributing a letter throughout their organizations in Canada, which is to be sent to the Prime Minister and all MPs, which reads in part as follows:

“Anti-choice organizations like Real women of Canada are trying to get government funding to oppose safe, legal abortion, day care, equal pay legislation and many other advances that women have been working for over the years.

“I hope you will press the government to fund only [emphasis theirs] those groups which are working for the advancement and wellbeing of women’s basis human rights.”

The beleaguered Secretary of State, Benot Bouchard, no doubt reeling from the assault to his senses, has assured the feminists, saying,

“Please be assured that there are no plans whatsoever to reduce or eliminate the Women’s Programme.  Its support to women’s and other voluntary groups which promote equality, and increased participation and independence of women in all aspects of Canadian society, has been a critical element in the growth and strength of the Canadian women’s movement.  I believe it also represents am important aspect of the federsal government’s commitment to improve the conditions and status of women.”

Improve the conditions and status of women?  By whose standards does abortion on demand, lesbianism, legalized prostitution, etc., improve the standards and conditions of women?  Certainly not by the standards of reasonablle, sensible and fair-minded Canadians.

Please write

Please write to the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada, House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6; the Hon. Benoit Bouchard, Secretary of State, 109 East Block, House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6; and your MP, House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6, and demand that if the government is to continue with the Secretary of State, Women’s Programme, that it must recognize and support all women’s groups, not just that of the radical feminists.

Gwen Landolt is one of the founders of Realwomen of Canada and is legal counsel to the organization.