Creation of Women’s Policy Office

As the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s involvement in policies and programs of special concern to women grew more complex, the need for a formal internal government structure became apparent. In 1985, the Women Policy Office was created as an internal government mechanism to deal exclusively with women’s issues. The first Director of Research and Planning for the Women’s Policy Office was Dorothy Robbins.

The Women’s Policy Office was initially housed in the Department of Career Development. In May 1988 the Women’s Policy Office achieved Central Agency status when it became a branch of the Executive Council under the direction of Minister Len Simms. This change enhanced the ability of the Women’s Policy Office to carry out its government wide responsibilities.

Since it’s establishment, the Women’s Policy Office states “it has worked to develop and expedite government policies and programs to enhance status of women in the province and ensure that these are communicated to the public; ensure that the impact on women of all legislation policies and programs is bought 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; and liaise with provincial government departments and agencies, other governments and advisory councils and women’s organizations on all issues affecting women.”