Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women (PACSW)
The Newfoundland and Labrador Advisory Council on the Status of Women is an independent organization with a mandate to advise, advocate and educate on matters pertaining to the status of women in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Advisory Council is arms-length from Government and draws its information, analysis and strategies from the provincial women's community through equality-seeking feminist organizations, as well as individual women and women's groups with whom we share a common equality agenda.
The Council consists of an eleven-woman Board of Directors, including a President/CED and Vice President, who are appointed for a three-year term. The President/CEO's position is salaried and she works to maintain an everyday presence on issues of women's equality and inclusion. In 1996, the Board was restructured to include members nominated by grassroots equality-seeking women's councils in Newfoundland and Labrador. Throughout the 2002-03 period, the Council worked with women's equality-seeking groups, the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women and the Women's Policy Office to develop feminist criteria for future appointment to the Board of Directors. These criteria ensure that Board members have knowledge of women's equality issues, are connected to the provincial women's community, and are able to reflect women's everyday realities and experiences in communities and regions throughout the province. Along with the President/CEO, a Community Liaison/Communications Director and a Secretary/Bookkeeper support the everyday work of the Advisory Council.
The Council recognizes that women's equality and inclusion are essential to the decision making which guides the direction of our organizations, communities and province. However, women are still not equal in our society and, despite the advances of recent decades, violence and gender discrimination are pervasive. The Council uses its strong connection to women's groups to provide information and analysis to Government about the differing impacts of programs, policies, services and legislation on women, families and communities.
The Advisory Council was established in 1980 by the Government of the day, and received legislative standing with the introduction of the Status of Women Advisory Council Act. Throughout its history, Council Board and Staff have worked with Premiers, Cabinet Ministers, Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women and interested Members of the House of Assembly from all political parties to advance the status of women throughout the province.
The Advisory Council advises, advocates, lobbies and educates on issues affecting the status of women in Newfoundland and Labrador. This work is accomplished by using the information and analysis of the Board, the skills of Staff and the sharing of strategies with other women's equality/equity organizations. The Council works through feminist process and practice both within the framework of Board meetings and by using a team approach to Staff work. This is accomplished through validation, shared decision making and constantly working toward the creation of a woman-centered environment.
The Advisory Council home is located in St. John's where two-day Board meetings are held quarterly. Council Staff are accessible by phone, fax and email and are available to meet with community and government representatives.