Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, along with Anita Vandenbeld, Member of Parliament for Ottawa West-Nepean announcedon March 6, 2017 that Planned Parenthood Ottawa is receiving $285,000 for a three-year project to improve services for women in the Ottawa area who are “experiencing gender-based violence, in particular, violence related to sexual and reproductive coercion.”
According to the official statement, this project will be particularly focused on addressing issues of sexual and reproductive coercion, implementing an interagency protocol and set of guidelines, ensuring an ongoing knowledge-exchange among the service providers and will include the development of a national strategy to disseminate information and “support women’s right to choose what is best for their sexual and reproductive health.”
“Gender-based violence is a reality that far too many women in our communities still face. That’s why the Government of Canada is taking this action to improve services for women experiencing violence in the Ottawa area, particularly coercion related to their sexual and reproductive health and rights. It is part of our multifaceted approach to preventing all forms of violence against women and girls,” said Minister Monsef.
In a recent interview with The Canadian Press, Monsef said that “reproductive health rights in Canada and around the world are critical to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.” Monsef added, “We’re committed to making sure that women and girls have that choice, because otherwise, this is a form of gender-based violence.”