Top News

P.E.I. men, boys need equal education to prevent family violence, Green MLA says

Green MLA Stephen Howard, centre, is the opposition critic for transportation, infrastructure and energy and justice and public safety.
Green MLA Stephen Howard, centre, is the opposition critic for transportation, infrastructure and energy and justice and public safety. - Stu Neatby/The Guardian
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

About nine reports are being made to P.E.I. Child Protection Services every day, according to Green MLA Stephen Howard.

"That's nine children who may be hiding in their closets or worse tonight," he said.

Howard shared the recent statistic he obtained during a provincial legislature sitting in Charlottetown on Nov. 26. In a line of questioning surrounding family violence, he advocated the province offer more supports and education for men and boys to help prevent it.

"Family violence most often affects women and children, but it is not women's responsibility to fix this problem — it's everyone's responsibility."

He called on Natalie Jameson, minister responsible for status of women, to direct her department to provide more initiatives specifically for males.

Natalie Jameson - Contributed
Natalie Jameson - Contributed

 

To drive home his point, he criticized the October decision to give out free copies of a book to all of P.E.I.'s Grade 7 female students.

The book, In Their Own Words: Prince Edward Island's Famous Five outlines the lives of five women who held separate, influential positions in government at the same time in the early 1990s.

"A ground-breaking book about five amazing, strong and intelligent women that only our girls would learn about," Howard said.

Howard argued that by only offering the book to Grade 7 girls, it sends a message to boys that they shouldn't have to care about the women's accomplishments.

Our men need to stand up to the generational biases that hurt women," he said. "I'm not convinced that this minister truly understands the massive societal problem of gender bias is not solely women's responsibility to fix."

Jameson was surprised by the criticism. She said giving away the books was a wonderful gesture, and at the time it was made adamantly clear that it's also available for anyone to read in public spaces such as libraries, she said.

"Any boy in this province has access to it," she said. "(And) we can absolutely order some more."

In regard to preventing family violence, Jameson noted that the department is always looking for new programming and services.

"We are here to support families whether you're a woman or a man," she said.


AT A GLANCE:

In Their Own Words: Prince Edward Island's Famous Five, recounts five women who held the following positions at once:

  • Marion L. Reid, lieutenant-governor; 
  • Catherine Callbeck, premier;
  • Nancy Guptill, speaker of the house;
  • Elizabeth Hubley, deputy speaker; and
  • Pat Mella, leader of the official opposition.

In 1993, five Island women held the most influential seats in government. At the time, Marion Reid was the first female lieutenant-governor of P.E.I., Catherine Callbeck was P.E.I.’s first female premier, Nancy Guptill held the position of Speaker of the house, Elizabeth Hubley was the Deputy Speaker and Pat Mella was leader of the official Opposition. - Contributed
In 1993, five Island women held the most influential seats in government. At the time, Marion Reid was the first female lieutenant-governor of P.E.I., Catherine Callbeck was P.E.I.’s first female premier, Nancy Guptill held the position of Speaker of the house, Elizabeth Hubley was the Deputy Speaker and Pat Mella was leader of the official Opposition. - Contributed

 


Daniel Brown is a local journalism initiative reporter, a position funded by the federal government. Twitter.com/dnlbrown95

Did this story inform or enhance your perspective on this subject?
1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

Recent Stories