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Montreal: Feminist Utopia?

Posted by Laura / March 22, 2007

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Two weeks ago, the City of Montréal adopted a "projet de politique d’égalité des femmes et des hommes." Yes, we now live in a city that has made the equality of men and women a matter of official policy. Great! So, now what?

According to the project’s website (French only as of this writing), there will be five areas of intervention including Government, City Employment, Economic, and International Development. Citizen Services is where most of us might firsthand see effects. This area includes programs for elderly and immigrant women and public safety and transit initiatives like Entre Deux Arrêts. Details will presumably follow on the website, which promises a public consultation process for the implementation.

Feminist urban planners historically have incorporated childcare and housework cooperatives into their visions for cities, understanding that fully gender-equal participation in the economy and government can’t happen through affirmative action and mentoring programs alone. Not surprisingly, Montréal's project falls short of advocating radical changes to social and economic structures. But it's a good start!

Any readers have experiences with women-specific urban programs or policies that the City should consider?

Discussion

6 Comments

csb / March 22, 2007 at 05:36 pm
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French only? Oh hell no...
gb / March 23, 2007 at 11:06 am
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@ csb

I'm not sure I understand the point of your comment, but, hey, here's an idea : write to the City and become a translator! If there were no anglophone officials involved in this project, or if nobody is available to translate the document, whose fault is it? Instead of complaining/judging/bi*ching/..., why don't you "be the change you wish to see in the world" (yeah, I know, that's not mine, quoting Gandhi)! And that goes both ways : lorsque je me sens laisée parce qu'un service/document/... n'est pas disponible en français, eh bien, ce n'est que ma responsabilité de m'inpliquer et de remédier à la situation! Chacun est personnellement responsable de briser nos fameuses "deux solitudes"... Just a thought :)

Also : thanks Laura for reporting this interesting initiative!
laura / March 23, 2007 at 01:55 pm
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CB: I too was a bit surprised, but I think it's just because the initiative is so new. I would say 99% of the City pages I've ever visited have had an English translation.

GB: you're welcome!
laura / March 23, 2007 at 01:56 pm
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CSB: I too was a bit surprised, but I think it's just because the initiative is so new. I would say 99% of the City pages I've ever visited have had an English translation. Since it's a city and not a federal page, it's not legally required to be in English, right people?

GB: you're welcome!

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