Secularism: Minister Charest gagged, according to the FFQ

The Minister responsible for the Status of Women, Isabelle Charest, is gagged by his own government in the matter of secularism, said the Federation of Women of Quebec (FFQ).
M me Charest said in February that the veil is a symbol of oppression of women, and had qualified his remarks. She has since been silent about this issue.

The work of the Minister, who is a former Olympian, is being called into question, as the government refuses to conduct a gender-based analysis (DSA) and maintains that Bill 21 will not affect any more. women than men.

The legislative intent is to prohibit the wearing of religious symbols by state employees in positions of authority, including teachers. A grandfather clause would allow people already employed by the government to continue to wear their religious symbols, as long as they remain in the same position. At least 80% of teachers in Quebec are women.

When studying the estimates for the women’s issue, on April 15, Minister Charest read the lines prepared for her by the government according to which the bill affects all religions, both men and women, equally. women, and that it is one step closer to gender equality.

She sent any questions on secularism to her colleague and Minister of Immigration, Simon Jolin-Barrette.

“Not great power”

The president of the FFQ, Gabrielle Bouchard, who opposes the bill, said she found that Minister Charest just does not carry weight in Legault. “She does not have much power,” she said in an interview.

“The one who is there to represent our rights at all does not have the right or the space to be able to speak and intervene,” she added. I find it extremely disappointing on the part of the government. ”

However, it is possible to appropriate the issue of the status of women in Quebec and show empathy for all women, according to the predecessor of Ms. Charest, the liberal Hélène David, who recognizes however that the games are sometimes difficult.

“It’s a responsibility with a signature,” she says. Or you sign or you do not sign. […] I had decided to sign. But what do you want, we do not always make friends inside our council of ministers. We must push […]. ”

“I’m not sure that Ms. Charest is doing it by tapping her foot very hard,” she added.

Abortion

In addition, the three opposition parties say they would have liked Ms. Charest to strongly denounce the words of the leader of the People’s Party of Canada, Maxime Bernier, about abortion.

While in Quebec last Tuesday, Beauceron discussed the possibility of debating a law that would restrict the right of women to abortion. “Where is she on this?” Asked Helen David.

“The minister does not comment on what Mr. Bernier said,” Charest’s press officer Alex Poulin wrote in response to an interview request from The Canadian Press.

Nevertheless, he e-mailed a tweet from the minister: “The right to abortion is an important achievement for women. Quebeckers can always count on our government to defend this right. ”

The day before in Washington, the Prime Minister François Legault had declared that for him, “it is a question that has been settled for a long time in Quebec. Quebeckers are elsewhere. “

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