OTTAWA, April 26, 2022 – Today, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada participated in the United Nations 21st Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to improve working conditions for Inuit women working in the resource extraction industry. 

Speaking to representatives of the extractive industry in Canada, as well as the federal government and other stakeholders, President Gerri Sharpe highlighted the high levels of sexual harassment and violence experienced by Inuit women working in the male-dominated resource extraction industry and recommended measures to improve their health and safety.

“It is important to note that although Inuit Impact Benefit Agreements (IIBAs) are centered on potential economic impacts, there are no guarantees that critical issues such as health and safety, Gender-Based Analysis Plus, and access to information will be included in IIBAs,” said President Gerri Sharpe.

To ensure Inuit women and their families can benefit safely from employment opportunities in the resource sector, Pauktuutit is calling for: 

  • Involvement of all relevant stakeholders, including Inuit women and community members, in all aspects of IIBAs (i.e. development, negotiations, renegotiations, implementation, and monitoring processes).
  • Mandatory application of a Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) lens in community consultations and impact assessments prior to the creation of IIBAs and their subsequent monitoring, evaluation, and public reporting.
  • Designation of a larger regulatory role for the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, as well as for regional organizations, to effectively address workplace sexual harassment and prevent violence.
  • Revisions to existing policies and procedures to more effectively address workplace sexual harassment and prevent violence.
  • Implementation of workplace grievance mechanisms that are specifically designed and monitored by women.

A survey conducted by Pauktuutit in 2019 found that more than half of the Inuit women surveyed experienced repeated events of sexual harassment and violence while working in the resource extractions industry. To read the survey report, Addressing Inuit Women’s Economic Security and Prosperity in the Resource Extraction Industry,  click here

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Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada is the national non-profit organization representing all Inuit women in Canada.  Its mandate is to foster a greater awareness of the needs of Inuit women, and to encourage their participation in community, regional and national concerns relating to social, cultural and economic development.

For more information, contact: Amanda Deseure, [email protected], 613.806.3336.