Marie-Claude Blais says the new forum is expected to be operating by the fall. (CBC)

Two years after the Alward government cut funding to the Advisory Council on the Status of Women, it has announced a new government-funded organization to advocate for women's equality.

The Voices of New Brunswick Women Consensus-Building Forum is expected to be operating by the fall, said Justice Minister Marie-Claude Blais, who is also the minister responsible for the status of women.

"We have listened to the women of this province and we are proud to provide them with this independent forum to ensure their voices continue to be heard," she said.

"The work that I hope will be done by the forum is work that, at the end of the day, will  get [people] out of poverty, that can help women attain equality, substantive equality, and also that can help women no longer be victims of violence," she said.

The new forum will be made up of representatives of women's groups. 

The forum will provide advice to the provincial government on matters of interest to women while bringing issues to public attention, she said.