President’s December Message

As of a few days ago, I have five new friends – two from BC and three from Ontario – all CFUW Club Presidents. We participated in a video conference – but need to work out a few bugs before I actually find out what the others look like. Despite the lack of a visual, we had a fun and worthwhile audio conversation. We compared notes on everything from member-ship drives, to fundraising and to opinions on GWI. The others are all bullish on the ad-vantages of National and International CFUW membership. It has made me interested in attending face-to-face meetings to talk with them over coffee.

One spoke passionately about the opportunities National membership provides for learning and activism. It made me realize that my focus up to now has been on local issues. In our club we discuss and vote on National and Provincial Resolutions, but to my knowledge, we have not recently organized any actions to support them.

Another reminded me that November 25th is

the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls and it is the first day of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, (November 25th -December 10th). This includes the December 6th Remembrance Day (also known as White Ribbon Day) for the 14 young women who were killed, and the 10 who were wounded in the Ecole Polytechnique massacre in Montreal in 1989. Grace Hollett, National President of CFUW, said in 2017, “In light of the ongoing national tragedy of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the continuing culture of sexual harassment on Canadian campuses and in the workplace, and the reports and testimonies from women and girls who have been subjected to torture in the domestic sphere, there is an urgent need for concerted actions from our federal, provincial and local governments.” CFUW also states that, “Almost half of Canadian women experience the devastating mental, physical, social, and financial effects of gender-based violence (GBV) in their lifetime.”

A number of CFUW clubs across Canada are organizing panel discussions, outreach to women’s shelters, wearing orange to honour victims of gun violence, wearing white ribbons on December 6th, and participating in joint letter signings, social media campaigns, and commemorative vigils to raise awareness in their communities for the need to mobilize to end violence against women and girls. Perhaps next year we could organize something. For now, I plan to tell my friends why I am wearing orange a lot and will explain my white ribbon on December 6th.

For more information on CFUW’s initiatives related to violence against women, you can click on this link.

Finally, I can’t remember when the autumn leaves have been so spectacular. The trees on my street seem double the size from last year, and the yellow maple leaves just glowed, even in the rain. We

are so blessed to be living in the Niagara Region. We have much to be thankful for. I am so looking forward to seeing many of you at the Festive Dinner on December 11th. Happy Holidays!