16 Days of Activism

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Members of CFUW St. Catharines attended the flag raising ceremony for 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence on November 25 in Thorold. We encourage our members to also participate in other 16 Days of Activism Activities.

16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence is an international event. For information on events sponsored by the Graduate Women International and their latest news, you may wish to read the GWI Newsletter.

CFUW 1920’s Anniversary Picnic

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To celebrate the beginning of the second century of our club, our 100th Anniversary Committee has organized a 1920’s Picnic at Club Roma on Sunday, May 29th, 11 am – 3 pm. There will be boxed lunches and a cash bar. This will be a fun day with special activities like bocce ball, croquet, board games and modified baseball. Contact members of the 100th Anniversary committee by the end of April to purchase your tickets.

President’s October Message

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The Growth and Power of Women

The recent election on September 20 had our attention for a number of reasons these past few weeks. Going forward, we will be looking for resolutions of the issues of concern and action toward progress for the promises made.

While final results are still being tabulated in some ridings, what was interesting to see was the number of candidates running for the five political parties. According to a not-for-profit organization, Equal Voice, women and gender-diverse candidates totaled 43% of all the candidates, up from 42% candidates in 2019. Women account for 100 seats of the total 332 current members of parliament. As of today, this is 30% female representation of all seats in parliament. We have a voice!

We have come a long way in just over 100 years when we were first given the right to vote and the first woman, Agnes Macphail, was elected to the House of Commons in 1921.

We wish all of our representatives the best and embolden them to collectively work together to make this a stronger and improved Canada, both locally and nationally, for the lives of women and children of all ages and all backgrounds. We will be actively listening and paying attention. We too have a voice.

Submitted by Maureen Shantz, President, CFUW St Catharines

Protect, Elect & Respect Canadian Women in Politics

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CFUW Ontario Council Speaker Series via Zoom
October 2nd, 2021
10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Senator Marilou McPhedran
Our first Speakers Series of the 2021-22 year will take place on Saturday October 2nd via ZOOM. This session’s topic is Protect, Elect and Respect Canadian Women in Politics. The speaker is Senator Marilou McPhedran who was appointed to the Senate in 2016, and is a human rights lawyer, professor and activist. The event is free but registration is required. Please register by 5 p.m. on October 1, 2021. The Waiting Room for the ZOOM meeting will be open at 9:45 AM. To register, please Click HERE
For the Speaker’s bio, click HERE

Anti-Trafficking Resolution Press Release

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Mississauga, Ont. May 15, 2021: The Annual Meeting of the Canadian Federation of University Women/Ontario Council, representing 49 chapters throughout Ontario, passed and gave full support to a Resolution concerning Human Trafficking Awareness, Prevention and Detection.

Human Trafficking Awareness, Prevention and Detection

Resolved, that Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) Ontario Council urges the Ontario Provincial Government to urgently adopt mandatory instruction in Ontario’s Elementary and Secondary Schools as well as mandatory teacher training to prevent future victimization by educating all students and train all educators to be alert to the luring and coercive control techniques used by human traffickers and similar predators via tools and methods including, but not limited to:

  1. that the Ontario Provincial Government make mandatory additions to the Grade 9 and 10 Health and Physical Education Curriculum how to recognize unhealthy relationships specifically the coercive control and luring techniques used by human traffickers and similar predators, this will complement the Grade 1 to 8 Health and Physical Education Curriculum that includes age-appropriate learning that helps protect students from human trafficking;
  2. that the Ontario Provincial Government require all Ontario educators, both elementary and secondary, complete a mandatory annual anti-human trafficking digital training on awareness, prevention, detection and duty to report followed by comprehension assessment.

This resolution on Human Trafficking was initially researched by a retired teacher concerned about some of her students. She had not recognized or understood what was happening to them.

Sex trafficking is local and home-grown. According to Statistic Canada, Ontario, which accounts for 39% of the total Canadian population, has accounted for just over two-thirds (68%) of all police-reported human trafficking incidents since 2009. The Ontario Government, recognizing this, has created the antihuman trafficking strategy, being enacted via Bill 126. This adopted resolution hopes to encourage the government to look beyond its available current resources, and to establish mandatory training for all teachers.

Ontario Council of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) is a voluntary, self-funded,
non-profit organization with 49 chapters across the province, which is affiliated with the national CFUW, which has NGO consultative status with the United Nations.

Our mandate is to promote education and life-long learning, to encourage the participation of members in their communities and to enhance the status of women and girls.

Our main concerns include high quality public education, universal health care, a clean safe environment, the economic security of women as well as the prevention of violence against women.

Sandra Thomson
President, CFUW Ontario Council

www.cfuwontcouncil.org | info@cfuwontcouncil | Twiitter @CFUWOntCouncil www.facebook.com/CFUWOntarioCouncil
|Instagram @cfuwoncouncil

Afghan Peace Negotiations: Their Perilous Significance for the Women in Afghanistan

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Webinar – April 24, 2021

11:00 am – 12:30pm EDT

Click here to register

A Graduate Women International (GWI) Membership Marketplace NFA-to-NFA Partnership Project Webinar organized by the Canadian

Federation of University Women (CFUW) and GWI-Netherlands (GWI-NL)

Webinar Concept Notes

 Afghan women are asking for our help: we must listen to them and add our voices to theirs. At the 24 April Webinar, three remarkable Afghan women will tell us personally what must be done to ensure women’s rights in the present Afghan Peace Talks. Please join for this important interactive event.

Peace talks between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban have given the people of Afghanistan optimism that the 40 years of violence and war will end. But they do not want peace at any price and are extremely concerned that the Taliban will try to return the country the dark days of 1996 when women were forced to remain in their homes, veiled from head to foot, denied education and medical care, and whipped, stoned, and killed for small or imagined crimes. They have good reason to be afraid.


The past 20 years have seen women and girls return to school, take their places in all levels of society and work in public service, justice, security services and a range of other occupations. Their rights are guaranteed within the current Constitution and so it remains crucial. The vast majority of Afghans do not want a peace agreement that denies women schooling. They believe women should be able to work outside the home, particularly in occupations such as teaching and in medical settings. There is strong support for women to seek leadership positions.


In many areas currently controlled by the Taliban schools have been closed. Parents fear for their children’s safety and remove their children from school. Women are being forced to leave jobs. The last year has seen more attacks and greater violence than at any time in the last 20 years.


Over the past year the Taliban and other insurgents have targeted places such as maternity hospitals and girls’ schools to murder and intimidate women and their families. Female leaders such as judges, media personalities, and heads of women’s organizations have been assassinated. They tried to kill a woman on the Afghan government negotiating team. There is said to be a “hit list” of high-profile women to be executed. Many women have been forced to flee.


More than 60 per cent of the Afghan population are between 0 and 24 years old. Without a safe, educated, inclusive society, the country will be fertile ground for extremists to attract disaffected youth to their ranks. Girls and boys, men and women, need a chance to have peaceful, productive lives and not be forced to endure an oppressive, violent future.


With the legitimacy given them, and the concessions gained through negotiations with the United States, the Taliban are looking and feeling like victors already. Other fundamentalist groups such as Boko Haram, ISIS, Al-Shabab in other Muslim-majority countries are watching closely and being encouraged. Women in these countries could also see a life as second class citizens.