President’s February Message

I had the privilege of co-hosting with CFUW West Vancouver, a Peer-to-Peer conversation with GWI members and CFUW GWI opt-in clubs on January 21. More than 80 members from around the world including Nepal, India, Kenya, the United States and Canada shared their thoughts and concerns about the impact of Covid on the education of girls and women and the potential solutions. Some of the issues identified included:

– The increase in pregnancy among young women

– The impact of decreased socialization on mental health

– The lack of internet and need to use radios for education

– The lack of computer supplies for education

– The pressures on women to provide support for education of children and to continue to work

– The pressures of decreased income on families

– The lack of incentive to continue in school

– The lack of qualified teachers, the lack of training to do online teaching, limited salary in many countries

Kenya identified that many of their schools lack proper washrooms for girls which impacts them severely during their menstrual cycle.

These important discussions broadened my knowledge of the issues concerning young women outside of Canada. It’s important that we understand the broader world. GWI enables us to do this. • 740 million have been forced out of school

  • 11 million girls won’t return to school
  • Global GDP will be impacted by $10 billion over the next 10 years

To read more: UNESCO – Keeping Girls in the Picture. The information gathered from the conversations is being shared by GWI on January 24 during the United Nations International Day of Education. We are proud to have been part of the discussion and have offered some potential solutions that we hope will be moved forward to improve the education of girls and women throughout the world.

Amplify the Message!

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Calling all members! Your CFUW Advocacy committee has organized a letter writing campaign to show our support for Anti Human Trafficking education and resources that are urgently needed in our local Niagara schools. We need your help to send a clear message that this is important to CFUW members.

On January 3, 2022, a letter from CFUW President Maureen Shantz will be going out to every high school principal in the Niagara Region and to the two Directors of Education – the Public and Catholic School Boards.

To send your own letters of support to the Directors of Education, click the following links, print the letters, sign your name and mail.

District School Board of Niagara letter

Niagara Catholic District School Board letter

Why a letter writing campaign? CFUW wants to send a strong message to educators that action must be taken now on Human Trafficking in our Niagara Schools. Programs and resources need to be created within schools to educate students and staff about Awareness, Prevention and Detection of Human Trafficking, with the goal of providing students with a safe and supportive environment.

 

Timeline:

June 2021: Ontario Gov’t updated the anti-human trafficking strategy https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontarios-anti-human-trafficking-strategy-2020-2025

June 3, 2021: Bill 251: Combatting Human Trafficking Act from the Ontario Legislative Assembly was given Royal Assent

July 6, 2021: Ministry of Education sent out to schools, Boards of Education: Policy/Program 166, Keeping Students Safe: Policy Framework for School Board Anti-Sex Trafficking Protocol. https://www.ontario.ca/document/education-ontario-policy-and-program-direction/policyprogram
The link below sums up quite nicely the goals of Policy 166.
https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/1000467/ontario-acts-to-protect-students-from-sex-trafficking