My name is Erica Nickels, and I am a member of the Canadian Youth Delegation to the next round of United Nations climate change negotiations happening right now in Cancun, Mexico. When I graduated from high school, I received a generous scholarship from the Kitchener-Waterloo branch of the CFUW that supported my studies in International Development and Environmental Studies at the University of Ottawa. The CFUW has provided me with a bursary to support my work at the United Nations, and in return, I will be providing you with regular updates and insights into my experience as a young women participating in the negotiations.
While many delegates to the U.N. climate change negotiations were still packing their bags and preparing for their departure, young people from around the world had already arrived in Cancun, participating in the 6th Conference of the Youth (COY6) at el Universidad del Caribe. COY provided an amazing opportunity for youth from diverse across the globe to come together to discuss solutions to climate change, and develop strategies to work together, both at this year’s COP and beyond.
By Saturday afternoon, I was suffering from information overload. When I saw that one of the workshops would be facilitated in the University’s ecological garden, I jumped at the opportunity to get outside, and hopefully get my hands dirty. I imagined myself wandering through the garden and taking a moment to appreciate the incredible beauty of my natural surroundings. What I discovered instead was an amazingly inspiring story of a community of people who are leading by example and tackling climate change head on.
The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) welcomes the private members bill that will give Status of Women Canada a legislated mandate. CFUW congratulates Member of Parliament, Irene Mathyssen, Status of Women Critic for the New Democratic Party, for this great initiative.
Since 2006 women’s groups have been under a systematic attack; the de-funding of women’s organizations, the cancellation of the Court Challenges Program, hundreds of requests for research funding denied, attacks on pay equity, and Status of Women offices closed and understaffed. These actions have taken place while Canada continues to see a large wage gap and systemic violence against women resulting in hundreds of women missing or murdered without justice served. What is worse is that Status of Women Canada has fewer resources and no government plan to deal with these problems head on.
Mathyssen’s bill (C-581) will work to ensure that Status of Women Canada remains a federal institution that can work independently of political influence to promote and protect women’s human rights.
CFUW calls on all political parties to support this bill and women’s equality.
Print off and circulate petitions in support of this bill, click here to download the petition.
Women and men must be equally represented on our boards of directors. While the Constitution recognizes gender equality, corporate Canada has clearly not made enough progress in this area.
Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette has put forward a bill that would establish gender parity on the board of directors of certain corporations, financial institutions and parent Crown corporations. To support this bill sign on to the online petition, found here.