Monthly Archives: August 2011

CFUW Joins Canadian Doctors and the CMA in Urging Government to End Asbestos Mining and Export

The Canadian and Quebec governments are once again under fire for allowing the continued mining and export of asbestos. Doctors from across Canada wrote to Conservative MP Kellie Leitch last week, urging her to condemn her Party’s policies and uphold her obligation as a doctor. Then yesterday, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) spoke to the media about a motion passed at their general council, which criticizes the government for refusing to acknowledge that chrysolite asbestos is a hazardous substance and for blocking its inclusion in the Rotterdam Convention. This comes around the same time as an announcement from the Quebec government to extend the financing deadline for Jeffery Mine to attract the private investment needed to secure a $58-million loan guarantee from the province. If granted the loan, it will ensure that the asbestos mine reopens and continues to operate for the next 25 years.

Similar to the CMA, CFUW adopted a resolution at the 2010 Annual General Meeting in Ottawa to “urge the Government of Canada, and the provinces and territories of Canada, to legislate a ban on the mining, use, and trade of all forms of asbestos; and… [to] urge the Government of Canada to support the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention.” Over the last several months CFUW has written letters to the Prime Minister and the Quebec Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade to state our position. However, since actions have been taken to the contrary, CFUW has once again written to the Canadian and Quebec governments urging them to reconsider their positions and ban asbestos mining and exportation given the enormous risk it poses to human health.

If you are also concerned about Canada’s involvement in asbestos mining, please consider writing your local Member of Parliament. Here is a template letter that you can adapt: Template Letter to MP

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IFUW Update

Uganda BRPID Project Underway

Girls currently enrolled in the Kibuye Primary School and those out of school are participating in what is called the Bina Roy Energy Briquette Production Club. The project involves training girls to collect waste, such as charcoal dust, banana peels and other organic waste, and to recycle these into energy efficient fuel briquettes.


IFUW Receives Legacy from Alice Paquier, former IFUW
Executive Secretary

IFUW has received a legacy of 15’000 Swiss francs from Alice Paquier (1925-2011), who served as IFUW Executive Secretary from 1974 to1988. In her 14-year tenure, she was highly regarded and appreciated for her contributions, particularly in raising IFUW’s presence at the United Nations and promoting the rights of women and girls throughout her lifetime.


UN Working Group on Ageing: Gaps in Protection of Older Persons

The Second Session of the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing met in New York from 1-4 August 2011. Participating Member States and NGOs warned that the quality of life of many older persons is poor in both developed and developing countries, and that unless this is addressed, it will worsen as the numbers of elderly increase.

ILO Adopts New Convention on Domestic Workers

During the 100th session of the International Labour Conference in June 2011, gender was a major part of the discussion on Decent Work, this year’s theme. Most important, the passage of a new International Convention 189 on the Rights of Domestic Workers was a big step forward for women. While domestic workers everywhere face injustice, it is women who suffer the most.

IFUW Website Changes

IFUW’s website is shifting to a new content management system that will make it easier to use and more interactive.

For the full IFUW update visit: IFUW Update August 25, 2011

CFUW Saddened by the Loss of Jack Layton

On Monday morning, we were all struck by the devastating news that Jack Layton had lost his battle with cancer. CFUW National and Quebec Council joined other Canadians in extending our deepest sympathies to Olivia Chow and Jack’s family, as well as his friends and colleagues within the New Democratic Party.

Jack Layton was a passionate and tireless advocate for social justice, respect for the environment, and peace. While CFUW is non-partisan group and does not endorse the policies of any one party, we do acknowledge that we shared many common values with Jack.

We have all been touched by the words in his last letter to Canadians – “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

Jack Layton may no longer be with us, but his legacy and words will live on. Let’s unite our voices and roll up our sleeves as we work towards creating a future full of hope.

CFUW’s letters to Olivia Chow and Canada’s NDP:

Letter to Olivia Chow and Family

Letter to Canada’s NDP