Monthly Archives: February 2012

CFUW at the 56th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women ( UN CSW)

Monday, 27 February 2012, marked the opening of the 56th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The purpose of the two-week UN meeting is to discuss progress on the Platform for Action:  Take Action for Equality, Development and Peace, adopted in Beijing, China, 1995.  Countries around the world committed to implementing the agreement and at the yearly UN CSW meetings, country reports are heard and negotiations to up- grade a section of the document take place, with the final document being agreed to two weeks from today. This year’s theme deals with Rural Women.

The Chair and Vice Chair set the scene.  Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women led of the speakers and called for action to remove barriers to the empowerment of rural women, work on the Millennium Development Goals, involve women in post-conflict reconstruction, work for sustainable development, improve access to health care and reproductive health care and end hunger and poverty.

Country after country reported with recurrent themes: violence against women, lack of access to credit, failure to implement the Millennium Development goals, lack of access to decision-making and more, while they agreed that women are the first to suffer from food insecurity, lack of access to land, credit and machinery, and natural disasters.

It became apparent that civil society, UN and the government must commit to working together to bring about change, if we are to see significant improvements in gender equality, economic empowerment, the eradication of poverty and food security.

You can watch a live web stream of UN CSW 2012 here.

CFUW Appalled by Passage of Bill C-19

OTTAWA (February 16, 2012) – The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) is outraged by the outcome of yesterday’s vote on Bill C-19 in the House of Commons, which seeks to weaken gun control in Canada by ending the long gun registry, deleting data on more than 7 million long guns across the country, and altering the licensing system by eliminating mandatory license checks. With a vote of 159 -130, the bill will now be sent to the Senate for consideration, and one step closer to becoming law.

“Since the bill was introduced in the fall, CFUW has stood firmly against it”, said Brenda Wallace, CFUW National President. “We have close to 10,000 members across the country, many of which have been contacting their local MPs to voice their opposition to this legislation. Several of our Provincial Councils have also called on their Provincial Leaders to take similar actions as the Quebec government.”

Along with many other groups, CFUW members are very concerned about the impact of dismantling the registry on public safety, particularly for women and children. Back in the fall, CFUW submitted a brief to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU) outlining the important role the registry plays in preventing gun violence by helping ensure that long guns are removed from the possession of dangerous individuals.

Health and safety experts have also provided evidence that stronger gun laws reduce gun-related death rates. For example, since controls on all firearms were introduced, there has been a 70 per cent decrease in the number of women murdered by firearms.

“Though we were not hopeful that the Harper Government would withdraw the legislation completely, we were very surprised that Conservative members of SECU would not allow any amendments whatsoever”, said Wallace. “We had hoped that they would at least pass amendments to reinstitute the requirement for merchants to keep records of sales and check the validity of licenses, as well as take out the provisions that call for the destruction of the existing data”.

Now the fate of the long gun registry is in the hands of the Senate.

“We are obviously disappointed that the bill has now passed through the House, but that does not mean we are giving up” said Wallace. “We will continue to keep up the pressure for responsible gun control that protects the safety of Canadians”.

CFUW is a non-partisan, equality-seeking, self-funded organization of close to 10,000 women graduates and students in 112 Clubs across Canada.


For further information: Robin Jackson, Executive Director, 613-234-8252 ext. 102 or visit

The Right to Speak, The Responsibility to Act Le droit de parole – le devoir d’agir

Join us on March 8th to Celebrate International Women’s Day at the National Archives

CFUW has joined forces with several international, national and local organizations including Amnesty International Canada, Oxfam, Planned Parenthood Ottawa and Inter Pares to organize an International Women’s Day celebration at the Natonal Archives. The event entitled “I AM A FEMINIST, BUT…” will feature the annual Femmy Awards ceremony, as well as feminist entertainment.

Up until February 23rd, we will be looking for nominations of outstanding feminists for the Femmy Awards, as well as submissions for the Creative Contest and videos of “Sh*t Feminists Say”/Sh*t People Say to Feminists”. DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR CREATIVE CONTEST UNTIL FEBRUARY 27th.

Know someone in the National Capital Region who has made an outstanding contribution to the struggle for women’s equality? Send us a Femmy Award Nomination!

How do you feel about feminism? What is its relevance today? Tell us through written word, visual art or the performing arts. The sky is the limit! Contest open to everyone under 30 in the National Capital Region. See the Contest Poster for more details.

Who says feminists don’t have a sense of humour? Send us videos of “Sh*t Feminists Say” and Sh*t People Say to Feminists”.

Event Details:

MARCH 8, 2012

Snacks and a cash bar

Check out our event Event poster in English: IWD_2012_EN (27Feb12)
And in French: IWD_2012_FR (27Feb12)