Monthly Archives: June 2012

CFUW Joins Pro-Choice Groups at Status of Women Committee for Vote on M-312

Women gathering outside Status of Women Committee after motion to move “in camera”

Yesterday afternoon, CFUW joined dozens of other pro-choice organizations at the Status of Women Committee in hopes of witnessing the committee officially condemn Motion 312. Instead a motion to move the Committee “in camera” was passed minutes after the meeting began, which meant that all public members were forced to leave the room. A private vote on the motion to condemn M-312 was then held, which we were told did not pass.

CFUW finds it very disheartening that the majority of Status of Women Committee members were unwilling to send a strong message of support for women’s right to choose. CFUW has been a strong supporter of women’s rights to choose since the 1970’s, when our membership collectively adopted its first policy urging the Government of Canada to remove the sections pertaining to abortion from the Criminal Code. We hope that this is not an indication of how Committee members will vote on Stephen Woodworth’s anti-choice Motion in the Fall.

If you have not done so already, please contact your local Member of Parliament and ask that they vote against Motion 312. For more resources to take action (template letters, petitions), go to the website for the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada: 

“Beginning the Conversation: 15 Case studies on Financial Literacy” – University Women’s Club of Montreal Inc launches free educational toolkit for older women

For Immediate Release

(Montreal, June 14, 2012) Women wishing to break the taboo around discussing financial matters will be able to access a new educational resource developed by the University Women’s Club of Montreal (UWCM, member of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW). Consisting of 15 case studies on topics ranging from coping with divorce to recognizing financial abuse, the project offers a fresh approach to identifying and discussing financial issues of concern to older women and their families. UWCM members and friends celebrated the launching of the volunteer initiative at a gala reception held at the Atwater Club June 14, 2012 with special guests Dian Cohen, esteemed economist and financial commentator, Julie Lemieux  of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) who generously sponsored the publication  with Jacques Ménard, Chairman of BMO Nesbitt Burns and former Vice Chair of the Federal Task Force on Financial Literacy  sending a congratulatory message.

“Our objective is to reach out to all individuals, but particularly women who are vulnerable to being misled and taken advantage of by so-called financial advisors”, said UWCM project coordinator Judith Kashul. “Our members are very concerned about family and friends who have been swindled in recent years and so we have developed our own financial literacy program in order to provide objective and accurate financial information in a way that is less intimidating and more inviting to those who are not always comfortable discussing financial matters.”

A long-time member of the Sherbrooke Club of University Women, Cohen added “I heartily support the objectives of this women-led financial education project. In my many years in the media and in my own work as an economist, I have long been an advocate for objective financial education. I am delighted to see agencies such as the AMF support non-profit initiatives by groups such as the University Women’s Club of Montreal, groups that people can trust to deliver the right information without bias when it comes to financial education.”

Those interested in learning more about the UWCM’s Financial Literacy Project and accessing the case study documents in a free-of-charge and ready-to-use format, can consult our website at

The University Women’s Club of Montreal (UWCM/CFUM) was founded in 1927 with 237 charter members and it holds the distinction of having had the first clubhouse in Canada for women. It is a voluntary non-partisan and non-profit organization of university women graduates with diverse academic and professional fields of interest.

Contact Information: Brenda Shanahan, Publicity, 514-398-2932

Link to “Beginning the Conversation: 15 Case Studies on Financial Literacy”:

*Please note that the document is over 100 pages long, so it may take a few minutes to load.

Photos from the Event:

Judith, Dian Cohen, Liz, Terri Shaw, Brenda, Dennis Trudeau, Dominque, Johanne, Liette Michaud June 14 2012

Dian Cohen, CFUW Sherbrooke & District, member of the Order of Canada, retired economist and journalist. Dian made a compelling case for future involvement in this dossier

CFUW Joins the International Campaign for Women’s Rights to Safe Abortion

The International Consortium for Medical Abortion (ICMA) has launched a new international campaign for women’s right to safe abortion  to challenge the growing efforts across the globe to block access to safe abortions. There are some groups determined to exclude abortion from maternal mortality reduction and family planning initiatives. CFUW, along with  other organizations and societies have been invited to take a part in the campaign.

The campaign will aim to build capacity to advocate for the right to safe abortion, motivate and support networking, coordinate joint activities, collaborate with existing initiatives and create new initiatives. Additionally, the legitimacy of the right to safe abortion in all international forums addressing women’s health and human rights, including those reviewing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), Fourth World Conference on Women – Beijing, the UN Secretary-General’s initiative for women’s and children’s health, and initiatives for safe motherhood and family planning will also be addressed.


  1. To build an international campaign to promote universal access to safe, legal abortion as a women’s health and human rights issue.
  2. To support women’s autonomy to make their own decisions whether and when to have children and have access to the means of acting on those decisions without risk to their health and lives.


  1. To bring together groups, networks, movements and organizations from around the world to work together in this campaign, to collaborate in existing initiatives and create new ones.
  2. To build strategic partnerships with health professionals, governments, ministry officials, UN and human rights bodies.
  3. To promote the legitimacy of the right to safe abortion in all forums addressing women’s health and rights, including those reviewing the MDGs, ICPD, Beijing, the UN Secretary-General’s initiative for women’s and children’s health, and initiatives on safe motherhood and family planning.
  4. To build capacity to advocate for the right to safe abortion, especially at country level.
  5. To promote young women’s leadership in the campaign at all levels.
  6. To make the impact of unsafe and illegal abortion on women’s lives visible.
  7. To increase public awareness of women’s need for safe abortion, in order to increase public understanding and support.
  8. To commit ourselves to the protection of women having abortions and health professionals providing safe abortions, including in legally restricted settings.
  9. To promote the evidence-based guidance on abortion in the World Health Organization’s Safe Abortion: Technical and Policy Guidance for Health Systems, 2011.
  10. To develop and disseminate key messages to counter the influence of the anti-choice movement and reclaim the language of abortion as a moral decision.
  11. To increase the availability of public funds for abortion.

Guiding Principles

We believe in and advocate for safe and legal abortion as a woman’s human right. Women must be able to take decisions about their own bodies and health care free from coercion: this includes the decision to carry a pregnancy to term or seek an abortion. No woman should be obliged to continue an unwanted pregnancy.

Women’s human rights should be respected, protected and fulfilled. These include women’s right to life, the highest attainable standard of health, bodily integrity, the benefits of scientific progress, and to information, privacy, freedom from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and equality and non-discrimination. The failure to give women access to safe abortion puts these rights at risk.

No woman’s health or life should be placed at risk because safe abortion services are not available to her. All barriers to women’s access to safe abortion should be removed. Women should be afforded universal access to abortion, delivered according to the most up-to-date WHO guidance. Access to safe abortion is a matter of equity and should never be compromised. Abortion should be an integral part of women’s health services, and should be provided as early as possible and as late as necessary.

Abortion should not be restricted, prohibited or criminalised. No woman who has sought an abortion, and no health care provider who has provided a safe abortion at a woman’s request, and no abortion rights defender should be stigmatised, harassed, discriminated against, or prosecuted. Governments should take action to remove laws that restrict, prohibit or criminalise abortion and remove procedural barriers that restrict access to safe abortion services.

CFUW Joins BlackOutSpeakOut to Protest 2012 Budget Provisions


As our parliament considers a budget bill that would vastly transform our environmental protections in the absence of transparent public discussion, the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) is joining with colleagues across the country to say: Silence is Not an Option.

On June 4th, with over 350 other groups, we will darken our website and send a single, unified message to decision-makers: Protect our Canadian values. Our land, water, and climate. Our communities. Our human rights and democracy.

Send a message now (link to BOSO Action page) to your member of parliament and party leaders.

Visit BlackOutSpeakOut to join the campaign and to access tools to make your voice heard. Speak Out on twitter, facebook, and through your networks. Email or call your MP. And follow #blackoutspeakout during the day for updates and to join the conversation. In this historic Canadian moment, your voice has never been more important.

Thank you for speaking out and for standing up for Canada.