Monthly Archives: September 2013

CFUW Celebrates Senior Women on National Seniors Day and Start to Women’s History Month

OTTAWA – October 1, 2013 – The 1st of October marks two special designated days for Older Persons – Canadian National Seniors Day and the UN designated International Day of Older Persons. Today also being the start of Women’s History Month in Canada, the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) is celebrating the life-long contributions senior women have made to our society, while also recognizing the many issues they continue to face, including elder abuse, financial insecurity, and difficulty accessing affordable elder care.

Adults over the age of 65 are the fastest growing age group in Canada, expected to grow from 13% of the population to almost 25% by 2051. The most recent Census recorded a 14.1% increase in older persons between 2006 and 2011, and showed that by age 65, women are outnumbering men 1.25:1, and by age 80, almost 2:1.

“Seniors continue to provide invaluable contributions to Canadian society and the economy. A growing number of older Canadians are choosing to remain in the workforce, and many contribute their time and expertise as volunteers in our communities and as caregivers in our families”, said Susan Murphy, President of CFUW. “CFUW has a number of senior members, dedicating countless volunteer hours to better their communities, raise funds for scholarships and awards, and advocate for women’s human rights and equality.”

Issues facing seniors and older persons affect all Canadians, both on a social and economic level. Access to affordable home care and long term care, in particular, are essential to ensure that seniors are adequately cared for, and that younger generations are not unduly burdened with unpaid care responsibilities of aging parents and friends. According to Statistics Canada, in 2007 2.7 million adults between the ages of 45 and 64 were providing unpaid elder care. Most of these caregivers were women, managing employment with family and eldercare tasks and seven out of 10 requiring elder care were women.

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, spoke to the positive intentions of the International Day of Older Persons day by stating that “Longevity is a public health achievement, not a social or economic liability. On this International Day of Older Persons, let us pledge to ensure the well-being of older persons and to enlist their meaningful participation in society so we can all benefit from their knowledge and ability.”

CFUW encourages all Canadians to join us in celebrating older persons today, while putting a special focus on senior women, their contributions, and their needs.

CFUW is a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded organization with over 100 CFUW Clubs, located in every province across Canada. Since its founding in 1919, CFUW has been working to improve the status of women, and to promote human rights, public education, social justice, and peace. CFUW is the largest affiliate of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW), the leading girls’ and women’s global organization run by and for women, advocating for women’s rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality education and training up to the highest levels. 

-30-

For more information, contact: Tara Fischer, Advocacy Coordinator; email advocacy@fcfdu.org or 613-234-8252, ext. 106.

 

Advertisements

On International Literacy Day IFUW and CFUW call for concerted government action to improve female literacy

(OTTAWA , September 8, 2013) – On the occasion of International Literacy Day, September 8, the International Federation of University Women (IFUW), based in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Canadian Federation of University Women are calling on the Government of Canada to provide increased funding and support to developing countries in order to boost female literacy rates, and more specifically to assist vulnerable women and girls in gaining literacy skills. CFUW also calls on all levels of government in Canada to improve adult learning policies, programs and services to address the large percentage of Canadian women with low literacy skills.

Two-thirds of the world’s nearly 800 million illiterate adults are women, representing a sizable proportion of the world’s population. In many developing countries, the percentages of women who cannot read or write are astonishing. In Pakistan, only 40% women over the age of 15 can read and write, compared to 70% of men. In Tanzania, one third of women – more than 4 million women in total – are not literate, and in Bolivia, 30% of adult women cannot read and write, compared to just 5% of men.[1] Canada however, is not immune, over 40 per cent of the population between 16 and 65 falls below the internationally-accepted level of literacy required to cope in a modern society. Aboriginal peoples and new immigrants are particularly affected.

“Literacy, and female literacy in particular, liberates people from the shackles of poverty and accelerates a nation’s advancement,” said IFUW president Catherine Bell. “Literacy enables human dignity by giving people increased autonomy as well as the ability to earn a livelihood.”

“While the rates of low literacy are quite similar for both women and men in Canada, women with low literacy suffer from starker economic outcomes”, said Susan Murphy, CFUW President. “Women with low literacy are more likely to be unemployed or employed in low paying jobs than men with similar levels of literacy. Many women in these situations are also single mothers, and this can have a huge impact on their children”.

Literacy skills are one of the cornerstones of development, and are crucial for social, economic and political participation. Literacy helps to eradicate poverty, reduce child mortality, curb population growth, achieve gender equality and ensure sustainable development, peace and democracy.

“This is a worldwide issue that the Government of Canada can play an important role in addressing both here in Canada and abroad. Strengthening our efforts to address illiteracy and low levels of literacy among women and girls will surely have high social, political and economic dividends”, said Murphy.

CFUW is a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded organization with over 100 CFUW Clubs, located in every province across Canada. Since its founding in 1919, CFUW has been working to improve the status of women, and to promote human rights, public education, social justice, and peace. CFUW is the largest affiliate of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW), the leading girls’ and women’s global organization run by and for women, advocating for women’s rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality education and training up to the highest levels.

– 30-

For more information please contact:

Nina Joyce, T: +41 22 731 23 80 ; Email: nj@ifuw.org or Robin Jackson, T: 613-234-8252; Email: executivedirector@fcfdu.org


[1] Key Messages and Data on Girls’ and Women’s Education and Literacy UNESCO 2012

Ottawa Resident Acclaimed Vice-President of the International Federation of University Women

susan_russell(OTTAWA – September 6, 2013) – The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) is proud to announce that Susan Russell, an Ottawa resident, has been acclaimed one of four Vice-Presidents of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW) at their 31st Triennial Conference in Istanbul, Turkey.

IFUW is a leading girls’ and women’s global organization run by and for women, advocating for women’s rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality education and training up to the highest levels, of which CFUW is a national affiliate. The IFUW Triennial Conference in Istanbul this past August attracted nearly 500 members from over 60 national federations and associations around the world who gathered to discuss women’s role in achieving a sustainable future.

Susan Russell currently serves on the Board and Projects Committee of the Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund, on the Trust of the National Association of Women and the Law, and Chairs the CFUW Resolutions Committee. She is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin University.

Ms. Russell is also a former Executive Director of CFUW and a national Life Member of CFUW. In 2000, she received a Millennium Award for her contributions as a volunteer and the National Capital Femmy Award for her contributions to women’s equality in 2011. Susan is a lifelong advocate for women’s equality with experiences that include: representing IFUW at the UN World Conference on Education for All at Jomtien Thailand; representing CFUW at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Education Committee for nine years; serving on the National Advisory Committee to the Government of Canada (Department of Foreign Affairs) prior to the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo 1994) (ICPD); participating in the preparatory meetings for the World Summit on Social Development (Copenhagen 1995); and in the run up to the World Conference on Women, Take Action for Equality, Development and Peace (1995). She also co-authored the Girl Child section of the Canadian Plain Language follow-up document.

CFUW is a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded organization with over 100 CFUW Clubs, located in every province across Canada. Since its founding in 1919, CFUW has been working to improve the status of women, and to promote human rights, public education, social justice, and peace. CFUW is the largest of the 61 affiliates of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW).
-30-

For further information contact:
Robin Jackson, Executive Director, Canadian Federation of University Women
613-234-8252 ext. 102 or cfuwed@rogers.com