March 8th is International Women’s Day (IWD), when The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) joins others in celebrating the many women who have pushed and continue to push to break the social, economic, political and cultural barriers to gender equality. It is a day also to reflect on the progress still ahead.
“In the context of the federal budget released last week, this reflection is of significance, as it contains positive initiatives like the introduction of a ‘use it or lose it’ parental leave, increased funding for rape crisis centres, a 5-day paid leave for survivors of domestic violence, pay equity legislation, and increased funding for skills and job training. However, the budget falls short on the policies that would be most effective in ending gender inequalities, for which our clubs have advocated: a high quality, universally accessible, national child care program, universal pharmacare and a national action plan on gender-based violence” said Grace Hollett, CFUW National President.
This IWD, members across Canada come together to participate in many exciting events, including conferences, rallies, film screenings, plays and more. CFUW National Office is also partnering with a large coalition of Canadian and international organizations, including Amnesty International Canada, Inter Pares, Planned Parenthood Ottawa and Women’s Shelters Canada, in organizing “Hashtags and Beyond: 10 years of Honouring Local Feminists”. This year’s event takes place at the Horticulture Building in Lansdowne at 6:00 PM on March 8th and features the Femmy Awards ceremony honouring local feminist change-makers, an activist fair, powerful arts performances, great food and drink, and free child care.
CFUW clubs and members are proud to make a difference, showing “The Power of Women Working Together” by supporting women’s grassroots organizations abroad through the MATCH International Women’s Fund, our official partner for the 2018 IWD fundraising project. Through this partnership, CFUW highlights the importance of activists and women’s grassroots organizations in generating change and advancing gender equality.
We are also preparing to celebrate in 2019 CFUW’s 100th anniversary as one of Canada’s historic women’s organizations advocating for gender equality, public education, human rights, social justice, and peace, at the local, national, and international levels. Every year, CFUW and its Clubs collectively award over $1 million to exceptional and inspiring women to help them pursue post-secondary studies.
Founded in 1919, the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) is a self-funded, non-partisan, non-profit, voluntary organization. Close to 8400 CFUW women from across Canada promote women’s equality, human rights, justice and peace. CFUW is active in public affairs, working to raise the social, economic and legal status of women and girls and to contribute to education, the environment, peace, justice and human rights. CFUW has special consultative status at the United Nations (ECOSOC) and serves on the Education Committee of the Canadian Sub-Commission to UNESCO.