Tag Archives: equality

CFUW Supports Women’s Post-Secondary Education with Over $1 Million in Scholarship and Bursary Funding


July 5, 2012, OTTAWA – In the past year local clubs of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) have awarded over $1, 040, 000 in bursaries and scholarships to help women pursue post-secondary education. Each year similar levels of financial support are given to female students across the country.

At the CFUW Annual General Meeting held in Victoria B.C. from June 21-24, CFUW’s National President Susan Murphy praised members for their ongoing commitment to the education of women and girls through these outstanding annual contributions. “This is an organization that believes in the power of education. We have a proud tradition of supporting Canadian women in their educational choices, and have historically impacted thousands of lives”.

“Barriers to post-secondary education for women continue to exist, particularly with the increasing cost of tuition. Women are disproportionately affected by student debt after graduation, often taking longer, because of lower earning power, to pay off their loans. The funding provided by CFUW members makes a real difference”, said Murphy.

In addition to the funds raised and distributed on a local basis, CFUW also gave $89,000 for 15 fellowships and awards through its National Trust. This funding is available on an annual basis to Canadian women studying at the graduate level at home and abroad.

“We have made learning one of our top priorities. We believe that a university or college education is one of the most effective ways for women to achieve equality, maintain a voice in decision making, and continue to understand and exercise their rights.” Murphy stated. “The need has never been greater for independent self-funded groups such as CFUW to be visible, with strong community based activities to promote the equality of girls and women.”

“Our clubs are very active in their own communities; not only in supporting education but in supporting women’s shelters, day cares, community events and much more”, said Murphy. “We have an active advocacy agenda at the local, provincial and federal levels, working with aboriginal women, supporting environmental protections and reinforcing the voice of women on issues of social justice. We are an engaged group of women who continue to show community, national and international leadership.”

CFUW is a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded organization of close to 9,000 women university graduates, students and Associate Members in 110 Clubs across Canada that works to improve the status of women and human rights, education, social justice, and peace. CFUW holds special consultative status with the United Nations (ECOSOC) and belongs to the Education committee of the Canadian Sub-Commission to UNESCO. CFUW is the largest of the 61 affiliates of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW).


For more information, please contact:

Doris Mae Oulton , Vice President Communications

204 781 7164 or cysolutions@shaw.ca

Robin Jackson, Executive Director

613-234-8252 or cfuwed@rogers.com



FCFDU appuie les études postsecondaires en accordant à des femmes des bourses s’élevant à plus de 1 million de dollars

5 juillet 2012, OTTAWA – Au cours de la dernière année, les clubs locaux de la Fédération canadienne des femmes diplômées des universités (FCFDU) ont remis des bourses totalisant plus de 1 040 000 $ pour aider des femmes à poursuivre des études postsecondaires. À chaque année, du soutien financier du même ordre est accordé à des étudiantes de toutes les régions du pays.

Lors de l’assemblée générale annuelle de la FCFDU, tenue à Victoria, en Colombie-Britannique, du 21 au 24 juin, la présidente nationale  de la Fédération, Susan Murphy, a félicité les membres de leur engagement continu à l’éducation des femmes et des filles par leurs contributions annuelles exceptionnelles. « C’est un organisme qui croit au pouvoir de l’éducation. Nous sommes fières de notre tradition d’appuyer les Canadiennes et leurs choix éducatifs, et avons, depuis notre fondation, eu des incidences sur des milliers de vies. »

« Les obstacles à l’éducation postsecondaire des femmes existent encore, surtout en raison de la hausse des frais de scolarité. Les femmes sont touchées de manière disproportionnée par la dette étudiante après leur graduation, car elles prennent souvent plus de temps, à cause de leur revenus moins élevés, à rembourser leurs prêts. Les bourses accordées par les membres de la FCFDU peuvent faire une réelle différence », a déclaré Mme Murphy.

Outre, les fonds obtenus et distribués localement, la FCFDU a aussi remis 15 bourses totalisant 89 000 $ par l’intermédiaire de sa fiducie nationale. Ces fonds sont remis à chaque année à des Canadiennes qui poursuivent des études supérieures au pays ou à l’étranger.

« Nous avons fait de l’enseignement l’une de nos principales priorités. Nous croyons qu’une éducation universitaire ou collégiale est l’un des moyens les plus efficaces pour que les femmes obtiennent l’égalité, gardent leur droit de parole dans la prise de décision et continuent de connaître et d’exercer leurs droits », a déclaré Susan Murphy. « Le besoin n’a jamais été si criant pour des groupes autofinancés indépendants, tel la FCFDU, pour être visible au moyen d’activités à l’échelle communautaire visant à promouvoir l’égalité des filles et des femmes. »

« Nos clubs sont particulièrement actifs dans leurs propres communautés; ils offrent de l’aide en matière d’éducation, mais également aux refuges pour les femmes, aux garderies et aux événements communautaires », a ajouté Mme Murphy. « Nous avons un programme de défense des intérêts bien chargé à l’échelle locale, provinciale et fédérale, collaborons avec les femmes autochtones, appuyons les initiatives visant à protéger l’environnement et à renforcer la voix des femmes en matière de justice sociale. Nous sommes un groupe de femmes engagées qui continuent à faire preuve de leadership sur le plan communautaire, national et international. »

La FCFDU est une organisation non partisane, volontaire et autofinancée comptant près de 9 000 membres, toutes des femmes diplômées des universités, des étudiantes et des membres associés, regroupées dans 110 clubs partout au Canada. Elle s’efforce de promouvoir la situation de la femme, les droits de la personne, l’éducation, la justice sociale et la paix. Elle détient un statut consultatif auprès des Nations Unies (ECOSOC) et fait partie de la Commission sectorielle, Éducation, de la Commission canadienne pour l’UNESCO. La FCFDU fait partie de la Fédération internationale des femmes diplômées des universités, dont elle est le plus important des 61 membres nationaux.


Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements :

Doris Mae Oulton                                                                  Robin Jackson

Vice-présidente, Communications,                                   FCFDU   Directrice générale

204 781 7164 ou cysolutions@shaw.ca                             613-234-8252 ou cfuwed@rogers.com

Letter to the Editor of the Globe and Mail

Letter to the editor of the Globe and Mail responding to For the free, educated and affluent, welcome to the century of women (March 8, 2010)

To read the original article, click here.

Wente’s argument that all western women have made it and enjoy full equality ignores the reality of many Canadian women who are not, as Wente suggests in her title, “The free, educated and affluent.”

For many Canadian and Western women; free, educated and affluent are not words that could describe their experience. The stats confirm what women can tell you themselves; inequality is real.

Wente claims we are free, while so many are still abused and raped. Canadian women are 4 times more likely to be murdered by their partner than men, and our Aboriginal sisters continue to go missing and are killed without outrage or action.

Wente argues we are educated, but ignores the barriers to access education. Young people from the poorest 20% of Canadian families are less than half as likely to enrol in university as the richest 20%, and for aboriginal children who have $3000/student less in funding for basic education than non-aboriginal kids, Wente’s argument could not be further from the truth.

For affluent women, equality has always been closer to their reach. For women who enjoy that privilege of economic independence and stability, life is not so bad.

However, Wente has blinded herself to the economic disparity that has deepened over the last thirty years in this country.  Women are the new face of poverty; single parent homes headed by women face high poverty rates, in part due to more unstable and underpaid part-time work and lack of access to affordable housing.

Wente’s article has a point; for women who are free, educated and affluent, equality and opportunity have never been better. But that leaves one question to be asked… who are these women? Because a lot of us have been left out.


Brenda Wallace, CFUW National President

December 6th, Day for Remembrance and Action

The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) remembers the 14 lives lost twenty one years ago today.  We mark December 6th each year to remember the young women who were gunned down through senseless violence. We also mark December 6th as a call to action to end violence against women. Canada must not isolate the actions of one deranged individual – it needs to take action on all the factors present in our society that keep women from enjoying the safety and equality of men.

We still live in a country where persistent wage gaps tell women their work is not of equal value to men, where women continue to do two thirds of unpaid work and bear the brunt of poverty. Twenty one years later we are still fighting for our concerns to be taken seriously. As the Government defunds women’s groups who demand women’s equality, December 6 acts as a reminder to revive our commitment to gender equality.

In 2010, women experience domestic abuse, sexual assault on university campuses and the murder and disappearance of more than 600 aboriginal women. To break cycles of poverty and abuse that limit women’s lives, CFUW calls for action to end violence and inequality. Affordable housing, universal childcare, accessible post-secondary education and greater economic equality break down barriers to women’s equality.  This December 6th we remember the lives of the 14 young women who were senselessly murdered at Ecole Polytechnique because they were women. This December 6th we go forward to fight against the inequality and ideas that created the violence twenty one years ago – and the violence that continues to take place against women every day.

The Registry Lives to Fight Another Day

CFUW was present at last night’s historic vote. After months of hard work, the registry was saved… for now.  This victory, while we can savor it for the time being, is bitter sweet.  After the vote the Prime Minister vowed to continue the campaign to end the long gun registry.  This means that while we have won the battle, the war is far from over.

The contempt shown for a tool that has helped save hundreds of women’s lives cannot be tolerated. We need to work harder than ever to protect the registry and gun control in this country; we must speak out for those who are silenced by fear, intimidation and firearms.

Our Prime Minister’s promise to get rid of the gun registry underlines his lack of respect for our democratic processes. CFUW, as an organization with a founding purpose to increase the status and safety of women, cannot sit on the sidelines. We will work with our partners in civil society, in the labour movement, the Ad Hoc Coalition and with groups across the country to ensure these issues do not fade.

Thank you to CFUW members across the country for your hard work and commitment to making Canada a more equal society.  You can feel proud in knowing that we stood up to a divisive, bullying government and won. Keep fighting; the issues are too important to lose.


For more information please contact:

Sam Spady, cfuwadvocacy@rogers.com

Dr. Sima Samar at CFUW AGM 2010

On Wednesday July 14 Dr. Sima Samar, human rights activist and physician met with NGO representatives from Civil Society at a Round Table Hosted for CFUW by Amnesty International.  A number of human rights and women’s groups were there including representatives from the Canadian Muslim community.

CFUW-Ottawa sponsored Dr. Samar’s visit to Canada, as part of the program for the CFUW AGM and Conference in Ottawa from July 16 to 18. Dr. Samar spoke candidly about her experiences and about the need for civil society as well as government engagement.  She addressed issues relating to women’s rights and to the need for education in a country torn by thirty years of war since the time of the Soviet invasion, the rule of the Taliban and the War Lords.

Patricia DuVal, President of CFUW chaired the meeting and recognised all of the groups around the table.

On Tuesday, Dr. Samar was able to attend a meeting at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade – meeting first with senior bureaucrats and then with a wider group from CIDA and the Department of Foreign Affairs.  She spoke about issues of corruption within government and the need to work towards a lasting peace.  The Afghan Embassy hosted a further meeting for Aid Groups on Thursday morning.

Dr. Samar received an Honourary doctorate from Carleton University at a special ceremony on Thursday July 15.  Upon receiving the degree she commented that she had never attended her own graduation ceremony, after receiving her medical degree from Kabul University – because of the political situation at the time.

Dr. Samar holds an honourary Order of Canada – the only non-Canadian to be so honoured.  She was nominated for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, and has again been nominated for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr. Samar was the keynote speaker at CFUW’s Confederation Banquet – where once again she addressed the issues important to Aghanistan and the way to peace.  Only when women are educated and become part of the peace process, will a lasting peace be possible.