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International Women’s Day Gallery 2019

International Women’s Day 2019 was another happy celebration of women’s progress and a call for better worldwide.

Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate and to keeping pushing for equality: Hon. Sean Casey MP, Hon. Paula Biggar Status of Women Minister, Hannah Bell MLA, ACSW Chairperson Yvonne Deagle; speakers Jenna MacNeill, Jan Devine, and Paola Flores; performers Samantha Lewis (Indigenous Round Dance), Cynthia Dennis (yoga), Helen Gough-Conboy (Irish Set Dance caller), Tuli Porcher (fiddle) and Jessie Periard (guitar). Thank you to Kate Dempsey for leading in singing the Bread and Roses anthem.

Financial and time resources were contributed by local unions, women’s, and social justice organizations (see complete sponsor list at the end of the photo gallery). Jane, Becky, and Dawn were invaluable as always.

A special thank you to the women of the IWD Organizing Committee who set up and arranged the participatory activities and excellent presentations on March 8th:

  • Amy and Olive Clerk
  • Megan Dorrell (a rockstar at the Kids Station!)
  • Paxton Caseley
  • Paola Flores
  • Donna Dingwell
  • Rinku Upadhyaya
  • and Mistress of Ceremonies Farahnaz Rezaei.
(You can view the photos by scrolling down on this page or click on the first photo and flip through the photo carousel that displays, using the arrows).

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IWD GALLERY

 

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International Women’s Day 2019 – #BalanceforBetter / Journée internationale des femmes 2019 – #BalanceforBetter

International Women’s Day 2019 – #BalanceforBetter

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We come together again this year to celebrate International Women’s Day with the theme of “Better the Balance, Better the World.” This is a call-to-action for a gender-balanced world. Women in many countries have come a long way, yet there is still a lot of work to be done in Canada and around the world.

Gender imbalance is not just a challenge for women, it’s a business and economic issue. The PEI Coalition for Women in Government reports, “National and international research on corporate boards confirms it: increased gender balance and diversity on boards results in better financial performance.” The Coalition summarizes studies that clearly show, “When a board achieves gender parity, women and men tend to work more collaboratively, generate more creative ideas, draw from multiple perspectives, and devise robust solutions to problems.” We need gender balance in our boardrooms, our governments, in media, in sports, and many other sectors. Gender balance is essential for communities and economies to grow.

Economic effects are also personal. Earnings and income levels affect equality, and women’s incomes remain unfairly out of balance. The Canadian Women’s Foundation tells us that as of 2016, more than 1.9 million women lived on a low income. Shockingly, a third of women in the workforce make less than $15 per hour. Women are more likely than men to experience poverty. A 2018 study by Angus Reid indicated that 16% of Canadians could be categorized as “struggling” economically. This means that they face ongoing difficulty covering expenses for basics including food, utilities, winter clothing, housing, and dental care, and may have to use services including “pay day loans” and food banks to get by. Of Canadians in the “struggling” category, 60% are women. And women who are Indigenous, disabled, racialized, new immigrants, and gender and sexuality minorities are additionally disadvantaged.

Another area in need of balance is caregiving. Women still carry most of the load of caregiving to children, seniors, and people with disabilities, and a lot of the work is unpaid. A more gender-balanced world would better support caregivers, to help women with the burden of care for families and communities, and also support men to take a larger role.

In order to reach gender balance, we must learn to work together to bring about the changes that are needed, not only on a world-based platform but right here in our own little province. That means keeping gender on the radar, challenging stereotypes, and recognizing that gender identities and roles can be fluid. It also means equality for all women in all places. We are responsible to achieve the highest level of equality we can in our province and our country, and to contribute to the empowerment of all women worldwide.

A more gender-balanced future is possible. Together we can build a gender-balanced world. As we enter an exciting period of history where everyone expects equal access and participation, we notice its absence and celebrate its presence. Today, on International Women’s Day, let us celebrate our successes as women, and let us also use our power to raise the voices of those around us to become aware of the importance of a gender-balanced world for everyone. And work for better.

Yvonne Deagle is the Chairperson of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women.  

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Journée internationale des femmes 2019 – #BalanceforBetter

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Comme tous les ans, nous nous rassemblons pour célébrer la Journée internationale des femmes, cette fois sous le thème Better the Balance, Better the World / Juste équilibre, juste monde. C’est un appel à l’action pour créer un monde où il y a un juste équilibre entre les sexes. Les femmes ont fait d’énormes progrès dans de nombreux pays, mais il reste encore beaucoup à faire au Canada et dans le reste du monde.

Non seulement un défi pour les femmes, le déséquilibre des sexes est un problème économique et commercial. Comme le rapporte la PEI Coalition for Women in Government, « Les recherches nationales et internationales sur les conseils d’administration le confirment : l’accroissement de la diversité et de l’équilibre entre les sexes au sein des conseils d’administration donne lieu à un meilleur rendement financier. » Selon la Coalition, ces études démontrent clairement que « lorsqu’un conseil réalise la parité des sexes, les femmes et les hommes ont tendance à mieux travailler ensemble, à générer des idées plus créatives, à tenir compte de multiples perspectives et à trouver des solutions robustes aux problèmes. » Si nous voulons faire croître l’économie et nos communautés, nous devons atteindre l’équilibre entre les sexes dans nos salles de réunions, nos gouvernements, les médias, les sports et de nombreux autres secteurs.

Les répercussions économiques se font également sentir sur le plan personnel. L’égalité dépend aussi des revenus, et ceux des femmes restent injustement déséquilibrés. Selon la Fondation canadienne des femmes, plus de 1,9 million de femmes vivaient d’un faible revenu en 2016. Plus frappant encore : un tiers des femmes au travail gagnent moins de 15 $ l’heure. Les femmes sont plus susceptibles de vivre dans la pauvreté que les hommes. En 2018, une étude menée par Angus Reid révélait que 16 % de la population canadienne était aux prises avec des difficultés économiques. Ces gens ont des difficultés continues à couvrir les dépenses engendrées par les besoins de base, comme la nourriture, les services publics, les vêtements d’hiver, le logement et les soins dentaires. Ils doivent parfois faire appel aux banques alimentaires ou à des services de prêt sur salaire. Selon l’étude, les femmes composent 60 % de cette catégorie. Soulignons aussi le fait que les femmes autochtones, handicapées, immigrantes ou faisant partie d’une minorité de race, de genre ou de sexualité sont encore plus démunies.

L’équilibre doit aussi être établi dans la prestation de soins. Les femmes font toujours le gros du boulot pour prendre soin des enfants, des aînés et des personnes handicapées, tâche qui est souvent non rémunérée. Un monde équilibré saurait mieux appuyer les personnes soignantes, alléger le poids familial et communautaire qui pèse sur les femmes et aider les hommes à jouer un rôle plus important dans ce domaine.

Afin de parvenir à l’équilibre entre les sexes, nous devons d’abord apprendre à travailler ensemble pour mettre en œuvre les changements qui s’imposent, non seulement à l’échelle du monde mais aussi ici, dans notre petite province. Pour ce faire, les sexes doivent rester d’actualité; il faut renverser les stéréotypes et reconnaître que les identités et les rôles liés au genre ne sont pas figés. Par « équilibre », on entend l’égalité de toutes les femmes dans toutes les régions. Nous avons la responsabilité de viser le plus haut niveau d’égalité qui soit, dans notre province et dans notre pays, et de contribuer à l’émancipation des femmes dans le monde entier.

Ensemble, il est tout à fait possible de fonder un avenir sur l’équilibre entre hommes et femmes. Nous avançons dans une période passionnante de l’histoire où nous privilégions tous et toutes l’égalité d’accès et de participation. Tâchons de remarquer son absence et de célébrer sa présence. Aujourd’hui, en cette Journée internationale des femmes, célébrons les succès des femmes et utilisons notre pouvoir pour faire valoir les voix de celles qui nous entourent pour sensibiliser le monde à l’importance de l’équilibre entre les sexes. Travaillons envers un juste équilibre et envers un juste monde.

Yvonne Deagle est la présidente du Conseil consultatif sur la situation de la femme de l’Î.-P.-É.

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Happy International Women’s Day 2019

2019-03-04 12_34_18-IWD Poster MAR19

Mark Your Calendars!

Friday, March 8th, 2019
from 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Trinity United Church Hall
(*wheelchair accessible)

220 Richmond Street
Charlottetown

All are welcome to attend.

On Friday, March 8, 2019, the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women and allies invite everyone to join in recognizing women worldwide.

The IWD committee is preparing an afternoon that balances celebrating progress for women’s equality and a call to do better, in Canada and worldwide. Minister Paula Biggar will bring greetings from the provincial Status of Women, and ACSW Chairperson Yvonne Deagle will share her editorial reflecting on the significance of IWD in 2019. Samantha Lewis will lead an Indigenous Round Dance at the beginning of the program, as a beautiful way to connect peoples and cultures. There will be an opportunity to participate in some simple balancing yoga exercises led by Cynthia Dennis. Throughout the event we will hear from various women about how they have overcome challenges in their lives. There will also be a chance to kick up your heels with some traditional

Irish country dancing, called by Helen Gough-Conboy with Tuli Porcher on fiddle. To end, Kate Dempsey will lead in singing the anthem “Bread & Roses.” Please note that children are encouraged to attend and enjoy the children’s activity area.

Admission is free. All ages and genders are welcome.

Organizers:
Cooper Institute
Canadian Union of Public Sector Employees
Family Violence Prevention Services
Women’s Network PEI
PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women
PEI Interministerial Women’s Secretariat

For further information:
Michelle Jay, PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women
(902) 368-4510 / info@peistatusofwomen.ca

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Make It Your Business Lunch and Learn for Family Violence Prevention Week

RESCHEDULED TO STORM DATE

Friday, February 15
12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m.
Access PEI O’Leary
45 East Drive
O’Leary

Join the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women and PEI Family Violence Prevention Services (FVPS) for a video viewing and facilitated conversation using FVPS’s video series Make It Your Business. The event will take place in the boardroom at Access PEI, O’Leary at 45 East Drive.

The Make It Your Business videos were created by PEI Family Violence Prevention Services and partners to help people recognize signs of family violence and to learn safe and effective actions to take when you see violence in your workplace or in public settings.

You are welcome to bring a brown bag lunch. We’ll provide coffee, tea, juice, and snacks.

All are welcome. Free admission.

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PEI Status of Women Announces Recent 2018 Bursary Winners

L-R: Yvonne Deagle, PEI Status of Women Chairperson with Walaa Nasry, winner of the Diane Kays Memorial Bursary.

Congratulations to UPEI/AVC student Walaa Nasry, the recipient of the Diane Kays Memorial Bursary. The $500 bursary is for a woman-identified student in a post-secondary program at UPEI, Holland College, or Collége de l’île (formerly called Collège de l’Acadie) who is pursuing a field where women are under-represented or who is an active advocate for women’s equality. The bursary remembers past Council Chairperson Diane Kays, who was a strong voice for vulnerable women and families on PEI.

 

L-R: Yvonne Deagle, PEI Status of Women Chairperson with Rosette Bobo, winner of the Inge Blackett Memorial Bursary.

Congratulations to Holland College student Rosette Bobo, winner of the $500 Inge Blackett Memorial Bursary for a woman-identified student who entered Canada as a refugee and is pursuing education or training. This bursary remembers past Council Vice-Chairperson Inge Blackett, who when she died was the last Holocaust survivor on PEI.


The deadline to apply for the 2019 bursaries is October 15, 2019.

More info: Bursary webpage / En français

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Stepping Up Against Gender Violence – Paxton Caseley Memorial Service Address

DSC_0265If I ask you to think about an example of gender-based violence, it’s likely that for most of us, some of the first things that come to mind are the tragedies and more explosive events that leave their mark on individuals, families, and at times their communities. But the sad reality is that violence begins much earlier. It is something that grows and like everything that grows, it starts somewhere small. The beginnings of gender-based violence are all around us in our everyday lives. It’s the demeaning or sexist joke that someone might have said in passing. It’s ways in which women are objectified and over-sexualized in our media. It’s the constricting gender-roles and expectations that are forced upon women from the time they are born. The list goes on and on.

When we idly stand by, don’t speak up, or don’t question these things, we are giving permission for violence to occur. We are enabling the sexist remarks and reinforcing the superior attitudes of the person who make these demeaning jokes. We are allowing women to be erased, diminished, and minimized by forcing them to fit into gender roles that demand their silence and obedience. And it also means that we are telling women that their intelligence and tenacity are not as valuable as it is to be palatable. Talking about and treating women as though we are less are the beginnings of violence. When women and female-identifying individuals are viewed as being second-class, it can quickly descend into dangerous thinking and actions. Not only does it mean that our voices, opinions, and concerns do not hold as much merit or importance; but it also means that when we do speak up about inequality or our right to feel safe and be free of harassment, abuse, and violence that we are not being taken seriously, we are dismissed, we are subjected to gas-lighting, we are asked what were we wearing, and we are told that it probably wasn’t as bad as we thought.

And so, these seemingly small acts of violence all add up to perpetuate, or even allow violence to continue.

This year’s theme is about taking action to prevent violence against women and we all have a role to play. When I’ve taught bystander intervention courses, I always like to remind people that bystander intervention doesn’t have to look like a dramatic scene from a soap opera. You don’t need to be a hero. It’s truly as simple as voicing your discomfort if you hear someone make degrading comment. It de-escalates the situation and creates a pause in whatever momentum they may have had, and hopefully following that pause there will be some internal reflection.

This past year, I had the opportunity to work with students and various organizations across Canada as we worked to address the issue of sexual violence on post-secondary campuses. I heard from many survivors and victims of their personal experiences, and no matter where they were from or which province they studied in, I kept hearing time and time again of the damage and hurt that occurs when school administrators, police officers, friends, or even family refuse to believe them. Because rather than receive the support and justice that they rightfully deserve, they are often found at a standstill and are unable to move forward. In the context of post-secondary institutions, all too often we saw that student survivors were being punished for coming forward, and if they were not placed under gag order, forced to see their perpetrator on campus and in classes, or being revictimized by investigators, they were dropping out and unable to continue their education without the needed and deserved safety and support. When you find yourself in a situation where something horrific and traumatic has happened to you, that fear does not leave you for a very long time, or perhaps it never does. It takes tremendous courage to speak up and tell someone, especially as there is often a significant risk involved in disclosing your experience. This is why it is crucial for there to be institutional accountability in the form of provincial legislation and regulations because despite what we would like to believe, institutions do not always have the best interests of student survivors in mind.

So not only do we need to learn to recognize violent behaviours, but we also need to believe the survivors and victims of violence. We all have an important role to play in the prevention of gender-based violence. We can choose to take action or remain inactive, but no matter your choice, remember that both have their consequences. And so I ask you to listen and believe survivors, speak up when something doesn’t seem right, intervene and de-escalate the situation, but above all.. be the change that you want to see.

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2018 Memorial Service Gallery

The selection of photos below are from the December 6, 2018 Memorial Service for Victims of Violence held at the Confederation Centre of the Arts (venue sponsor). Thanks to everyone who attended the service and participated in the 2018 Purple Ribbon Campaign Against Violence.

We remember 1989
29 Years Since the Montreal Massacre

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you would prefer to view photos individually, view them at this link:

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