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2019 Chairs Circle

Left to right: Dianne Porter, Anne Nicholson, Sharon O’Brien, Colleen MacQuarrie, Isabelle Christian, Kirstin Lund, Mari Basiletti, and Yvonne Deagle

On May 24, 2019, eight chairpersons of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women gathered in Charlottetown for the eighth annual roundtable of past and present Chairs. Chairperson Yvonne Deagle hosted the Chairs Circle, and seven amazing past Chairpersons took part.

With a new government in Prince Edward Island this spring, the theme of the chairs’ conversation this year was collaboration and the key actions they took as Chairs to build good relationships and seek good solutions for gender equality with the governments they worked with.

Says Yvonne Deagle, “The past chairs who met on Friday have worked with governments of all kinds and with almost a dozen Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women. With all of them, the Advisory Council on the Status of Women worked to advocate for gender equality, diversity, and inclusion. The past Chairs have so many experiences to learn from and to help the current Advisory Council on the Status of Women to continue our good work. I am very proud to be part of this continuing legacy.”

The Chairs Circle is an opportunity to share collective knowledge and experience among long-time gender equality advocates.

This year, Michelle Harris-Genge, Director of the Interministerial Women’s Secretariat, participated in the consultation on behalf of the newly appointed Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Hon. Darlene Compton.

Yvonne says, “I am happy that strong lines of communication are already opening between the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women, the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, and the Interministerial Women’s Secretariat. I’m looking forward to sharing more of the Chairs Circle’s reflections and positive messages with Minister Compton in the coming days. We want to support the new Minister and all of the new government to do a great job for increasing equality on PEI.”

 

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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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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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Memorial Services for Victims of Violence

Time to step up. Be ready to prevent violence against women.

The Purple Ribbon Campaign Against Violence (Campagne du ruban violet contre la violence) was initiated by the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women in 1991 to remember the 14 women who were murdered at L’École Polytechnique in Montreal in December 1989, and to raise awareness about violence against women.

Charlottetown Memorial Service

CHARLOTTETOWN
12:00 noon, Thursday, December 6

Memorial Hall, Confederation Centre of the Arts (venue sponsor)
Richmond Street
Charlottetown

29 years after the horrific murder of 14 women at L’École Polytechnique in Montreal, we gather to remember, to mourn, and to work for change. We will be commemorating the young women who died in Montreal and the 10 Island women who have been killed by partners or someone who knew them since 1989. And we will recommit to ending violence against women everywhere.

The special service will include an address by Paxton Caseley of Our Turn; poetry by Lily Lévesque; Mi’kmaw opening prayer with Elder Julie Pellissier-Lush; music by the O Beautiful Gaia singers; and Dylan Menzie accompanying on piano. Family members, dignitaries, and community activists will light candles in remembrance of those whose lives were cut short because they were women. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Contact Michelle at 902-368-4510 / info@peistatusofwomen.ca

– 2018 Purple Ribbon Campaign, blog and website

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Summerside Memorial Service

SUMMERSIDE
12:00 noon, Thursday, December 6
Trinity United Church
90 Spring Street
Guest Speaker: Hon. Tina Mundy
More info: 902-436-9856
East Prince Women’s Information Centre

First mourn, then work for change
We remember 1989

29 Years Since the Montreal Massacre

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Happy International Women’s Day 2018

Mark Your Calendars!

Thursday, March 8th, 2018
3:00pm – 6:00pm
Trinity United Church Hall
220 Richmond Street
Charlottetown

All are welcome to attend.

Come join us to celebrate International Women’s Day! We will be singing, sharing experiences, and of course DANCING! There will be a kids station and lots of opportunity for everyone to be playful. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity worldwide.

Refreshments provided. This is a FREE event – open to every age and gender.

For details contact Michelle at info@peistatusofwomen.ca or 902-368-4510.

Facebook Event Page


As of March 7, 2018

Getting excited for our International Women’s Day event!

A few treats we have in store:
* Singing the “new” revised Canadian anthem with MP Sean Casey (who brought the motion to the House of Parliament)
* Greetings from the province by Minister Paula Biggar
* ACSW Chairperson Yvonne Deagle’s IWD message
* 4 women’s perspectives on IWD
* Bollywood dance steps with Garima Mishra and Rinku Upadhyaya
* Bboyizm dance demo by Jordan Legere
* Indigenous Round Dance led by Samantha Lewis and Barbara Bernard
* Kate Dempsey leading us in singing Bread and Roses

The afternoon will be MC’d by the wonderful Farahnaz Rezaei. There will be a kids corner, refreshments, and lots of opportunity to get to know one another.

This is a FREE event, open to all genders. The Trinity Hall is accessible. Women, men, and children are all welcome.


Organizers:

  • PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada
  • Cooper Institute
  • Canadian Union of Public Sector Employees
  • Women’s Network PEI
  • PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women
  • PEI Interministerial Women’s Secretariat

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Service Awards Presented at Recent Council Meeting

Three members of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women completed their maximum five-year terms this January and “graduated” from the Council. At Council’s January meeting in Cornwall, continuing Council members and staff presented all three with service awards recognizing their many contributions to Council’s work. Mari Basiletti, Melissa Mullen, and Patti Wheatley all provided wonderful service to the Council, and we will miss them very much.

For more information about each woman’s work on the Council, please read the individual awards below:

service-awards-group

L-R: Melissa Mullen, Treasurer; Mari Basiletti, Chairperson; and Patti Wheatley, Council member; pose for a photo following the presentation of service awards at a recent Council meeting in Cornwall.

Service Award – The PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women thanks Mari Basiletti

Mari Basiletti of Canoe Cove has served on the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women since 2013 and as Chairperson since 2016. Mari was the first out lesbian woman ever appointed to Council as a member and as Chairperson. We are so proud that she openly shared her love of her partner and their family at the Council table. Mari’s patience, kindness, integrity, and love of women inform everything she does. Her experience working in mental health with people who experienced trauma, abuse, stigmatization, and marginalization helped guide our work with compassion. She shared her great skills as a listener, a dedicated worker and contributor, an artist, and a good friend with Council members and staff. Mari loves her community, and what she considers her community is broad and inclusive.

Thank you, Mari, for your loving and conscientious leadership to help the PEIACSW advance the status of women in PEI.

Service Award – The PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women thanks Melissa Mullen

Melissa Mullen has served as a member of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women since 2013. Melissa is always accessible to her community to bring forward issues to the Council table, and she represents her community well, whether farmers, rural women, artists, or caregivers to youth and older adults. Melissa attended and participated in Council special events, often helping to carry the load with not only physical work, but also the emotional work of building and maintaining relationships of mutual respect. She took a special interest in study groups on Truth and Reconciliation and Women in Canada of the past 50 years. Melissa is creatively driven and ready to go deep in her learning. She is passionate, steady, and unwavering in her work for change to improve Island life for women and families.

Thank you, Melissa, for your dedicated and committed work to help the PEIACSW advance the status of women in PEI.

Service Award – The PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women thanks Patti Wheatley

Patti Wheatley has served as a member of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women since 2013. Patti’s feminism is both instinctive and well-informed, a balance that makes her an essential contributor to the Advisory Council’s analysis. Patti’s strong legal mind and training, her curiosity, and her experience as a valued volunteer with equality-seeking organizations contributed tremendously to Council. Her willingness to ask incisive, challenging questions ensured Council positions that go beyond obvious or easy recommendations and, instead, call for more meaningful and lasting change for Island women and families. We are grateful that Patti shared her early experiences of parenting with Council and that we had her daughter at our meetings, inspiring us to work for the next generation.

Thank you, Patti, for your strong and intelligent insight to help the PEIACSW advance the status of women in PEI.

Council members and staff gathered for a photo at their January meeting in Cornwall: Back row L-R: Jane Ledwell, Becky Tramley, Patti Wheatley, Madison Blanchard, Michelle Jay, Melissa Mullen, and Debbie Langston. Front row L-R: Yvonne Deagle, Mari Basiletti, and Diana Lariviere (Missing from photo: Council members Lalana Paul and Pam Montgomery).

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