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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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2017-2018 Purple Ribbon Campaign

Don’t stand by. Stand with. Everyone has a part to play in preventing 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 on December 6, 1989, and to raise awareness about violence against women.

Don’t stand by. Stand with. Everyone has a part to play in preventing violence against women. What does it mean to “stand with” people who experience violence? When we think of “bystanders” to violence we often think of witnesses, standing on the sidelines doing nothing. But what if everyone who witnessed bullying, abuse, or violence acted and intervened in some way to make a positive difference? Taking action when we see signs of violence is standing with the people who experience violence. Even small actions can make a difference. A small action could even save a life. With every action to help, together, we can build a community ready to take a stand against violence.

Six steps to taking action when we see signs of abuse or violence
1. Notice that something is happening
2. Recognize signs of abuse or violence in what is happening
3. Take responsibility for providing help
4. Assess safety: the victim’s, the aggressor’s, yours, and others’ nearby
5. Decide how to help in a way that keeps us and the people around us safe
6. Take action to help

(Click image to view it larger)


Memorial Services for Victims of Violence

December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. On and around December 6, candle-lighting services remember 14 young Women who in 1989 were murdered because they were women in what became known as the Montreal Massacre.

We remember ten women since 1989 murdered on Prince Edward Island by men who knew them. Join others in your community to light a candle of remembrance, to remember, to reflect, and to act so these murders end.

First mourn, then work for change
We remember 1989

28 Years Since the Montreal Massacre 

CHARLOTTETOWN
12:00 noon, Wednesday, December 6
Memorial Hall, Confederation Centre of the Arts (venue sponsor)
Mi’kmaw ceremony & prayers: Elder Judy Clark & Julie Pellissier-Lush
Guest Speaker: Treena Smith
Music: Sylvia Abikhattar-Mutch & Peter Mutch
More info: 902-368-4510
PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women

Candles will be lit in commemoration of the 14 women who were murdered in Montreal in 1989 and the 10 Island women who have died at the hands of violent men since that year.
______________________

SUMMERSIDE
12:00 noon, Wednesday, December 6
Summerside Baptist Church
219 Church Street
More info: 902-436-9856
East Prince Women’s Information Centre


Teachers Resource Guide (Bilingual)
A Feature of the 2017 Purple Ribbon Campaign

Resource Guides
Handouts for Students / Documents à distribuer aux étudiants … PDF
Resources for Teachers / Ressources pour les enseignants … PDF
Resources to print on 11×17″ paper … PDF


Multilingual Poster

Don’t stand by. Stand with. Everyone has a part to play in ending violence against women.

This year’s multilingual 11×17” poster highlights the Purple Ribbon Campaign theme, “Don’t Stand By. Stand With.  Everyone has a part to play in preventing violence against women” in English, French, Mi’kmaq, Arabic, Farsi, Mandarin, Nepali, Korean, and Spanish. These represent the founding and most commonly spoken languages of our province. Thanks to JoDee Samuelson for adapting the bookmark image. Posters are available by request, or at http://www.gov.pe.ca/acsw.   Download printable multilingual poster.

________________________________

Bystander Infographic

(Click infographic to view larger)
English

2017-ENG-bystander-infographic

________________________________

French

2017-FRE-bystander-infographic


Orientation Sheet, 2013, PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women
Artwork:
“Seeds” by Mari Basiletti. This work was commissioned by and hangs in the waiting room of the PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Centre, Charlottetown.


Pinning Bee – Thursday, November 9, 2017

It’s the season of purple! Our 2017-18 Campaign theme focuses on the power of bystanders: Don’t stand by. Stand with. Everyone has a part to play in ending violence against women.

Be a part of the solution by speaking up and taking action when you see violence occurring or have concerns that someone may be harmed. Be a part of the solution by wearing a purple ribbon to show your support for women and girls and your commitment to ending gender-based violence. Be a part of the solution by joining others to pin ribbons which will be distributed to schools, community groups and individuals across PEI.

The annual pinning bee will be held Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 6:30 – 8:00pm at the Confederation Centre Public Library, 145 Richmond Street, Charlottetown.

To see a few photos from the Pinning Bee, click on this Facebook post link:
https://www.facebook.com/peistatusofwomen/posts/1509083672461528


December 6, 2017 Commentary … bilingual

Related Articles:


Thank You…

Thank you to the 2017 contributors to the Purple Ribbon Campaign for generous assistance. This list will be updated weekly, as contributors are confirmed:

  • Federated Women’s Institutes of PEI
  • Premier Wade MacLauchlan’s Office
  • City of Charlottetown
  • Confederation Centre of the Arts – Venue Sponsor
  • Premier’s Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention (PAC)
  • Judy Clark and Julie Pellissier-Lush, PEI Aboriginal Women’s Association
  • PEI Association for Newcomers translators
  • Members of the public who attended the Pinning Bee
  • JoDee Samuelson, for adapting the bookmark image
  • Staff at Anderson House, Family Violence Prevention Services (FVPS)
  • Kate, Karen, Irma, and Dan for their tremendous help with our Purple Ribbon mailout
  • Excel Accounting Services Inc.- mailout sponsor
  • Lynn MacNeil, Brandy and Conner Beasley, Debbie Langston, and Maribeth Rogers for assisting with collating and distributing purple ribbons and teachers’ guides
  • Joanne McNeary
  • Kara Katmouz, FVPS Outreach Coordinator, West Prince Region
  • Treena Smith, guest speaker
  • Sylvia Abikhattar-Mutch, soloist
  • Peter Mutch, cellist
  • Elders Julie Pellissier-Lush and Judy Clark, Mi’kmaw opening
  • Eileen LeClair, UPSE Silent Witnesses
  • Dawn Wilson
  • Michelle Buttery
  • Interministerial Women’s Secretariat and Hearts & Flowers
  • Advisory Council members
  • Paul Wood and Rob Warren
  • and the 27 candlelighters who participated in the Memorial Service

Photos

Volunteers helping with the annual Purple Ribbon Campaign mailout. Thanks to Kate, Karen, Irma, and Dan.

Volunteers helping with the annual Purple Ribbon Campaign mailout. Thanks to Kate, Karen, Irma, and Dan.

Volunteers at the Pinnng Bee at the Confederation Centre Public Library.

Pinning Bee volunteers keeping busy at the Pinning Bee at the Confederation Centre Public Library.

Click for more on past Purple Ribbon Campaigns.

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Women in Canada Study Group 2017 Photo Gallery

Fifty years ago, on February 16, 1967, the historic Royal Commission on the Status of Women was launched. Using this landmark Royal Commission as a starting point, the Advisory Council on the Status of Women and the Aboriginal Women’s Association hosted a bi-weekly study group to consider women’s equality decade by decade, from 1967-2017.

The study group considered: What was particularly relevant for women during each 10-year period? How has women’s equality advanced in the last 50 years? Which women were left out of consideration and remain underrepresented in decision-making today?

The Advisory Council was pleased with the participation and engagement of those who attended the study group. Often the comments centred around when feminist awareness and ideals were awakened, related to personal and societal experiences.  Thank you to everyone who reflected so openly, generously and wisely to the discussion. Wela’lin.

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PART 2: Improving Sexual Assault Response in PEI

April 11, 2017

Recent events have focused the attention of many Canadians on sexual violence and how survivors of sexual violence are treated in the justice system. A review of how sexual assault cases are handled must go beyond determining what cases were labelled “unfounded” (baseless) and under what circumstances. We need to examine how sexual assault of adults is treated from the time of reporting all the way through to sentencing and learn what can be done better.

Much discrimination and pain results from widespread belief in rape myths. There are many examples of harmful myths: that women often lie about sexual assault out of spite or revenge or to get attention; that only young or “sexy” women are sexually assaulted; that women are most likely to be assaulted at night, in dark places, and by strangers; that men don’t get sexually assaulted. These myths are false, but, what’s more, they are barriers to justice for survivors of sexual violence.

What are some practical things we can do to battle these myths and improve sexual assault response?

Police officers of all genders and all backgrounds need to be well trained to respond to sexual violence. From the first contact between a victim and a first responder, the victim needs to feel believed and the next steps need to be trauma-informed. A trauma-informed response in the justice system means that all persons who work with victims or survivors understand the science of how violence, abuse, and trauma affect the brain and behaviour. As trauma expert Dr. Lori Haskell explains, the effects of trauma on the brain “interfere with the way… victims seek safety, process information, and remember details.”

Victims who go to hospital for treatment need to have access to nurses, nurse practitioners, or doctors who are trained in sexual assault response, such as Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. Timely and respectful service by well-trained healthcare workers could go a long way to improving outcomes for victims.

There is clearly a need for better training for all people working in the justice system, including for judges. This should include education on the evidence that refutes rape myths, as well as the science on how survivors process assault and how trauma affects memory. Recently, federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould praised a project in the U.S. that invites external advocates to help with reviews of sexual assault cases. There are also precedents in many U.S. courts for including expert witness testimony in sexual assault cases.

In the courts and among the general public, there is a clear need for better definition and better understanding of what constitutes sexual consent. This education needs to begin with children and youth, so they learn about healthy relationships and respecting themselves and others.

As members of the public, we can counter rape myths when we hear them repeated. We can stand up against the stigma sexual violence survivors face and stand up against victim-blaming. We can practice consent in our own relationships and model healthy relationships for children and youth.

Most of all, we can believe survivors when they tell us they have been harmed. We can listen without judgment. We can say that what happened to them was not okay. We can tell them that the violence is not their fault. We can help connect people with services and supports if they want them. We can advocate for more resources and supports for front-line services for sexual assault response, through sexual assault nurse examiners, Victim Services, and the Rape and Sexual Assault Centre.

We can all play a role in helping survivors of sexual violence achieve justice.

Mari Basiletti is the Chairperson and Jane Ledwell is the Executive Director of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

Journal Pioneer article, April 11, 2017

PART 1 – Justice for Survivors of Sexual Assault

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PART 1: Justice for Survivors of Sexual Assault

April 10, 2017

A number of recent developments have brought sexual assault into the headlines, and little of it has been good news. A Globe and Mail investigation showed that, on average, 19% of sexual assaults reported to police in Canada get classified as “unfounded,” meaning baseless. Here in PEI, the police forces that reported their statistics had an even higher rate of cases coded “unfounded”: 27%, more than a quarter of all reported cases. Sexual assault cases are declared “unfounded” at a far greater rate than any other crime.

In Nova Scotia recently, a Halifax taxi driver was acquitted after a judge ruled that “clearly a drunk can consent” to sex. Last month in Newfoundland, a police officer was acquitted of sexually assaulting a woman he was driving home while he was on duty. Both cases brought to light rape myths that persist in society and the justice system, including understanding the laws and the meaning of consent.

In better news, Justice Robin Camp recently resigned and apologized before being removed from the bench. During a sexual assault trial in his court in 2014, he had asked the complainant why she didn’t keep her “knees together.”

It’s reasonable for women to expect that a judge will examine their evidence without their judgment being clouded by victim-blaming and prejudice. It’s reasonable for women to expect that they will get home safely in a taxicab or a police vehicle. It’s reasonable for women to expect that their reports of sexual violence will result in thorough investigations as often as other crimes.

Sadly, blaming victims for sexual violence is rampant not only in courts, but across society: so much so that we have to talk about rape culture and all the attitudes and myths that contribute to it.

Statistics suggest only one in ten sexual assault cases is reported to police in the first place. Charges are laid in only one-third of cases reported, and, when charges are laid, only one in ten cases results in a conviction.

To achieve justice for survivors of sexual violence in PEI will take concerted action. The province has called for all police services to review the cases they labelled “unfounded” from 2014 to 2016. This is a good first step, but a review of police services by police themselves is not enough. Who will clarify how the cases got labelled “unfounded” and by whom? Will the same officers that handled the cases be reviewing them? What are the benchmarks for an objective review? At a minimum, these reviews should seek input from community services that work with victims and survivors, such as the Rape and Sexual Assault Centre or provincial Victim Services.

The Globe and Mail investigation showed that police services with more female officers had fewer unfounded cases. Working towards gender parity and greater diversity in PEI police forces is also very important, so that survivors see themselves reflected back in the services meant to “serve and protect” them, and so that police officers with a greater variety of backgrounds and life experiences – including experience of sexual violence – can spread compassion and understanding for women and diverse groups’ experiences.

There are many ways the response to sexual assault could be improved in Prince Edward Island. Tomorrow, we will suggest some additional specific ways to achieve justice for sexual assault survivors.

Mari Basiletti is the Chairperson and Jane Ledwell is the Executive Director of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

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Women in Canada: 50 Years of Change

final-revised-women-in-canada-study-group-posterPlease check back for any updates/bi-weekly reminders.

Final Study Group Next Week:  

Thursday, April 27, 2017
12:00 noon to 1:00pm
Discussion of the years 2007-2017
and Closing Ceremony

Fifty years ago, on February 16, 1967, the historic Royal Commission on the Status of Women was launched. Using this landmark Royal Commission as a starting point, the Advisory Council on the Status of Women and the Aboriginal Women’s Association will host a study group on women in Canada. The group will meet bi-weekly in March and April to consider women’s equality decade by decade, from 1967-2017.

The study group will ask: What was particularly relevant for women during each 10-year period? How has women’s equality advanced in the last 50 years? Which women were left out of consideration and remain underrepresented in decision-making today? 

 

DSC_7433

Organizers and participants pose for a photo at a recent Study Group at the Confederation Centre Public Library.

The group will launch Thursday March 2, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm. The first session will focus on the years 1967-1977. The study group will be held at the Confederation Centre PublicLibrary in Charlottetown. Kendi Tarichia will bring the perspective of Black Islanders to the first study group discussion.

 

Mark the dates March 16, and 30; and April 13 and 27 for future study groups in the series. Hosted by Aboriginal Women’s Association of PEI, PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women and the PEI Public Library Service.For more information, contact 902-368-4510 or info@peistatusofwomen.ca or visit https://peiacsw.wordpress.com

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