Posts Tagged women’s equality

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? 



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 or visit


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Viola Desmond, First Canadian Woman to Grace a Canadian Banknote / Viola Desmond, première femme canadienne à figurer sur un billet de banque du Canada


December 12, 2016

The Honourable Bill Morneau
Minister of Finance
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Morneau:

We are writing to express sincere pleasure on selecting Viola Desmond as the first Canadian woman to grace a Canadian banknote. On behalf of the Coalition of Provincial and Territorial Advisory Councils on the Status of Women, we congratulate you and your government on a laudable consultation process and a decision that Canadians can take pride in.

To see a woman represented on Canadian currency is significant and symbolic. Many Canadians will be inspired to learn more about Viola Desmond as an African Nova Scotian and civil rights leader. They will learn about her struggle for equal rights, for herself and others, and the resistance, prejudice and discrimination she experienced and triumphantly overcame.

It is our sincere hope that every Canadian, both young and old, will be inspired by Viola Desmond’s advocacy and will continue the work to overcome prejudice and discrimination, strive to address laws and systems that discriminate and work towards justice and equality for all. We look forward to seeing the $10 bill featuring Ms. Desmond in 2018.

We would also like to thank Ms. Merna Forster and others who advocated for Ms. Desmond, a true champion of equality and inclusion, on our Canadian currency.

Mari Basiletti, Co-Chairperson


Le 12 décembre 2016

L’honorable Bill Morneau
Ministre des Finances
Chambre des communes
Ottawa (Ontario) K1A 0A6

Monsieur le Ministre,

Nous vous écrivons pour vous dire à quel point nous sommes heureuses que vous ayez choisi Viola Desmond comme première femme canadienne à figurer sur un billet de banque du Canada. Au nom de la Coalition des conseils consultatifs provinciaux et territoriaux sur le statut des femmes, nous vous félicitons, vous et votre gouvernement, d’un processus de consultation louable et d’une décision dont les Canadiens et Canadiennes peuvent être fiers.

Voir l’image d’une femme sur une devise canadienne est un événement marquant et symbolique. Un grand nombre de Canadiens et Canadiennes seront inspirés d’en apprendre davantage au sujet de Viola Desmond, une Afro-Néo-Écossaise et défenseure des droits de la personne. Ils apprendront sa lutte pour assurer l’égalité des droits, pour elle-même et les autres, ainsi que la résistance, les préjugés et la discrimination qu’elle a connus, mais surmontés en triomphe.

Nous souhaitons sincèrement que les Canadiens et Canadiennes de tout âge trouvent l’inspiration dans le travail de défense des intérêts de Viola Desmond, qu’ils continuent les efforts de lutte contre les préjugés et la discrimination, qu’ils visent à faire changer les lois et les systèmes discriminatoires et qu’ils fassent tout leur possible afin d’assurer la justice et l’égalité pour tous. Nous avons hâte de voir le billet de 10 $ orné du visage de Mme Desmond en 2018.

Nous désirons également remercier Mme Merna Forster et les autres qui se sont prononcés en faveur de Mme Desmond, une véritable championne de l’égalité et de l’inclusion, sur notre monnaie canadienne.

Je vous prie d’agréer, Monsieur le Ministre, mes meilleures salutations.

Mari Basiletti, coprésidente

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PEI Status of Women Announces Bursary Winners

L-R: Doreen Kays presents cheque to Marilyn Enman, winner of the Diane Kays Memorial Bursary.

L-R: Doreen Kays presents cheque to Marilyn Enman, winner of the Diane Kays Memorial Bursary.

Congratulations to Holland College (Steamfitting/Pipefitting) student Marilyn Enman, the first 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 College Acadie who is pursuing a field where women are under-represented or who is an active advocate for women’s equality.

Council members updated criteria and amounts for our bursary program this year and proudly renamed this bursary for late Chairperson Diane Kays. Diane’s sister Doreen notified the winner of the bursary and presented her with the cheque this week.

Congratulations also to Arpana Giri, 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. The bursary remembers past Council Vice-Chairperson Inge Blackett, who when she died was the last Holocaust survivor on PEI.

The deadline for next year’s bursaries will be October 15, 2016.
More info:  Bursary webpage / En français

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Women’s History Month Celebrates Inspiring Forebears


PEI Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Paula Biggar and Chairperson of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women Kelly Robinson.

October is Women’s History Month across Canada, and this year the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women and PEI Interministerial Women’s Secretariat celebrated the month with a gathering to remember inspiring women of the past. More than fifty people took part in the celebration on October 20 at St. Peter’s Cathedral Hall in Charlottetown.

Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Paula Biggar recognized the ways local Prince Edward Island women have contributed to the greater equality women in Canada enjoy today.

Said Minister Biggar, “People’s contributions have made a difference, and some of this work was completed by women who would never have considered themselves leaders. Some of this work was a collective experience, in which no particular person stood out, but was through the efforts of many working together in solidarity.”

A memorial circle at the celebration invited all those present to share a memory or a memento of an inspiring woman who touched their lives and is no longer with us. The ceremony brought to mind participants’ extraordinary mothers, grandmothers, aunts, neighbours, and friends, as well as more widely known leaders in the arts, in labour, in sport, or in politics.

Specially remembered and honoured was social worker, counsellor, and advocate Diane Kays, who died in March 2015 while she was serving as the Chairperson of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

“We will honour their efforts by continuing to work for progress,” said Minister Biggar.

Kelly Robinson, Chairperson of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women, acknowledged the 40th anniversary of the Advisory Council and expressed hope that “In the next 40 years, we will build on the work of our forebears to meet the goals women continue to reach for to attain full equality in all aspects of life.”

Women’s History Month and is celebrated with events in many communities across Canada. This year’s theme was “Her Story, Our Story: Celebrating Canadian Women.” Women’s History Month encompasses October 11, the UN-declared International Day of the Girl, and October 18, Persons Day, which marks the date in 1929 when Canadian women were recognized as “persons” under the law.


Minister Responsible Biggar and Chairperson Robinson with Doreen Kays, sister of past Chairperson Diane Kays.

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