Status of Women Standing Committee

Chair: Anne Cordon

The Ontario Council Status of Women and Human Rights Committee seeks to assist local members in bringing forth discussion and activism in their Clubs and communities by focusing on the many issues and concerns of women across the province. The three meetings held throughout the year provide Ontario members with the opportunity to speak with a collective voice for the current concerns of women and an opportunity to learn more about the issues of the day.

Committee Reports

November 24, 2018 PLENARY

TOPIC: Participating in the Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7 Presidency
SPEAKER: Rosemary Ganley, lifelong feminist activist, writer and educator.

We were treated to an insider look at this historic council through Rosemary’s stories and impressions of the diverse, talented delegate representation. Rosemary’s perspective on gender issues and changing attitudes over time is rich and deep from her long life traveling and serving around the world including working in Jamaica and Tanzania and attending the UN Conference on Women in Beijing. Read more…

January 20, 2018 PLENARY

TOPIC: How to get our message heard
Maya Roy, CEO of the YWCA Canada

Maya’s low tech, high impact message got to the heart of our Election theme: how to get our message heard. Leading by example Maya described how her team at the YWCA was able to achieve 25% guaranteed funding of the new federal housing budget with a gender lens–truly an astounding achievement, especially as Maya took on her role at the YWCA in only May of last year.

Maya is a diversity specialist with 20 years of experience in a variety of sectors including public policy development, public health, adult education and social work. She has extensive experience working in marginalized and disadvantaged communities, and is skilled in human resources, financial management, grant writing and project planning as well as in strategic communications and marketing. Maya is using her background and talents to further YWCA priorities, and get the message out to the electorate. Her approach stresses the need to know what you want, keep your message both unified and simple, keep the profile of the message visible, and know your audience because timing is everything. Read the full report>>

September 23, 2017

TOPIC: Municipal Politics – Challenges and Rewards
SPEAKER: Kathy Vassilakos, PhD   Councillor, City of Stratford

“If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu,… no one gives up power easily, no one…Nobody’s just going to say ‘women have arrived and let’s just move over’…We have a chance but we have to fight for it.”  A modern proverb quoted by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) in 2014

Deciding to run…

  • Decide what unique perspective you bring to the table, women are not and should not be all the same
  • Know what you are getting into – time commitment, when meetings are held, expectations for committee and outside board work.
  • Advice – attend some council meetings to get a sense how things work.Read the full report>>
March 25, 2017

TOPIC: United Nations Commission of the Status of Women (UNCSW):  61st Session:  Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work: Impressions, Influence, Importance

SPEAKERS:  Teri Shaw, Ontario Council Advocacy Co-Coordinator, Sandy Thomson, Ontario Council President, Kathryn Wilkinson, Vice-President, Education, CFUW National, Dr. Sharon Crabb, Vice-President, Advocacy, CFUW National

The plan for this afternoon was to tap into our own experts to find out directly what is happening at the UN Commission of the Status of Women. Teri, Sandy, Kathryn, and Sharon had just returned from New York City where they were part of our 20 person CFUW delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) taking place from March 13-24, 2017. The CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. What a fantastic opportunity to hear from our delegates what is happening and we were not disappointed: such talent, inspiration, and passion!! Sandy attended this year for the first time, so her observations were as a neophyte while the others had been to several and were becoming veterans on how to make the most of the events and how to make connections. Read the full report >>


Reports from previous years have been archived in DropBox. Clicking on the link will open a new tab to the Status of Women Folder, where all reports can be viewed or downloaded. Read Archived Reports >>