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More than 1,900 women activists, students, researchers and trade unionists recently gathered in Ottawa, July 3 to 7, for the 2011 Women's Worlds Congress. UFCW Canada was one of the event's sponsors, which every three years draws participants from around the world to explore how issues like equality, human rights, economics, labour rights, and education impact women.
The congress featured more than 40 workshops and seminars, as well as a gathering and march to Parliament Hill in solidarity with Native Women's Association of Canada to draw attention to the crisis of murdered and missing Aboriginal women and girls in Canada and the lack of effective response.
National representative Anouk Collet was one of 20 UFCW Canada sisters attending the march
and the four-day congress, July 3-7. It was the largest international women's conference ever held in Canada. "The conference was a great opportunity to share ideas and experiences with sisters around the world. One of the things that kept coming up was that when you talk about globalization is that working women everywhere are juggling to balance their work at work, and their work at home. Workplace equity and advancement was another big issue at the conference because our sisters in non-union workplaces around the world continue to face gender discrimination."
Joining sister Collet and Joyne Lavides as delegates from the National Office were UFCW Canada sisters from Local Unions 503, 1000A, 832, 401 and 247. National representative Debora De Angelis also attended Women's World as a panellist on a workshop focused on organizing women in the retail sector. A UFCW Canada exhibit was also well received as delegates from around the world made a point of stopping by to pick up a variety of publications, posters and brochures produced by the UFCW Canada National Council Women's Advisory Committee (also available here).
The Ottawa event marked the 30th anniversary of the Women's World Congress, and was the first time it was ever held in Canada. More on the congress, as well as video highlights can be found at http://www.womensworlds.ca.