YWCA Hamilton: Voices

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YWCA Hamilton 2012 Women of Distinction Awards

Continuing the tradition of celebrating the achievements of women for more than 30 years, YWCA Hamilton presents the 2012 Women of Distinction Awards on Wednesday May 9th at Liuna Station.

This prestigious evening recognizes women who have excelled, broken barriers an…d have made a difference for women and for our community. This year there are 11 award categories.

The call for nominations is open from November 2011 and closes on February 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm.

YWCA Hamilton’s Women of Distinction Awards are nationally recognized as one of the most prestigious awards for women. YWCA’s from all across Canada join in the celebration each year, honouring the achievements of women. Tables and tickets to attend the awards are available for purchase.

Funds raised support YWCA Hamilton programs, improving the life of the community through women’s support and leadership.

For more information about nominations or to purchase tables and tickets to this event pleace contact:

Marj Farquharson
Development Coordinator
YWCA Hamilton
T: 905-522-9922 ext. 127
E: mfarquharson@ywcahamilton.org

2011 Nominees

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Remembering Women This Remembrance Day

This Remembrance Day, least we forget women in war today.

Women, War & Peace is a new five-part PBS television series challenging the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain. The vast majority of today’s conflicts are not fought by nation states and their armies, but rather by informal entities: gangs and warlords using small arms and improvised weapons. The series reveals how the post-Cold War proliferation of small arms has changed the landscape of war, with women becoming primary targets and suffering unprecedented casualties. Yet they are simultaneously emerging as necessary partners in brokering lasting peace and as leaders in forging new international laws governing conflict. Women, War & Peace spotlights the stories of women in conflict zones from Bosnia to Afghanistan and Colombia to Liberia, placing women at the center of an urgent dialogue about conflict and security, and reframing our understanding of modern warfare.

Women, War & Peace premieres on PBS Tuesday nights throughout October and November, 2011. Watch the entire series here.

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Don’t Be That Guy


The “Don’t Be That Guy” poster campaign was developed by the Sexual Assault Voices of Edmonton (SAVE) and was launched in November 2010.  Since that time, the campaign has gained international attention, having been launched in communities across Canada and abroad.  The campaign focuses on the issue of drug-facilitated sexual assaults.


Drug-facilitated sexual assault is a sexual assault perpetrated by an offender with a victim who is profoundly intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.  In these cases, the victim is not capable of giving consent.


The intent of the posters is to generate conversation and to redirect the community’s understanding of where the responsibility lies.  The campaign targets potential offenders as they are the ones responsible for the assault and they are responsible for stopping it just as the guy that stands back and does nothing is.


Diana Tikasz, MSW, RSW, Clinical Specialist, Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Centre, Hamilton Health Sciences says, “The burden should not be on individual women to prevent drug facilitated sexual assault.  Sexual assault is a societal issue.  This campaign, through our partnerships, is our community’s commitment to raise awareness about this type of sexual violence.  In Ontario, one in five women who were sexually assaulted believed that they were drugged prior to the assault.”


“Many awareness campaigns target women by reminding them how they can ‘prevent’ being sexually assaulted.  This approach can have the unintended effect of reinforcing self-blame because it places the responsibility for stopping sexual assault on the potential victims.  This campaign speaks to men and shows us where the true responsibility for stopping sexual assault lies:  100% with the offender.  It’s a very refreshing approach.”, said Krista Warnke, Public Education, Coordinator for the Sexual Assault Centre Hamilton and Area (SACHA).


The social marketing campaign will run from November 10th, 2011 to January 10th, 2012.  The campaign consists of mini-boards posted in licensed establishments in the Hamilton bar district.  The posters will also be distributed in and around the McMaster University and Mohawk College campuses, and displayed by the partnering agencies.  Any business, organization or agency wishing to get involved with the poster campaign is asked to contact the Hamilton Police Service Crime Prevention Unit at 905.546.4900.

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Canadian Women Lag in Political Power Relative to Men


A new study reveals that Canada is far behind other countries such as Sri Lanka, Uganda and Guyana when it comes to how much political power women have relative to men.

While Canadian women have gained almost equal ground in the areas of health and education, the gaps between men and women are enormous in economics and politics. 

 “We often make an assumption, not just in Canada but in other countries, that we’ve achieved equality for women and we can move on to talk about other issues. This is a wake up call that we have a lot of work to do,” said Deborah Gillis, senior vice-president and head of the Canadian office of Catalyst, an international advocacy group for women in business.

Business was measured in wages and management positions. The study reveals that Canadian women have an attainment level only three-quarters to that of men. This is not surprising as here in Hamilton, 7% of women working full-time all year long earn wages so low they still live in poverty. This amounts to more than 4,000 working poor women in Hamilton.

The issue of gender equality is not just a human rights issue, there are also serious economically ramifications. “Our research shows that more women in leadership roles on boards of directors and senior leadership teams points, for instance, to organizations having stronger financial performance,” says Gillis.

Most alarming is Canada’s gender inequality in politics, measured by the number of female legislators and cabinet ministers. Here a 71% gap exists between men and women! While Canada is making gains federally, 76 women (24.7%) were elected to the House of Commons this past spring; women must meet a critical threshold of 30% in governments before women’s concerns can begin to be addressed in a substantial way.

Is it no wonder that the economic inequalities between men and women are directly linked to a lack of political power? As long as Canadian women continue to hit the political glass ceiling, concerns over the pink ghetto and cheap labour will not be prioritized and the drive for equal pay and the pursuit of a family wage will not be championed in the way it needs to be.