YWCA Hamilton: Voices

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Two Minute Action: Sisters in Spirit


via Meaghan Ross
Housing Help Centre

As many of you are aware, there are currently over 600

Missing or Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls in Canada.SISTERS IN SPIRIT has been a catalyst for awareness and change from the level of community-based grassroots groups to that of federal policy and program development.
The goals of this initiative was to better understand the root causes of violence against Aboriginal women and girls, to identify measures to increase their safety and well-being, to increase awareness across Canada of the impact of violence against Aboriginal women and girls and to preserve the life story of lost loved ones

In March 2010, when funding for Sisters in Spirit was up for renewal, the Harper Government announced that there would be $10 million in the Federal Budget to
“address the disturbingly high number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women”
Out of that $10 Million federal budget dollars, ONLY 5% WENT TO THE NATIVE WOMENS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA
This is not enough funding to maintain the Sisters in Spirit Initiative.

The Sisters in Spirit initiative is an excellent example of the mobilization and empowerment of the Aboriginal Community through progressive leadership and innovation.
The date October 4th is now recognized across Canada as the National day to remember missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
Don’t let the Stephen Harper Government silence SISTERS IN SPIRIT.

Sign the petition, or sign a letter to stand up against systemic oppression, and to support mobilization, empowerment, and action for the Aboriginal community by the Aboriginal community.

We ask that you print off a petition and get signatures OR
Print off a letter of support, sign OR BOTH!

Bring the voices of Sisters in Spirit back.

All petitions and letters can be printed, signed, and submitted to:
Kelly Whicher, Program Manager
Contact: 905 664 1114 ext. 238

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Some things change and some things stay the same

The world is changing!

Women are peacefully taking to the streets in Iran

Women made a difference in Egypt’s resistance against their Dictator and showed incredible courage

Women are exposing the myths of what it means to be a Muslim Woman

Change is happening for transgender high school students


And yet…somethings stay the same.

Woman face fear and harassment

South Dakota considers legalizing the murder of abortion providers

Abortion isn’t always accessible in the Great White North either…

Women are murdered in our own city.



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YWCA Canada is a great source of inspiration when it comes to issues that are of interest to many women. Are you their friend on facebook? Because they share a lot of awesome resources.

Here are two great videos recently passed on by the incredible women at YWCA Canada:

Jean Kilbourne continues to uncover and analyze media messages to women and girls. Her videos Killing Me Softly are often a staple in many intro Women Studies courses and were an important aspect of my own “coming to awareness”.

Also, an excellent commercial from First Nations youth responding to violence against Grandmothers:

Be sure to check out YWCA Canada (and MANY YWCAs across the world on twitter

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Conferences for Women

Have you heard of this exciting conference happening in July? Imagine meeting women from all over the world at a feminist-focused conference.  Here is a small snippet about the conference:

WW 2011 is a global convergence to advance women’s equality through research, exchange, leadership, and action.

Expected to draw some 2000 participants from around the world, WW 2011 is a unique global event that will enhance women’s leadership skills and organizational capacity, support the exchange of knowledge and ideas, and foster research and action networks on women’s issues.

The first Women’s Worlds event was a modest gathering of academics in 1981 in Israel to discuss the advent of Women’s Studies and forge networks on feminist research. Today, the congress is a large event attracting researchers, activists, policy-makers, advocates, allies, and more.

For an overview of Women’s Worlds, see this slide presentation.


Looks amazing, right?!


Another incredible conference opportunity is the World YWCA meetings taking place in July in Switzerland. The theme this is “Women Creating a Safer World”. YWCA women for every corner of the earth will connect to build relationships, share resources and ideas. YWCAs connect 25 million women together world wide and the World YWCA conference is the perfect opportunity to tangibly  see the connections.

Whether or not you can attend either of these conferences be sure to check out their websites to find great resources.



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Community Event: How to Support Survivors Workshop

The Sexual Assault Centre of Hamilton and Area (SACHA) is hosting an informative workshop on how to help support survivors of sexual assault.

Here is the information:

How to Support Survivors Workshop

Have you ever worried about a friend but didn’t know how to talk to them about it?

One in four Canadian women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime.

Most survivors of sexual violence never seek professional help. It is important that as friends we know how to respond to friends who have experienced violence.

Participants in this workshop will learn:

  • The myths that exist about rape, abuse, incest and sexual assault.
  • A survivor’s experience.
  • Canadian sexual assault laws.
  • Non-judgmental ways to respond to disclosures of violence.
  • Resources for survivors in the Hamilton community.

Date: Tuesday, January 25th

Time: 1pm—4pm

Location: YWCA Board Room – 75 MacNab Street South, Hamilton, ON

Please RSVP by January 19th at 4pm as space is limited:

905.525.4573 x231


Who is invited:

Both community members and helping professionals who would like to gain new skills.

Presented by SACHA—Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton and Area)

Working together we can end violence against women in our community!

Please click here for the poster and information: How to Support Survivors – January 25, 2010

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Two Minute Action: National Day of Action December 3rd

Friday, DECEMBER 3, 2010 is


Talk To Your MP About Violence Against Women

National Action Day on VAW, when we talk to MPs in their constituency offices about violence against women, is Friday, December 3. On Fridays, the House of Commons doesn’t sit and many MPs are in their constituencies. As a resident or an agency operating in the constituency, you can make an appointment to talk to them in their local constituency office.  If December 3 doesn’t work for you or your MP, another date is fine.  If you don’t have your MPs name or contact information you can find it at findmyMP by inserting your postal code.

This year’s Rose Campaign links violence to women’s homelessness and the need for a National Housing Strategy with a gender lens and a women’s component. You can review the message on the Send a Rose to Your MP email at rosecampaign.ca/send.