YWCA Hamilton: Voices

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Two Minute Action: Urban Outfitters

I know as well as others how hard it is to find good fashion that is reasonably affordable. For that very reason, Urban Outfitters has been my go-to for cute clothes for a couple of years now. However, recently UO released a t-shirt with a “quirky” logo that says, “Eat Less.”

While this was intended to be “cool”, the message the shirt displays does not send a positive message to the young girls who shop at their stores. In a time where more and more girls are being pressured to be thin, how does this t-shirt help women and girls to accept their bodies and self image? And with more and more women and girls being diagnosed with eating disorders, how does and “Eat Less” logo put onto a t-shirt contribute to healthy eating and life styles?

Wouldn’t a logo such as “Be Healthy” or, as Operation Beautiful advocates, “You are Beautiful” been more positive?

If you disagree with the message this logo sends to the many girls and women who shop at their stores, you can send an e-mail to this address.


by Kelli


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Two Minute Action: Craigslist

A lot of people know about and have used Craigslist. I know that I have–I’ve purchased 2 “new to me” bikes from people in my area. It’s a great way to buy and sell things for a decent price. Heck, re-using and reselling items is even good for the enviroment.

But, buying and selling women, girls and human trafficking victims is also possible on Craigslist.

This petition gives some background,

Last year, Craigslist.org announced they would remove their erotic services section.  The announcement came after pressure from the anti-trafficking community and complaints that Craigslist was being used widely to promote prostitution, sometimes involving children and human trafficking victims.

However, that section has been replaced with an adult services section which contains many of the same ads, though now thinly disguised as legal erotic services.  The change has been in the title alone, not in the content.

Please take a moment to read the petition and consider adding your name.

Women and girls are not for sale.

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Rose Campaign

This rose commemorates Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. On December 6, 1989, fourteen young women were murdered at l’École Polytechnique, sparking pressure for gun control legislation. Twenty years later, 88% of Canadian women killed with guns are killed with a shotgun or rifle. Registering long guns saves lives. Last year, over 100,000 women and children entered shelters in Canada. Women need to live safely beyond shelter – not choose between poverty and returning to abuse. For women’s safety – Defeat Bill C-391. Invest in new housing. The Rose Campaign to End Violence Against Women & Girls.

Please visit www.rosecampaign.ca to send your MP a rose.

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Two Minute Action:Threat to Gun Control

ISSUE: The Coalition for Gun Control has issued an ALERT requesting pressure on local MPs before second reading begins this Monday, September 28, on a Gun Control bill – Bill C-391- that would eliminate current long-gun registration and destroy all existing registration records.


ACTION:Members of Parliament are in their ridings this week. Please e-mail, phone or fax your local MP and opposition party leaders and ask them to defeat this bill because the gun registry improves the safety of women and children. To defeat the bill, Liberals, the NDP and the Bloc have to hold party lines. The gun lobby is exerting pressure on rural MPs.  A sample letter to opposition party leaders that you can adapt is attached.

Coordinates of all MPs may be found at:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/common/index.asp?Language=E (English)


Tel: 1-800-O-CANADA.

Leaders and cabinet ministers contacts:

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff              Tel. Ottawa: 613-995-9364            Riding: 416-251-5510      IgnatM@parl.gc.ca

NDP Leader Jack Layton                             Tel. Ottawa: 613-995-7224            Riding: 416-405-8914      LaytoJ@parl.gc.ca

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe                   Tel. Ottawa:  613-992-6779                              Riding:  514-522-1339                  DucepG@parl.gc.ca

Prime Minister Stephen Harper              Tel. Ottawa: 613-992-4211            Riding: 403-253-7990      HarpeS@parl.gc.ca

Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan                    Tel. Ottawa:  613-996-7752                              Riding:  905-898-1600                  VanLoP@parl.gc.ca

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson                Tel Ottawa: 613-995-1547             Riding: 905-353-9590      NichoR@parl.gc.ca

*Note– to find your local MP or MPP please see the link on the right hand side of the blog.

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Two Minute Action: Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The federal government has announced online consultations on ratification and implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Until July 31, 2009, Canadians can provide their views on the Convention online HERE.

The Convention could become an important tool for the protection and promotion of the rights of people with disabilities worldwide. The Government of Canada is seeking the views of Canadians, particularly those in the disability community, in order to make an informed decision on the ratification of the Convention. These views could play an important role in the development of future measures. It is a fully accessible online consultation. 

Make your voice heard!

 Thanks to YWCA Canada for passing on the information about this important convention and subsequent online consultation.