Our Advocacy

Get Involved

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

National and International Connections

The University Women’s Club of Vancouver is a member of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW), through which we are members of Graduate Women International (GWI). Read more here.

In the University Women’s Club of Vancouver, we:

  • Regularly study issues relating to women’s rights and equality, the status of women, human rights, education and the environment.
  • Host forums and work with other community groups on social issues such as prostitution & human trafficking, homelessness in our city, child poverty, election forums and more.
  • Develop ongoing speaker series on women’s rights, education, health and community issues.

The Federation Committee of The University Women’s Club of Vancouver (UWCV) connects UWCV to its national organization, the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW), and its international organization, Graduate Women International (GWI). The Federation Committee works with over 90 University Women’s Clubs across Canada and over 50 worldwide federates to inform our club members about issues affecting women and girls both nationally and internationally. We work to make substantive changes through advocacy/actions to improve women’s access to education, employment, justice, greater leadership opportunities and all areas of human rights.  This committee works with other UWCV committees, through its affiliations and alliances with other community organizations and groups to advocate for and support women in our community and province.

Each year the Federation Committee studies and acts on the Resolutions approved at the CFUW AGM. In addition, the Club works on specific issues which affect women and girls locally and provincially. Recent advocacy initiatives include those on Child Poverty when we worked with 23 CFUW BC Clubs to address child poverty by advocating for strategies to reduce poverty, including affordable housing and childcare investments. For youth aging out of care, we worked with First Call BC: Child and Youth Advocacy Society and the Vancouver Foundation to demonstrate the inequities in ending support for youth aging out of care. This work resulted in substantive change to BC Legislation to extend support for students beyond the original age limit for students and, therefore, improve opportunities for them to pursue their educational and life goals. Currently, we are working with the UWCV Status of Women and Human Rights Committee (SWHR) on projects which they describe. Current Resolutions under study for future action include Strengthening Employment Equity, Tightening Bail Laws to Protect Victims of Intimate Partner Violence, Violence Against Women in Politics, and A Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment as a Human Right.

EVENTS

UWCV Advocacy Events

The University Women’s Club of Vancouver often hosts public events to commemorate and celebrate the following important dates:

March 8th – International Women’s Day
October 18th – Person’s Day
December 6th – National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Keep an eye on our calendar for more information on upcoming events.

Community Outreach Interest Group Speaker Series

The UWCV members’ interest group works to educate, enhance and support the awareness among club members of relevant local issues. Where possible, the group implements community service projects to support disadvantaged persons in the Vancouver community.

The group currently supports two schools through the Vancouver Sun “Adopt a School Program.” Through club and community events, the group provided funds to the schools to obtain bus passes for disadvantaged students enabling them to travel by bus to school.

Past speakers shared presentations about a Vancouver based choir for children and teens with autism, and the Director of YWCA STRIVE has presented to the group about a program on the North Shore for youth transitioning out of foster care.

Upcoming speaker series will include Sandy Hancock, Executive Director from “Athletics for Kids,” an organization seeking to ensure that all B.C. children, regardless of socioeconomic status, can participate in organized sport. Sarah Stewart, Executive Director from “Aunt Leah’s Place,” an organization helping children in foster care from becoming homeless and mothers in need from losing custody of their children will also be a future speaker.

Group members will be volunteering at “Soup Sisters,” an organization providing comfort to women, children and youth through making, sharing and donating soup. Additional outreach projects are undertaken based on group members’ interests.

INTERNATIONAL ADVOCACY

Graduate Women International (GWI) has an ongoing relationship with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and recently, with the help of Geneva UN Representative Nina Joyce, GWI submitted its Education for All manifesto for consideration in the study, and it has been placed on the OHCHR website. You can view the manifesto here.

Read about GWI’s project of education for young women through the “Teachers for Rural Teachers” project in Uganda.

NATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

Read about the Community Service of CFUW Clubs.

CFUW Submits Brief to SOW Committee on Violence against Women

Our Status of Women Committee is currently studying violence against young women and girls in Canada. The Committee invited members of the public, civil society and other organizations to submit written briefs on one issue chosen from the options they outlined. As an organization built on advocating for the improved status of women and girls, CFUW instantly took interest. Our members care deeply about violence against women, and the focus of our report was on violence faced by women on university and college campuses. You can read our submission here.

Read about the Status of Women Committee’s Study on Violence against Young Women and Girls in Canada here.

UWCV AFFILIATIONS

UWCV is affiliated with First Call: BC Youth & Child Advocacy Coalition, West Coast LEAF, the Vancouver Council of Women, and The Vancouver Collective Against Sexual Exploitation.