The UWCV Status of Women & Human Rights Committee is taking an active stand against Female Genital Mutilation, seeking to end the practice here at home and around the globe.
Its first act was to host an event on February 8th, titled Hidden Scars, which featured Roberta Staley and UWCV’s very own Nurjehan Mawani, who used their collective knowledge to reveal the tragic truths about FGM and what Canada’s role is in ending it.
Roberta is a passionate Vancouver-based journalist and award-winning documentary filmmaker. Nurjehan is a diplomat, lawyer and accomplished public servant. She has been awarded an Order of Canada and two Honorary doctorates.
The event was attended by 134 individuals from across Canada, the USA, and Nairobi. As well as 34 members of the UWCV, the Club was also honoured to welcome:
- The Honorable Senator Mobina Jaffer who has spent almost a decade with the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights and has worked tirelessly on the need for national action to end the sexual exploitation of children.
- Her Honor, Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, a community leader guided by her deep commitment to the values of pluralism and inclusion and her dedication to championing those who face barriers in life.
- Margaret Catley-Carson, a distinguished Canadian public servant, former president of CIDA, and a patron of the Global Water Partnership.
- Karin Michnik, Assistant Deputy Chairperson, Western region and Head of the Gender Related Task Force, Immigration Refugee Board of Canada,
- Giselle Portenier, Co-Founder, End FGM Canada Network, and an award-winning Filmmaker.
The event was a catalyst for action and change. The very next day, Senator Mobina Jaffer asked a question in the Senate of Canada on FGM. We were delighted to be notified that UWCV was mentioned in the Senate’s official Hansard.
Since then, the Status of Women and Human Rights committee has established a Zero Tolerance for FGM Working Group, with the aim of aligning with and adding value to other efforts underway. We are committed to making the world a better place through education and advocacy.
You are very welcome to join us.
Chair, Status of Women and Human Rights Committee
University Women’s Club of Vancouver