National Council of Women of Canada - Blog
A blog (a blend of the term web log) is a type of or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.
Most blogs (including this one) are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites
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As of 16 February 2011 (2011 -02-16)[update], there were over 156 million public blogs in existence.
The above from Wikipedia!
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Early Childhood Learning and Care Fund
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
She would ring new ideas to a tired game; If the leader of the Green party wins a seat in Parliament, we might get debate that matters
By Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun March 29, 2011
Let's hope that Saanich-Gulf Islands voters rock the boat while they have the chance and put Elizabeth May of the Green party into parliament.
She's feisty, she's female, she's fearless, and she's a fresh voice. May and the Greens actually hold some promise of shaking up the dismal status quo in Ottawa that's produced four elections in eight years, four minority governments, and political leaders who seem bereft of, well, leadership qualities.
Stephen Harper drones on robotically with his big-lie talking point for this campaign -the Liberal-NDP-Bloc Quebecois coalition conspiracy is plotting a coup unless he's crowned with a majority.
Michael Ignatieff delivers dry-as-a-stick history lessons -Harper was once hot for a Conservative-NDP-Bloc Quebecois coalition, if only it could have made him king for a day.
Jack Layton flogs the Harmonized Sales Tax in hope of beating a few more British Columbia votes out of that dying horse.
Gilles Duceppe moans about the raw deal Quebec gets from Canada despite billions in equalization transfers. He demands more, of course, then he'll flounce out of Confederation.
Good Lord, 30 more days on the thin gruel of leftovers and same old, same old?
May has been criticized for running against powerful Conservative defence minister Peter MacKay in 2008. But isn't that what good leaders do -take on the tough fights? Under May's leadership, the Green party earned a million votes across Canada.
Now she's challenging Conservative Gary Lunn in Saanich-Gulf Islands. Lunn's been a political non-entity during his decade in Ottawa. He had his 15 minutes of fame as minister of natural resources -he sacked the head of the Nuclear Safety Commission in a tiff over certifying a reactor. He was shuffled off to minister of state for sport, whatever that entails besides piling up pension points.
Oh, I know, this invites the inevitable fusillade from partisans that their leaders deserve the throne, it's the others who should be deposed. Sorry. I hear plenty of bankrupt ideologies but few stirring new ideas emanating from the House of Commons. The ideas oozing from this already mean-spirited campaign seem drearier than ever.
Look, can we please have a public debate among our leaders that actually touches upon things that are important to voters and not just the re-election strategies devised by pollobsessed policy wonks?
What's Canada's strategic long-term energy policy, for example? Are we going to tie ourselves to synthetic crude produced from Alberta's oilsands and hope for a naturalgas bonanza from the Arctic, which, by the way, we're already committed to share with wasteful Americans?
Or, as May proposes, are we finally going to get real about implementing sustainable green supplements to the energy supply so that we don't have to burn through Alberta's petroleum reserves like there is no tomorrow, put up with nuclear disasters, or pay through the nose for our own natural gas at prices set by American profligates?
Can we talk about the economic impact of green jobs - a recent U.S. study found that simply upgrading buildings to environmental standards generated $173 billion in GDP, supported more than 2.4 million jobs and paid $123 billion in wages. It forecasts $554 billion in GDP, 7.9 million jobs and $396 billion in wages by 2013.
As that train pulls out, do we want to be standing in the station listening to the same tired old ideologically driven ideas?
This election is probably costing $10 million US a day. We've spent more than a billion on federal elections since 2004. For what? This level of debate? We need new ideas. Give May the platform she wants and that we deserve.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
"If there is something that is even more shocking than the violence itself, it is the silence within which this violence is allowed to continue. It is that silence which is perhaps the greatest shame of all. It is the silence of those of us in the majority who chose to turn a blind eye to this violence—cases of missing Aboriginal daughters and mothers which never make the headlines; epidemics of suicide which don’t elicit an outpouring of concern and outrage from the non-Aboriginal community. It is this silence which is complicit in allowing the situation to continue. It is this silence which sends the message that we don’t care, that we don’t want to care, that we won’t pull all the stops to say “enough”."
You can read the report here.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Women voters hold key to Tory majority; Election platform targets those caring for the young and the infirm
Here are 50 of the ridings where it's a close call (from the Globe and Mail)
Saturday, March 26, 2011
|3||South Africa 1|
|15||United Republic of Tanzania|
|20||The F.Y.R. of Macedonia|
|28||Trinidad and Tobago|
|"||Lao People's Democratic Republic|
|50||United Arab Emirates|
Friday, March 25, 2011
2. Action travail des femmes
3. Alberta Network of Immigrant Women
4. Association féminine d'éducation et d'action sociale (AFEAS)
5. Canadian Child Care Federation
6. Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW)
7. Centre de documentation sur l'éducation des adultes et la condition féminine
8. Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada
9. Child Care Resource and Research Unit, SpeciaLink
10. Conseil d'intervention pour l'accès des femmes au travail (CIAFT)
11. Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women Toronto (funding cut by CIC in December 2010)
12. Feminists for Just and Equitable Public Policy (FemJEPP) in Nova Scotia
13. First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
14. International Planned Parenthood Federation
15. Marie Stopes International, a maternal health agency, has received only a promise of "conditional" funding IF it avoids any & all connection with abortion
16. MATCH International
17. National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL)
18. Native Women's Association of Canada
19. New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity
20. Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH)
21. Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
22. Réseau des Tables régionales de groupes de femmes du Québec
23. Riverdale Immigrant Women's Centre, Toronto
24. Sisters in Spirit
25. South Asian Women's Centre
26. Status of Women Canada (mandate also changed to exclude "gender equality and political justice" and to ban all advocacy, policy research and lobbying)
27. Tri-Country Women's Centre Society
28. Womanspace Resource Centre (Lethbridge, Alberta)
29. Women for Community Economic Development in Southwest Nova Scotia (WCEDSN)
30. Women's Innovative Justice Initiative - Nova Scotia
31. Workplace Equity/Employment Equity Program For a PDF of this list , please click here.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
UNITED NATIONS, Mar 23 (IPS) - A day after U.S. assistant secretary of state for south and central Asian affairs Robert Blake appealed to the Bangladeshi government to reconsider its dismissal of 70-year-old microfinance guru Muhammad Yunus from the Grameen Bank, IPS spoke with the president and CEO of Women's World Banking (WWB), currently the most comprehensive network of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the world.
Mary Ellen Iskenderian, who has worked with WWB for well over a decade, believes that what she calls a political smear campaign against Yunus has no bearing on the tangible changes provoked by MFIs.
She dismissed the notion, which is swiftly gaining momentum in many quarters, that microcredit is ineffective as a sustainable method of poverty alleviation and must be replaced.
Iskenderian argues that the long-term positive impact of MFIs and their projects in the global south will help to close the poverty gap and empower rural, third world women – a population who shoulders the brunt of structural inequality.
Excerpts from the interview follow.
Q: How has Muhammad Yunus's dismissal from Grameen Bank affected WWB?
A: We were very concerned about what the general public might think and what this confusion would do for the "microfinance brand" so to speak – it's extremely unfortunate that his dismissal has nothing to do with microfinance and is in reality nothing but a politically motivated move against the founder of Grameen Bank.
Bangladesh is a place in which you can literally track the positive impact of microfinance efforts on poverty reduction and it's very disheartening that political officials are attempting to discredit this.
Q: How has WWB dealt with this media blow?
A: We're trying as hard as we can to get the word out about how effective microfinance has been. Today microfinance is so much more than just credit – we are working on a whole range of other products that can add a level of security to low-income households to soften the repeated blows of poverty.
Q: How does WWB respond to the barrage of critique that has come at MFIs and the MF industry in recent years? Does WWB share any of the concerns of critics of MF?
A: We feel that there is a much bigger story that isn't always being told in its entirety. While giving women access to credit achieves short-term goals - such as allowing women to build small businesses - the long-term changes created by women who choose wisely how to expend the income generated from these activities is often ignored.
For example, a woman who owns her own business often makes wise investments that lead to structural change over a longer period of time – the education of her children, for instance. Those changes happen much more slowly than the few months dedicated to a controlled study allow you to see.
The impact of a family allowing a girl child to be educated rather than pulling her out of school to contribute a small amount of income towards the household is enormous – but it cannot be observed and recorded during the duration of a research study. Some of the critique, despite being well- intentioned, does not present an accurate picture of the kind of change microfinance is capable of inducing.
Q: Are there any examples that saliently address these critiques?
A: I would look at one of our earlier members, Sewa Bank in Gujarat, India, which does not just dispense credit but also mobilises savings. One of the most salient aspects of this is that institutions who can take deposits not only ensure their clients greater stability and security, but the institutions themselves can secure a stable source of low- cost local currency funding by way of deposits.
Sewa is not only interested in providing enterprise credit and agricultural credit but is also taking savings and making highly successfully pension-products so that women can save for the long term. Sewa also provides healthcare on the ground, through what they call the 'barefoot doctors', as well as health insurance.
Sewa is a great example of the kind of institution in our network that is very focused on a woman's life cycle needs. As the CEO of Sewa always says, "poverty is like a game of chutes and ladders" – by which she means unpredictable events can destroy everything a woman has built in her life and MFIs like Sewa can protect against that kind of catastrophe.
Q: Does WWB believe in alternatives such as peasant cooperatives? Are you dedicated to bringing more women from the grassroots to the decision-making table at the highest level?
A: Absolutely. You've hit the nail right on the head. We think one of the most worrying trends is that as more private and commercial banks come into the picture, fewer and fewer women are visible in the ranks and staff of microfinance at the executive level, the senior level and even at the loan officers' level.
The question then becomes, how can you design a product to help poor women without consulting women on the issue? WWB is very strict in any product launch that we do with our members. We do market research as a first step and talk to the community organisations and to grassroots leaders to find out what they're actually looking for.
Since women tend to save more than men we always consult with women when designing savings products. Most of these women need confidentiality because they don't want their husbands or neighbours to know they're saving. So coming up with saving mechanisms where women can formally save money in their own name without the knowledge of the community needs to be built into our product design.