Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dreams for Women - Seventh Week!


















Also, here's another link to the movie!



Antigone Magazine is launching a Feminist Postcard art project! We want to know what your Dreams for Women are.What are your own dreams for yourself, your friends, your sisters, your daughters? Paint, draw, write, sketch or decoupage your dreams on a postcard and send it to the address below:

Antigone Magazine
C/O WILLA UBC
Box 61-6138 SUB Boulevard
Vancouver, BC, Canada
V6T 1Z1
OR

With your postcard submission, we ask that you make a donation (if you can!) to Antigone Magazine for anywhere from $1 to $10. You can send your money along with your postcard or donate on our blog: http://www.antigonemagazine.blogspot.com/ .

But don't worry... if you don't have the money, just send along the postcard and tell people about this program.

What is Antigone Magazine? We're a grassroots national magazine that works to encourage young women to get involved in politics in Canada. We work to empower young women to engage politically and civically and to actively take part in leadership roles.We are raising the money in order to help launch the Antigone Foundation, a national foundation that will encourage young women aged 10-30 to get politically and civically engaged. Help support Antigone as we help to make the dreams of young women come true!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Tell Mayor Sullivan Your Priorities -- Come to the Citizen Budget Forum

Dear friend,

What kind of city do you want Vancouver to be? Will we see deep cuts to the
Parks Board, more shifting of the commercial tax base to residential taxpayers, or stepped-up investment in affordable housing to address our deepening homeless crisis?

Each year, the City of Vancouver holds a public consultation process for the upcoming civic budget. Think City wants to bring more people into this process so more Vancouverites can get informed and more citizens can be heard.

Think City and the University of British Columbia 's Political Science Department invite you to learn about, discuss and deliberate the 2008 City of Vancouver budget on the evening of March 19, 2008. HSBC Hall, UBC Robson Square , 7:00-9:30 pm, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver.

Space is limited so sign up today for this exciting evening of conversation:
http://thinkcity.ca/event_signup

Make sure your voice is heard, when city council decides the priorities for this year's budget!

Think City's survey and more information can be found at
www.thinkcity.dreamvancouver.ca
or contact us at
budget_talks@hotmail.com

Monday, March 17, 2008

Save the U-PASS program!!!!

Students,

Do you like your U-Pass? Do you spend any time in the SUB?

Then listen up!

A referendum is coming at the end of March to save the U-Pass and renew the SUB. We are attempting to build a sustainable community by keeping the U-Pass and turning the most used and least sustainable building on campus (the SUB) into a model for others to follow. Here are the major issues:

1) The U-Pass: Translink has recently increased their fees and with that, the cost of the U-Pass. If we want to keep the U-Pass, we have to raise the fee by $1.75 per month. This is a pretty small increase and if it doesn’t pass, we will no longer have a U-Pass.
2) SUB Renew: As you can probably tell, the SUB building is old. It was built in the 1960s and has not meet the needs of students for the past ten years. This is the most used building on campus, yet student social space has gradually disappeared over the past ten years. We could be offering so many more services to students. We want to renew and expand this building to address the needs of current and future students.

If you are a UBC student, that means you are a member of the AMS, and thus, can vote in this referendum. Voting takes place online on WebVote at the student service centre: www.students.ubc.ca/ssc. The polls are open from March 25 – March 31. Don’t miss your chance to decide what happens on your campus.

For more information, check out the website: www.ams.ubc.ca

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Vote! Vote! Vote! Quadra Vote!

The By-elections are upon us and this is an especially important time for us UBCers... or shall I say Vancouver Quadra residents. While I still vote in my home riding of Windsor, Ontario, I'm sure there are many readers and UBC students who will be casting a ballot Monday. Remember to vote as the papers are making this out to be closer than originally thought! Here are links the candidates their homepages:

Joyce Murray - Liberal

Deborah Meredith - Conservative

Rebecca Coad - NDP

Dan Grice - Green

And for more info about all the candidates... check out recent articles about them...

The Georgia Straight

Vancouver Sun

The Province

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dreams for Women - Because I love you...














Because I love you and got a whole bunch of great postcards in the mail this week, I'm posting some Dreams even though its not the right Saturday. If you guys keep them coming we'll start posting them every Saturday! Currently we post our Dreams for Women every second Saturday on the blog and here are the links to batches that we've already posted











Also, here's another link to the movie!




Antigone Magazine is launching a Feminist Postcard art project! We want to know what your Dreams for Women are.What are your own dreams for yourself, your friends, your sisters, your daughters? Paint, draw, write, sketch or decoupage your dreams on a postcard and send it to the address below:


Antigone Magazine

C/O WILLA UBC

Box 61-6138 SUB Boulevard

Vancouver, BC, Canada

V6T 1Z1


OR




With your postcard submission, we ask that you make a donation (if you can!) to Antigone Magazine for anywhere from $1 to $10. You can send your money along with your postcard or donate on our blog: http://www.antigonemagazine.blogspot.com/ .


But don't worry... if you don't have the money, just send along the postcard and tell people about this program.


What is Antigone Magazine? We're a grassroots national magazine that works to encourage young women to get involved in politics in Canada. We work to empower young women to engage politically and civically and to actively take part in leadership roles.We are raising the money in order to help launch the Antigone Foundation, a national foundation that will encourage young women aged 10-30 to get politically and civically engaged. Help support Antigone as we help to make the dreams of young women come true!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Canada Must Do More For Women

Robert Fox, the Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, writes a great op-ed in the Chronicle Herald about the need for Canada to make progress on women's gender equality. Here is just one short snippet... read the rest!

And there is much to be done in Canada itself. When Canada provides aid to governments in developing countries, the Canadian International Development Agency quite rightly demands that developing countries provide an analysis of how women and men will be affected by these funds. They realize the impact on women is likely to be different than it is for men.


Wouldn’t it be a good idea if that same lens were applied here in Canada to budgets at the federal, provincial and municipal levels? That, too, could be part of Canada’s contribution to women’s equality worldwide.


If women’s needs were taken into account in the budget process, Canada’s socio-economic landscape would be very different. Too often, government budgets are assumed to be a gender-neutral policy tool. But experience has shown that spending and tax cuts affect women and men differently based on the roles they play in society. A gender budget ensures the budget contributes to the broader societal goals of social justice, sharing the benefits and costs equitably.


If women’s needs were taken into account, there would be no question about privatizing health care; it would remain public and accessible to all. We would have a national child care program and greater support for affordable housing. Pay equity would be guaranteed and access to post-secondary training and education would be assured. Those accused of violence against women would be fully and fairly prosecuted and survivors of violence would receive the support and respect they need.


Just as we expect of the governments in the global South that receive Canadian aid, Canadians should demand that our governments commit to a budgetary process that addresses the needs of women.

UN Update... Day 6...

So... we're back from the UN... but I want ot continue with posting Mira Hall's updates! Here we are with Day Six:

UN day 6: The poverty frame North and south versus rural and urbanI’m sorry that this too has been late in coming. I’m sure that everyone who has been actively reading can see me running out of steam as the days packed with information regarding lots of different issues overwhelm my brain. In addition there has been stress on the home front, but I’m encouraged to know that when some people let you down, others are waiting to help lift you back up!

On Friday I attended a workshop hosted by UNIFEM on Economic literacy. I had been looking forward to it all week, and there are subsequent workshops building on the same theme. What I was disappointed with however is that the “economic” literacy aspect is focused on macro economics and inter country treatment of poverty.This results in the problem of “Poverty” being framed in terms of “North-South” relationships between countries, and the problem of poverty facing many people in the developed countries is not discussed.

I believe that if Canada and Australia had a stronger presence here at the CSW the discussion could be different, and I would be hearing things more relevant to my life.After a conversation with an Aussie from the Staticians conference, I came to hear that Canada has a strong delegation present for that event and that they are being impressively progressive on issues such as “China” and “India,” but I don’t know what the conversations are dealing with, so I can’t go into that.

However it was worthy of mention because while other countries have been quite active in promoting what they are doing within their own countries to implement “Gender Budgeting” and achieving the Millennium Development Goal 3 “Empower women and promote equality between women and men” our Country (with the exception of the NGOs) has been mute on the subject.Also among the conversational buzz is the lack of indigenous people at this conference. Should there have been more of a presence I believe that the poverty gap between “rural and urban” would have had a stronger buzz here. The Australian Statician also commented that much like he found I was lamenting Canada’s silence on the issues surrounding aboriginal populations and the extreme poverty they face, Australia is (in his experience) the same. He described it as this two faced hypocrisy where our respective government point to all kinds of help that they are giving to outside countries, while they repeatedly ignore the plight of marginalized populations within their own.

Following the fairly irrelevant (but interesting) UNIFEM presentation, that mainly focused on Latin America, and problems with the IMF and the world bank, and how richer countries have been able to avoid them, I moved onto a workshop hosted by the American Women’s Medical Association. This workshop went over the effort of many Universities across the US to include women in non-traditional fields of medicine. They spoke about Mentors and the difference between male mentors (providing assistance to young female med students) which often came in the form of practical and technical aspects of medicine, to the femal mentors who seem to provide mentorship around lifestyle issues associated with different fields of medicine.

It was really nice to see, especially because after I left the workshop Hillary Clinton was spouting election promises like “Lets make University Affordable for all our citizens!” and brought me back to the fact that I wish fervently that I could finish my degree quickly, and immerse myself in study, but the economic barrier is simply too great. Muriel Smith, a former Deputy Premier out of Manitoba provided me (kindly) with economic literacy workbooks that I plan to use in the territory when I get back. I’ve noticed that they are very relevant to Manitoba specifically, but I’m sure that with help from Statistics Canada, I can kind of modify them to reflect Territorial reality, and that as a result it could provide women who participate in the workshops with an additional picture of how economic policy plays out in the different provinces.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria

UBC's Critical Studies in Sexuality Program presents Susan Stryker (internationally recognized scholar of sexuality and gender) presents her movie "Screaming Queens".

March 26th @ 4pm
BUCH A 205, UBC Point Grey Campus

On a hot summer's night in 1966 in the city's Tenderloin district, a group of transgendered women and gay street-hustlers fought back for the first time in history against everyday police harassment. This was a dramatic turning point for the transgendered community and the beginning of a new human rights struggle that continues to this day.

Come, see the move, talk with Susan!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Recap! - Celebrating Int'l Women's Week



Antigone Magazine celebrated International Women's Week by participating in two events:

March 8, 2008
BCIT Campus, Vancouver
"Women of the World Unite Against War and Poverty" Info Fair

February 25 - March 7, 2008
The UN, New York
52nd UN Commission on the Status of Women
"Financing for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women"

Also included in the video are this week's Dreams for Women (UN Edition!) postcards, which were made by other participants at the UNCSW. See them in bigger resolution below!

Dreams for Women - UN Edition!



















Here are the Dreams for Women postcards that were made by other participants at the UN's 52nd meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women! The theme for the meeting was 'Financing Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment' and so many of them are related to economic and financing issues. Enjoy.
About Dreams for Women:

Antigone Magazine is launching a Feminist Postcard art project and fundraiser but instead of asking what your secrets are, we want to know what your Dreams for Women are.What are your own dreams for yourself, your friends, your sisters, your daughters? Paint, draw, write, sketch or decoupage your dreams on a postcard and send it to the address below:

Antigone Magazine
C/O WILLA UBC
Box 61-6138 SUB Boulevard
Vancouver, BC, Canada
V6T 1Z1

OR

With your postcard submission, we ask that you make a donation (if you can!) to Antigone Magazine for anywhere from $1 to $10. You can send your money along with your postcard or donate on our blog: http://www.antigonemagazine.blogspot.com/ .
But don't worry... if you don't have the money, just send along the postcard and tell people about this program. We will be posting postcards every second Saturday starting in January on the blog!

What is Antigone Magazine? We're a grassroots national magazine that works to encourage young women to get involved in politics in Canada. We work to empower young women to engage politically and civically and to actively take part in leadership roles.We are raising the money in order to help launch the Antigone Foundation, a national foundation that will encourage young women aged 10-30 to get politically and civically engaged. Help support Antigone as we help to make the dreams of young women come true!

We want submissions from all over the world - so forward this on! Post it on your blog! Or link to it!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Happy International Women's Day!



We from Antigone hope you are having a great day celebrating! Thank you to everyone who caught us at BCIT's Info Fair. We hope you found your visit very informative and we hope to see you again soon!

~Antigone Staff

Friday, March 7, 2008

Dreams For Women

Hi Antigone Readers,

Dreams for women will be postponed by one day this week to Sunday because our blogger in chief Amanda is currently on her way home from New York.
Please come and browse the blog on Sunday to see the latest batch of artwork from women all over the globe!

best,
Antigone Staff

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dreams for Women and Feministing!

I just wanted to say hello to those people who found this site from Feministing and thanks to Courtney for posting on it (she totally rocks). Please pass the information about our project on! We want our art project to include the dreams for women from all over the world!

We post our Dreams for Women every second Saturday on the blog and here are the links to batches that we've already posted

First Week

Second week

Third Week

Fourth Week

Also, here's another link to the movie!



And here's the details about our program:

Antigone Magazine is launching a Feminist Postcard art project and fundraiser but instead of asking what your secrets are, we want to know what your Dreams for Women are.What are your own dreams for yourself, your friends, your sisters, your daughters? Paint, draw, write, sketch or decoupage your dreams on a postcard and send it to the address below

Antigone Magazine
C/O WILLA UBC
Box 61-6138 SUB Boulevard
Vancouver, BC, Canada
V6T 1Z1
OR

With your postcard submission, we ask that you make a donation (if you can!) to Antigone Magazine for anywhere from $1 to $10. You can send your money along with your postcard or donate on our blog: http://www.antigonemagazine.blogspot.com/ . But don't worry... if you don't have the money, just send along the postcard and tell people about this program. We will be posting postcards every second Saturday starting in January on the blog!

What is Antigone Magazine? We're a grassroots national magazine that works to encourage young women to get involved in politics in Canada. We work to empower young women to engage politically and civically and to actively take part in leadership roles.

We are raising the money in order to help launch the Antigone Foundation, a national foundation that will encourage young women aged 10-30 to get politically and civically engaged. Help support Antigone as we help to make the dreams of young women come true!We want submissions from all over the world - so forward this on! Post it on your blog! Or link to it!

ACCO presents "UnConference" - Spark the Dialogue! Speak Your Mind!

March 6 - 7
Location: UBC, Upstairs SUB Room 207 and 209

Thursday, March 6

12:30pm to 1:50pm - ACSW 101 - "Who are Asian Canadians?" Illustrating Identity and Sports for Asian Canadians"

2:00pm to 3:20pm - ACSW 102 - "Ying, Yang, and Me!" The Complications and Implications of Interracial Dating and Interracial Families

3:30pm to 5:00pm – ACSW 116 – “Striking the Bamboo Ceiling” Asians in the North American workforce

Friday, March 7

12:00pm to 1:50pm - ACSW 202 - "Hey Asian Guy, Why So Angry?" A Look into Asian Stereotypes in Television and Film in Relation to the Feminization of Asian Males

2:00pm to 4:00pm - ACSW 212 -
"Queer + Asian = ?" Difficulties and unique challenges of being Asian in the Queer Community and being Queer in the Asian Community.

All workshops are aimed at all people who have an interest in the Asian Community, regardless if they identify as straight, queer, homosexual, gay, lesbian, questioning, bisexual,trans, Asian, of Asian descent, part-Asian, or non-Asian! Admission is free.

For more information, please email info@ubcacco.com
Check out our website at http://www.ubcacco.com for further details!

The Asian Canadian Cultural Organization (ACCO) is a non-profit student collective dedicated to generating greater awareness of Pan-Asian Canadian issues through campus and community outreach.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Justin Trudeau on Campus Tomorrow

Join the Young Liberals and - JUSTIN TRUDEAU -, Liberal Candidate in Papineau, for a youth rally and questions at Mahony and Sons at UBC, ONE DAY before Advance Polls open in the Vancouver Quadra Byelection!

JUSTIN TRUDEAU
2:30pm
Mahony and Sons (Pub) at UBC
Thursday March 6th, 2008

Bring your friends and fellow students!
Invite! Invite! Invite!

See you there!

RSVP to:
BraedenCaley@Hotmail.com and Mia.Taghizadeh@Gmail.com

Canada Lectures Kenya About Women in Politics?!?

Really? Canada is trying to claim moral high ground in relation to women's representation in politics. This article reports on Canada's attempt to influence the Kenyan government to appoint more women to cabinet. Apparently, the last government only had 10% of women in cabinet and the current government has only 7% of women in parliament.

It seems like the Canadian government forgot only 21% of our parliamentarians are women and WE have a lot of work to do ourselves in encouraging women in politics!

Canada wants the coalition government to appoint more women to the Cabinet.
The country's High Commissioner, Mr Ross Hynes, yesterday said women deserve more than the seven per cent they constitute in Parliament.

"Let us hope it's better than the 10 per cent in the previous Government, considering the disproportionate way women and girls have suffered in the post-election crisis over the past two months," Hyness said.

He spoke while opening a workshop for girls at the Commission headquarters, Nairobi, ahead of the International Women Day on Saturday.

The diplomat said women's participation was crucial in resolving political crises.

Conservative Group tries to Influence Canadian Museum for Human Rights Mandate

Oh, dear. It seems like Real Women Canada is at it again. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is holding a public consultation and they have asked their supporters to flood the site with right wing suggestions.

If they had their way... the main exhibit at the museum would be a debate about whether gay marriage was a human right. Or you know, the need for women to get back in the kitchen. Please join me in counteracting their menace by circulating the link to the survey far and wide among progressive circles.

The consultation process ends March 15th... so get on it! Here's the link: http://www.pch.gc.ca/pc-ch/consultations/mcdp-cmhr/index_e.cfm

And here's an excerpt from Real Women's hilarious press release! Emphasis mine...

This has raised concerns that the museum, with its left-wing Advisory Board, would be used as a powerful tool to champion the Liberal government’s interpretation of human rights, such as abortion rights, feminism, homosexuality, etc. with only some legitimate exhibits sprinkled here and there to give the museum the appearance of legitimacy.

Fortunately the Conservative government changed the Advisory Committee in October to include individuals, mostly business men and women, with no known bias on human rights issues.

It is important that as many of us as possible, with a conservative perspective, provide input into this Museum as it will remain a part of the Canadian culture for many years to come. We want it to reflect basic human rights, not the trendy rights contributed by recent court decisions

Tell Mayor Sullivan Your Priorities -- Come to the Citizen Budget Forum

Dear friend,

What kind of city do you want Vancouver to be? Will we see deep cuts to the
Parks Board, more shifting of the commercial tax base to residential taxpayers, or stepped-up investment in affordable housing to address our deepening homeless crisis?

Each year, the City of Vancouver holds a public consultation process for the upcoming civic budget. Think City wants to bring more people into this process so more Vancouverites can get informed and more citizens can be heard.

Think City and the University of British Columbia 's Political Science Department invite you to learn about, discuss and deliberate the 2008 City of Vancouver budget on the evening of March 19, 2008. HSBC Hall, UBC Robson Square , 7:00-9:30 pm, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver.

Space is limited so sign up today for this exciting evening of conversation:
http://thinkcity.ca/event_signup

Make sure your voice is heard, when city council decides the priorities for this year's budget!

Think City's survey and more information can be found at
www.thinkcity.dreamvancouver.ca
or contact us at
budget_talks@hotmail.com

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hillary comes back

She's still in the race!

Despite numerous media outlets virtually declaring Hillary's race to the Whitehouse over, Clinton came back Tuesday night and swept Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas.

And, despite Simon Cowell's advice, she didn't need to "cry again" to do it.

That's right, while some are calling her a "bitch," as Tina Fey said in her ringing SNL endorsement "bitches get things done!"

"Bitch is the new black!"

Day Five - How I wish I was Nordic - By Mira Hall

For those of you who have been keeping tabs on my updates, I apologize for this one being late. I appreciate the interest that has been shown, and I am so happy to have been able to garner people’s interest in this experience. Yesterday, my fifth day was very full.

I started the day by attending a workshop/panel called “Going Dutch” a light hearted update on how the Dutch Government is working towards the goals set out in Beijing (the 4th World Women’s Conference.) Very seriously, however, was a discussion between the Dutch foreign minister and the executive director of HIVOS (the largest NGO in the Netherlands) around how and why the Dutch government funds its civil society. Both parties underlined the importance of critical evaluation within a society to creativity and responsiveness of the government. Without critical perspectives it would be very easy for any government to become complacent and out of touch with the needs of their people.

For instance, within Canada, it has been explained to me that no party really wants to run a campaign on access to affordable quality childcare because the problem is difficult to implement. Why would a candidate (with the exception of Jean Chretien) run an election on a promise that would be difficult or impossible to achieve? So then our politicians devise campaign strategies and frame election and general political promises around their own ideology that is influenced around what they believe they can get away with, while implementing the result of their ideology on the people of Canada.

Politicians end up painfully out of touch with their electorate, and Canadians have no organized or well funded lobbyists to strategically defend general interests. Canadian critical programs such as the Rick Mercer Report, This Hour Has 22 minutes, and the Royal Canadian Air Farce become our primary critical voices. (note these are all considered to be “comedy” programs.) In the end we have practical examples of Senators such as our own dear Senator Sibbeston, who instead of relaying the difficult and substandard living conditions of many Northerners, relay romanticized versions of little Indian villages who *choose* a lifestyle of trading natural resources for accommodation. Parliament then thinks “How quaint!” instead of “what an embarrassment to have Canadian citizens living in conditions comparable to underdeveloped countries!”

At any rate, I have digressed from the initial topic of the Netherlands. The Dutch Government believes that innovation and creativity is a direct result of diverse discussion, and in order to encourage a broad perspective in all areas of Dutch policy, they actively fund their “opposition.” And they fund them GENEROUSLY! The Dutch government just invested 60 million to NGO activity around women’s equality. Their primary concern was that the funding be distributed in such a way that was effective, comprehensive, and with the least amount of transactional cost possible. A

ctive accountability was also of prime importance to them, and fundees are required to include actions within their proposals and to account for the occurrence of the actions, and the results. This is something that is required of BOTH NGO and government projects. The Dutch government also recognizes the importance of core funding to organizations and provides multiyear funding in order to reduce insecurity, and patchwork initiatives, something that the Canadian government has dramatically stopped doing in recent years (ignoring the conservative extent it had been implemented in previous years.)

Okay. So then I went to *the only Canadian workshop* parallel event, organized by the group that brought me here- FAFIA, the Feminist Alliance For International Action. The workshop was on the gendered impact of Canadian Tax Policy. So the presenters were, Lynelle Anderson from the Canadian Childcare Advocacy Association, Kathleen Lahey who is an author and tax attorney, and Muriel Smith who is a former Deputy Premier from Manitoba who has a long history within the political arena and grass roots advocacy and education. The shocking news for me that emerged from this presentation is that we only actually have childcare for 20% of the population of children in Canada, excluding Quebec. And that the government has been actively involved in a long term plan to shift tax revenue from corporations to low income Canadians.

In Canada the tax shift is slowly occurring over many years, and therefore through governments headed by both Liberals and Conservatives. Currently Canadians whose income falls below 38 000$ bear approximately a 32% income tax burden, while corporations are found to bear around 5% tax burden. Corporations enjoy 1.9 billion each year in tax revenue. I totally expect to be challenged on this, not necessarily the numbers, but it occurs to me that because low income Canadians are more plentiful, doesn’t it create as much revenue as 5% on a big earner corporation? Well, I have to look into that further, however, this has impacted on our human development standing. We once enjoyed first place world wide for our rates of human development, and we have consistently fallen in our standing and are now in 18th place when compared to all other Nations.

The other thing that kind of shocked me was the comparative income between men and women. It should be common knowledge that comparatively, women make less money than men do in similar positions of work. I thought that the figure was “for every dollar a man makes, a woman earns 73 cents.” Unfortunately that is based on older data. CURRENTLY, *during peak earning years* for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes .67$, during other points of life (up until age 45 and after 65) a woman makes .38$. I definitely intend to read Kathleen’s assessments further, as this is an area (economics) that I am interested in.Where is the relevance?

Well, I’ve met many male non-northern residents that bemoan Affirmative action hiring practices. Actually I’ve met many female ones too. At any rate, because northerners are such a small population sometimes we see (personally) really inefficient people working for our government whereas without affirmative action and tenure protection, they would have been fired long ago due to their ineffectiveness. HOWEVER, when we look at WHERE our people are being hired, it adds a little bit to the story. How many female aboriginal women do we see in management positions in the government? Where are our female aboriginal workers hired at the mine sites (when they aren’t prevented from being hired at all by their family status?)

I don’t see any aboriginal females in government management positions. (There *might* be someone, but I don’t know who they are, so feel free to respond with an example if you have one) I only know a few ADMs and SAOs, but I can only think of one female, and no aboriginals. So where does affirmative action put people? Well from what I see, it puts them in secretarial positions, it puts them in front line positions (such as income support workers, or whatever they are currently calling themselves,) and it puts them in data entering, low level accounting, and janitorial positions. A

boriginal men seem to have things slightly better, however again, I am still not seeing many “P1s” in high level management. P2s are a little harder to place. At any rate, if we had a brave government, I believe that there would be more effort in determining the causes behind the “glass ceiling” and subsequently more effort put towards addressing those causes. Off the top of my head I would think that common sense solutions would be to increase basic amounts to Student Financial Assistance, increase the number of grants and scholarships available to students who are pursuing education that will benefit the Territory in the long term, and increase education accessibility.

I’m just guessing here, but I think going from living in Goa Haven all my life to attending University in Edmonton or Calgary might be a bit of a culture shock to me, a shock that would undermine the quality of education that I would be able to absorb. (I know that there have been efforts around this issue, such as the officer for northern students situated in Edmonton, but my experience as a Yellowknifer ells me that I should be able to access the education of my choice within my support network IN THE NORTH.) Why isn’t there more recognition and support for students who choose to be educated in the north? Is 700 dollars a month really an acceptable living allowance when in some communities milk is over 7$ a litre? Why is there no recognized support for the students who choose distance learning to remain home? (There are a minimum of 70 Athabasca University Students alone in Yellowknife right now.)

So that whole previous paragraph was a rant based on my assumption that northerners are blocked from high level management based on the presumption that they aren’t as educated, or the quality of their education isn’t as good as people coming up from the south.

Going back to the tax workshop, feminist groups are rightly concerned at the impact that income splitting will have on the economic dependence of women on men, that it favors legally married couples in the impact of taxation after separation and divorce over the Canadian stereotypical relationship that is common law. Taxation policy also favors workers the higher their income brackets goes. Essentially, from Lahey’s assessment what little public services we have are being provided off of the backs of the poor.This brings me back to understanding basic economic practice over misconceptions that Canadian and American Publics have embraced since the Cold War.

For ANY economy to survive (let alone thrive) aspects of BOTH capitalist and socialist economic practice must be included in overall policy. No current economy is simply a pure “capitalist” economy OR a pure “socialist” economy. Pure capitalism results in a wildly unstable economy swinging dramatically between inflationary periods and recessionary periods that can and have crippled societies (including our own. Both Canada and the US are not very far from the economic depression of the 1930s which was relieved by bringing in socialist measures to reestablish growth.) and we “know” that purely socialist systems result in gross inefficiency and insustainability, and a lack of innovation to bring technology forward.

So good economic practice is to ensure wealth redistribution to maintain minimum demand, have public access to education, health, and infrastructure in order to promote maximum production (defined by a production possibility curve.) At any rate this is getting really long, and I applaud anyone who has made it all the way through!

Mira Hall's Reports from the UNCSW! Part 4

UN Day 4: Austrians choke at the amount I pay in day care.Today’s agenda included attending two debriefings, a panel on addressing violence against women hosted by the Nordic governments, and listening to my roommate squealing at unexpectedly getting to interview *the* Gloria Steinem.

I don’t have very much to report on today, maybe because I’m tired from the chaos and the walking. Maybe it’s because my hands are raw from washing my clothes in the bathtub. Maybe I’m just plain tired.

I’m so happy that my friends are reading this. I’m excited and it’s so nice to have my excitement shared. I’m rather saddened that there isn’t a bigger Canadian Government presence here. It seems that all the other nations are broadly represented, but the only one that is visually present from Canada is the NGOs. It’s been explained that because of the budget there was a travel ban issued because the budget was being released today however I don’t see why it would prevent the MPs sending their underlings.The Nordic countries put on an interesting panel.

They have a proactive approach to address violence against women in all stages of their people’s stages. It is included in early education in the form of implementing emotionally resiliency in daycares and schools. They have psychological counseling for perpetrators following violent acts. Sweden, I think, even has an entire University dedicated to the research of violence against women that includes a national hotline that does not show up on phone bills. They have medical clinics and all members of the justice department have handbooks that describe health based protocol relating to violence against women in order to help the justice department better investigate incidents.

I have a copy of the complete Swedish strategy that I intend to bring home. It would be nice to see something concrete happening in our community rather than perpetual wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth at our overwhelmingly high rate of violence against women. Actually that didn’t quite come out right. It would be even nicer if the family violence coalition could use this information to their advantage to solidify support for the work that they have already been doing.

Because I just happen to be a cheeky brat, and their panel left me nothing really learned, but also nothing to really complain about, I decided to throw out something really controversial to this panel of socially conscious countries. So I threw up my hand and asked if any of their research indicated higher levels of success with their current treatment programs than have been shown with previous methods of chemical and physical castration. *hee hee hee* I kind of did it soley to be a brat, but the backrounder is that castration combined with psychotherapy is empirically the most effective way of treating pedophilia.So there was an audible gasp from the crowd and the head of research at the University said that she wasn’t aware of any study that compared the success rates between the two treatment plans.

Of course immediately following her saying that, a Swedish woman behind me said that the state had indeed studied the matter and found that castrations with psycho therapy is indeed more effective that either on their own. (Castration on its own does not address the expression of power within the act of sexual violation.)

So anyways, I also attended a meeting on Muslim women in business. I heard about economic strategies used in Dubai, and micro loan projects out of the Sudan. It was interesting, but not very relevant to the North.I had coffee with the executive director of an NGO from Austria. She runs high quality subsidized daycare programs throughout the country. She choked on her coffee when I told her how much I pay for childcare.

On that note, did you know that Canada is even behind Mexico in their total investment of funds to daycare? The request from the Canadian people for quality accessible daycare is 25 years old, while our government is whittling away resources that could have been moved into providing a national day care strategy, the multinational people that I’m coming across here are choking. Even including the exchange rates I figure we’re paying some of the highest rates in the world.

A lack of accessible day care simply ignores the promise that the Canadian government has made to its own population and the other member states at the UN when it declared its supposed commitment to gender equality. Lack of affordable daycare does indeed provide a gender based barrier to women’s employment, and I’m sick to death of all of the governments dropping the ball on this issue.

Grr. I just found out that they took away the millennium fund for undergrads and added 20, 000 to funding for masters programs. Now the government will pay 50, 000$ for a masters student.

Anyways I hope everyone is doing well, And I look forward to getting a full debriefing on the budget

Monday, March 3, 2008

Mira Hall's Reports from the UNCSW! Part 3

UN- Day 3: In a show of their commitment to gender equality financing, the World Bank fails to show upThis morning I attended the opening ceremony of the 52nd UNCSW (United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.) There were huge line ups starting very early in the morning outside the visitors entrance of the United Nations Building. A sharp contrast between two groups filling the line was obvious.

Granola styled free wheeling feminists, and conservatively stuffy business suits of primarily male representatives from all over the globe. I originally thought that the suit clad participants were government delegates for our commission, however I later learned (while sitting in the only indoor smoking area in New York City) that the others were staticians from all member states of the UN.

I had coffee with the head of the department of statistics from Jordan as well as the head from Croatia. The head from Jordan was extremely personable, waxing poetic about his Queen. He was very proud of her contribution to gender equality, and listed off five different government departments dedicated to the study and subsequent implementation of policy to promote Gender Equality in Jordan.

I was very impressed with the pride he showed and the interest he had in the UNCSW. He mentioned that he had even made a point of stopping in on our events to hear the speakers. Mister Croatia was friendly enough, but not very personable. He didn’t seem to have much use for small talk, and I on the other hand feel uncomfortable sitting at a two person table and not speaking to the person across from me. So that conversation was more limited, but he seemed very concerned with the effects of climate change that he had noticed in his area.

Getting back to the spirit of Jordan, however, the first panel that I witnessed was a special event on actions against violence against women. There was a panel of five people including the moderator. Within the panel, there were three men and two women. The focus of the panel seemed to surround the necessity of including men as allies in the fight against violence against women.

The first speaker was a young female who works in Haiti with the Commission of Women Victims for Victims. This is an anti rape movement that started following the second collapse of Haitian society (that resulted in militarization of the area.) The first speaker (I wish I could remember her name) talked about how rapists are rarely convicted in Haiti, and how sometimes a female victim of rape will be killed to restore her family’s honor. She spoke about a grand March of women clad in white dresses and black masks in one of their demonstrations which you can read about here:

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/09/01/news/CB_GEN_Haiti_Rape_Victims.php

She also talked about the importance of the day to day peer support that women victims provide to each other following rape. I am personally very aware of our own local despair surrounding high rates of violence against women, and hearing her speak led me to dream of someday gathering all victims within the Territory to March to the Legislature. Following her presentation was Michael Coffman from the White Ribbon Campaign. That organization was formed following the Montreal Massacre and is Canadian based. They employ a variety of methods to try to redefine “manhood” to remove violence from acceptable behavior within the social norm.

All members of the White Ribbon Campaign have made a solemn pledge never to use an act of violence on a woman.Kevin Powell is a young black activist who tours the country giving lectures on using Hip Hop for social change, and analyzing the effects of White Patriarchy Models on the black community.

He opened his presentation with the recognition of two violent acts that he had committed against women in his younger days. He said that following the incidents he was challenged by women in his community on the behavior, and that since the incidents he has actively attended psychotherapy stating that engaging in violence against women is a mental illness.

He gave the audience 5 points that men need to stop the violence:1- Own the behavior, own the mistake2- Get help! If you engage in this behavior you NEED mental health help!3- Learn to listen to the voices of women4- Men *must* redefine manhood.5- Men HAVE to be allies to women.He spoke passionately about engaging young men on his tours with frank discussions with language that was relevant to who they are and what social framework they come from. It was really interesting and inspiring.

Next was a lawyer from India who spoke from his experience as a male child in a family of feminists. He supported what the other panelists had already said, and then went on to say that mentoring young men in anti violence so that they can then go forth into their communities and peer groups is essential. He also stressed that within the current social framework that men will more actively listen to other men. He also said that in order to move government support feminists must try to explain benefits of gender equality in terms of the economic as well as social benefits.

I was impressed with the speakers and I am looking forward to hearing back from northerners on how relevant they feel that these ideas are to the North. It did strike me, listening to Kevin Powell that northern kids, particularly aboriginal seem to identify strongly with hip hop and rap music. It also made me think of Herb Norwegian, the former chief who was all apologies for his behavior before a judge with the power to sentence him, but dismissive of it when his behavior impacted his economic benefit. I’m very glad that he was ousted, and I hope that he uses this time to think about the five actions outlined by Powell to seriously modify his behavior.
http://www.menstoppingviolence.org/News/news.php

Following this enlightening panel event, I was finally off to hear what the World Bank had to say about financing for gender equity. I’m a political economics student with Athabasca University. School is so expensive that I usually take one class at a time and will probably be in my late sixties by the time I finish my undergrad. However, in the meantime I try to soak up anything that is relevant to the discipline and have reaped the benefits of the grades that I see when I complete my courses (at a snail’s pace.)

At any rate, I was very excited. Seeing actual people that work for the world bank and hearing them speak on any issue would be akin to going to a rock concert for me. I was so happy to be given the opportunity to be breathing the same air in the same room as these powerhouse people who determine the economic fate of the world. I even ditched out of my smoke based networking in the café early, so that I could get a seat close to them. I arrived and others where there patiently waiting. I sat with a South African woman who develops policy for the government and idly chitchatted about our respective states of health care and education. Time ticked on and on.

Disapointingly, the World Bank Reps failed to come. I was very disappointed and was the last one in the room, long after everyone else had given up and left.In closing, it was a generally good day. I have lots of food for thought, and was even surprised by a South African nun who described a primary health clinic that she works in. It mirrored the work that happens at the Great Slave clinic, except for the fact that they have an early childhood education program and a nursing program in their clinic that teaches young South African women general care and hygiene, subsequently allowing them to go on in nursing or homecare, and other health based jobs. I suppose that we have medical and nursing students who come to our clinic. We have it in a way, but because their system standards are a bit lower, it’s more informal and therefore easier for local women to access.

Resisting the University: A Conference on Student activism and Social Change!

Students for a Democratic Society, UBC is hosting
a "Resisting the University" conference March
3-7. Resisting the University is about resisting
the commodification and corporatization of
education, with an anti-militarization,
anti-gentrification and direct-action bent. Our
conference features many UBC professors, local
community activists and students. Our two
keynotes are: David Noble from York University
(Monday 12-2 a.m.) and Denis Rancourt from the
University of Ottawa (Friday, 3-5 p.m.). The
entire conference schedule is attached and also
available on our website
www.sdsubc.ca or facebook
group
http://ubc.facebook.com/event.php?eid=20667840135.

If you are interested in learning more about
issues that aren't addressed in the classroom but
pertain to you as students and members of
society, this week of resistance is for you!

The Paradox of Woman

Hello Antigone Readers,

Not to interrupt Amanda's fantastic reports from New York, but rather to give her a day off from her hectic duties as delegate and blogger, I direct you to this article in this weekend's Globe and Mail.
The piece is, I think, one of the more nuanced treatments of Hillary Clinton's campaign efforts. It is also, thankfully, unwilling to write her off because of her s0-called "tearjerker." Since Clinton is not often emotional in public, the instant she becomes so she is immediately criticized for stage acting--something her competitors certainly needn't fear, particularly since it would be only too disaffecting for a male to cry on (inter)national television. I may be biased here--in fact, take this as a warning, I am biased--but I don't believe that Hillary's so-called performance in New Hampshire should a/effect her supporters' votes. I personally am inclined to trust Clinton before Obama. In most cases, when I watch them debate, while Clinton is not the picture of authenticity--indeed, she is often reserved and difficult to read--she is always clear and forthright. I would call her "sincere" without much hesitation. If she isn't comfortable with an idea, or can't make a promise, she simply will not address the issue--she will tell you what she will do, not what she might do. Listening to her, I don't feel like I'm being subjected to rhetoric at the expense of all else, which with Obama I sometimes experience.

What I appreciate about Sinclair's treatment of Clinton here is his exploration of the community in which she was raised and the ideal of "woman" she grew into. In order to compete, Clinton developed an iron-clad public persona, and certainly, I would suggest this served her well during her career as first lady.
Another thing the article illustrates well is Clinton's pursuit of her policy programs to the exclusion of all else. Sinclair observes that during her husband's tenure as president she pushed her health care reform bill to the displeasure of some democrats, causing an internal division in the party and allowing the republicans to take the house. While such an attitude is certainly not good for party unity, it is refreshing to see someone stick to their ideals: Mr. Dithers Hillary is not.

"She doesn't play the game — and I admire her for that — but it's hurt her," acknowledges Jo Luck, the head of Heifer International, a humanitarian aid organization whose eco-friendly office complex abuts the William J. Clinton Presidential Library on the banks of the Arkansas River. "She sees what's needed in the world and she does it. She's not running a popularity contest. She's never run a popularity contest."

...

One of the ironies in this contest is that when Ms. Clinton first plotted her candidacy, she doubtless viewed herself as the agent of change, a trailblazer in the mould of Ms. Ferraro who could make history by becoming the first woman to gain the presidency.

Instead, she encountered Mr. Obama, a charismatic and silver-tongued rival with a competing, and equally powerful, claim to history, which would put the first African American in the Oval Office. If he lacks her experience, he is also free of the burden of perceptions she has shouldered since her days in Washington.

"I wish she could come across as a little bit more of a 'bring us together' voice," Ms. McCoy says. "But she is a litigator — you can't change a leopard's spots. … And is that necessary? To really like our leaders?"

Another skilled Democrat, Bill Clinton, might say so. He famously remarked that Democrats prefer to fall in love with their candidates, while Republicans prefer to fall in line. Unfortunately for Hillary Clinton, his words appear to be ringing true.


So what do we say now of Clinton's flagging campaign? What does this mean for women's future in American politics? Is this a reflection of her personal "obstreperousness" (to use her word), or is is indicative of a larger distrust of female leadership as "soft." I would say it is probably a combination of both; Clinton has unfortunately come up against a silver-tongued, personable presidential hopeful whose claim to the office is equally as legitimate, if not historically more so, than her own--her timing could not be worse. However, it is unlikely we will see another woman candidate in the near future with credentials and experience akin to that of Mrs. Clinton's. Gaining the "hearts" of democrats may prove to be ultimately illusive for female candidates while the double edged sword of American media dissects the woman's public persona as inauthentic. The question is, who owns that stereotype in the first? Stereotypes don't make for good lovers...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Check out my review in the Vancouver Sun!



My review of The Sexual Paradox: Extreme Men and Gifted Women by Susan Pinker was published in today's Vancouver Sun! Please feel free to check it out! The book cites biology as the reason for women's lack of success in the workplace. Let's just say... I respectfully disagreed.


I framed it around my experiences this week as a delegate to the UN's Commission on the Status of Women and included a quote from an interview that I did with THE Gloria Steinem. Here's an excerpt from the review:




Indeed, although she notes that men's career satisfaction is much lower than women's, she never suggests that men too should restructure their lives in order to achieve a better work/life balance or opt out of high-profile careers to spend more time with their children.

Aside from her mostly anecdotal accounts of women opting out of high-profile careers, it appears that there are, in fact, far more women still encountering the frustration of glass ceilings in these professions.


The real paradox is that a book like this, which reiterates tired generalizations about women and their biological capabilities, is being published now.