Women’s rights advocates to inspire youth in day-long event at CMHR

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News release details

Minister of Status of Women to lead afternoon town hall with students 

Inspiring Canadian women and men who have worked to promote women's rights will lead discussions with 200 young people during a day‐long event on Monday, November 14, at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR).

They include five of the six recipients of this year's Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case and three previous recipients. This annual award was created in 1979 to mark the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking 1929 court decision that declared women to be "persons". The 2016 awards will be presented by Governor General David Johnston the next day (November 15) in Winnipeg. This marks the first time the ceremony has been held in Manitoba, where some women first won the right to vote100 years ago – the first Canadian jurisdiction to pass such legislation.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women, will speak to the students, followed by a town hall session about taking action for gender equality. In the morning, students will hear a keynote address from retired Winnipeg Blue Bomber Chris Cvetkovic about the importance of men supporting women's rights. The students will then participate in breakout sessions in various locations around the Museum.

What: Youth event with women's rights advocates

When: Monday, November 14, 2016

  • Welcome remarks at 9:30 a.m.
  • Keynote address by Chris Cvetkovic at 9:45 a.m.
  • Minister Hajdu speaks at 1:15 p.m.
  • Event concludes at 2:30 p.m.

Where: Bonnie & John Buhler Hall, CMHR, 85 Israel Asper Way, Winnipeg

The welcome event at 9:30 a.m. will include an Indigenous Elder; youth spokesperson Patricia Nosal of Plan Canada; the Honourable Rochelle Squires, Manitoba's Minister of Sport, Culture and Heritage for the Province of Manitoba; Winnipeg city councillor Brian Mayes; and CMHR Chief Financial Officer Susanne Robertson.

Please see the attached backgrounder for session themes and a list of the participating women's rights advocates, including several current and previous recipients of the Governor General's Award, along with other inspiring women.

The event has been organized by the Museum in partnership with Status of Women Canada and with support from Winnipeg City Council's Liaison for School Boards and Youth, Brian Mayes.


Women and men who have worked to promote equality for women and girls in Canada will participate in a November 14 event at the CMHR with 200 Grade 7 to 9 students of all genders. Breakout sessions have been built around components of the Museum's new school program called "Women's Equality".

Themes include a historical look at women's rights in Canada, media representation of women, gender equality and the law, women's collectives, equality advocates, gender‐based violence, rights of Indigenous women and girls, and women leaders in public life and business.

Participants include:

  • Five of the six recipients of this year's GG's Awards in Commemoration of the Person's Case:
    • Cecilia Benoit (Victoria)
    • Lucia Lorenzi — youth recipient (Port Coquitlam, BC)
    • Pascale Navarro (Montreal)
    • Norma Jean Profitt (Yarmouth, NS)
    • Diane Redsky (Winnipeg)
  • Three previous recipients of the GG's Awards in Commemoration of the Person's Case:
    • Marilou McPhedran, 2003 (Winnipeg)
    • Senator Nancy Ruth, 1997 (Toronto)
    • Mary Scott, 2009 (Winnipeg)
  • Other inspiring women and men working for gender equality:
    • Jeannette Acheson (Winnipeg)
    • Gail Asper (Winnipeg)
    • Chris Cvetkovic (Winnipeg)
    • Candace Hodgins (Winnipeg)
    • Nuala Nazarko (Winnipeg)
    • Lindy Norris (Winnipeg)
    • Patricia Nosal (Winnipeg)
    • Rosemary Thompson (Ottawa)
    • Ruth Vachon (Montreal)

Media contacts

Maureen Fitzhenry