Areas of Focus
We’ve brought together feminist experts on a range of issues that affect people not just in G7 countries, but across the globe.
Research shows that when women’s diverse perspectives are included at the table, both the discussion and outcomes are more effective and inclusive.
Women’s Economic Empowerment
Ensuring women’s economic rights through systems change and collective empowerment to address the unequal economics of women’s work and unpaid labour.
Peace and Security
Building a more peaceful and secure world by advancing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, addressing the gendered dimensions of global displacement and working towards prevention and disarmament.
Working together to address climate change, specifically the gendered impacts of climate change and promoting women’s leadership in adaptation.
Feminist Movement Building
Advancing women’s transformative leadership through feminist movement-building including best practices in innovative funding mechanisms for feminist movements.
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
Safeguarding gains in SRHR by tackling unequal power dynamics grounded in social constructions of gender and patriarchal attempts to control women’s bodies and choices.
Violence Against Women
Shedding a light on the myriad types of violence women experience, especially LGBTQ2 communities and racialized women, and promoting transformative actions to ensure women live a life free of violence.
Tackling inequality and marginalization recognizing the multiple and intersecting aspects of identity that play out in our lives and experiences, such as gender, age, disability, ethnicity, class, race and others.
Partners and Supporters
The W7 was organized by the following organizations
With the generous support of
The W7 brings together a diverse group of feminist activists and organizations from Canada and around the world on the front lines of tackling the pressing issues of our time—economic inequality, sexual violence, human rights, peace & security, and climate change. We have come together to give voice to those who have been left out of G7 discussions until now: Women in ALL their diversity.
We are proud to welcome the following speakers and contributors’ voices to our discussion:
Amanda Dale is a recognized voice in media, public policy and law reform. Since 2010, she has been the Executive Director of Canada’s only legal, counselling, and language interpretation clinic for women experiencing violence. She is devoted to changing the conditions that threaten women’s safety, dignity and equality.
Atsuko Miwa is the Director of the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Information Centre in Osaka, Japan. She was formerly Programme Officer at the Bangkok Office of the United Nations Development Fund for Women and has been researching and writing in the field of gender, development and human rights for years. She teaches at several universities, where her research interests include women’s empowerment through rights-based approaches, sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls, and leadership of Japanese women and girls. She is also Vice President of the Japan National Committee for UN Women and a researcher at the Kyoto Human Rights Research Institute.
Avvy is the Clinic Director of Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, which serves low-income immigrants and refugee clients. Avvy is an expert on systemic advocacy to promote the rights of marginalized communities. Avvy has been involved in several community organizations, serving as the Vice-Chair of the Court Challenges Program of Canada and President of the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter. In 2007, she co-founded the Colour of Poverty Campaign (COPC) to help address growing racial inequalities in Canada.
Cheptoek Betty is a social worker by profession. She has over 9 years of experience working with young people with disabilities in Uganda, and 7 years specifically with women and girls. She represents young women with disabilities on the board of directors of the National Union of Women and Girls with Disabilities (NUWODU) and is a chairperson of the Mama Linda Foundation of Women and Girls with Disabilities of Kween district, where female genital mutilation is practiced.
A recognized leader in both the feminist and disability movements, Bonnie is the National Executive Director of the DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWN) Canada. She is an advocate for women with disabilities in Canada and internationally. She works to highlight key issues that impact the lives of women with disabilities in regard to health equity, housing, employment and violence. Bonnie is also the President of Coup de Balai – Clean Sweepers, a social enterprise which provides home care services to people with disabilities and seniors in Montreal.
Candice Lys grew up in a very large Métis (Cree & Chipewyan) family in Fort Smith, NWT and now resides in Yellowknife. She is the Co-Founder/Executive Director of FOXY (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth) and leads the SMASH (Strength, Masculinities, and Sexual Health) program as well. Candice is recognized as a Fellow by Ashoka Canada, a social innovation organization, and is finishing her Ph.D. in Public Health through the University of Toronto.
Debbie is the Executive Director of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI). She works on issues of equity and inclusion including race, gender and sexual orientation within the immigration system, and promoted the creation of safe, welcoming spaces within the settlement and integration sector. She was a member of Ontario’s Expert Panel on Immigration and led to the province’s first immigration legislation in 2015. Debbie is a member of the Immigration and Refugee Advisory Committee of Legal Aid Ontario and the federal government’s National Settlement Council.
Elizabeth is a feminist and human rights advocate on social exclusion, gender inequalities and child abuse. She focuses specifically on the rights of women with disabilities and other marginalized groups. As Programme Manager for Inclusion with the Ghana Blind Union, she coordinates capacity building for women with disabilities at both the national and local level.
Ellen Ridgeway is a Canadian feminist who has worked in the Violence Against Women sector for the past 25 years. Ellen currently serves on Boards both provincially and nationally to give voice to the inequities that exist for women and children leaving abusive situations. Ellen’s beliefs follow feminist principles of justice, equality and peace for all. She works specifically within the issues of homelessness and poverty to make systemic change. Ellen facilitates the ASPIRE program for homeless and abused women in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
As a member of BC’s Shackan First Nation, Francyne was the President of the BC Native Women’s Association prior to her election as President of NWAC in 2017. Committed to empowering and inspiring Indigenous women and girls through her work and philanthropic efforts, she has worked mostly in human resource management and economic development at a grassroots level. She has advocated alongside families for a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and continues to support environmental issues.
Frédérique Chabot leads a human rights organization that seeks to advance and uphold sexual and reproductive rights, both nationally and globally. Prior to joining Action Canada, Frédérique worked at the AIDS Committee of Ottawa as the Women’s Community Development Coordinator and as an outreach worker.
Ginevra is a campaigner and writer for Stop Rape Italia and the Italian Campaign to Ban Landmines (ItCBL). She is an advocate of gender equality and women’s rights and takes a frontline approach to advancing them. In 2015, she attended the first-ever “Women’s Court“ in Sarajevo and worked alongside feminist leaders to empower and defend the voices of women survivors of sexual violence during the Yugoslav wars.
Hannah has worked with CSOs and governments in the UK and Global South. In the early stages of her career, Hannah worked for the Women’s National Commission, focusing on Violence Against Women and Girls. She has since worked for humanitarian and development NGOs in the UK and Global South and for the British Embassy in Addis Ababa where she worked in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somaliland.
Jackie (she/her) identifies as a queer diasporic Filipino-Canadian and settler on Turtle Island. She is an anti-oppressive and intersectional feminist, support worker and activist fighting for justice, and transformative change alongside migrant women and survivors of violence. As a case support worker for Migrante Ottawa and a recent collective member of the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa, she is inspired by the strength and passion of diverse women and non-binary people finding hope and challenging oppressive, exploitative conditions.
Julia is President-CEO of CCIC. She has extensive experience in top-level international development management, including in developing countries and with Canadian and international partners and donors. Julia has designed and managed programs in areas such as humanitarian assistance, reconstruction, governance, democratic development, community-based economic development, international volunteering and, more recently, campaigning on climate change. She is the co-chair of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) and is currently on the board of CIVICUS.
Julie Delahanty, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, is a leader on gender equality and human rights with more than 20 years of international development experience. Before joining Oxfam, she was the Director of the Central America Program for Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and has served as the Director of (former CIDA) GAC’s Gender Equality and Child Protection Division. She sits on the Executive Board of Oxfam International where she acts as the gender champion for the worldwide influencing and campaigning work, chairs the Gender Justice Committee and is a member of the Safeguarding Task Force for the organization.
Julie helped lead the development of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and secure $150M for grassroots women’s organizations, the single largest investment of its kind. As a proactive communicator, Julie advocates for equality and fairness by anticipating needs, devising strategies and persuading stakeholders. She has worked and lived in Latin America, India and Africa. Julie was most recently a policy advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada and she is currently the Director of Partnerships for the Women Deliver Canadian Mobilization.
Kasari is the Executive Director of West Coast LEAF, an organization that uses the law to create an equal and just society for all women and people who experience gender-based discrimination in BC. She has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia. She is currently the founding President of Rise Women’s Legal Centre in Vancouver, BC, and sits on the board of the University of Victoria.
Lise Martin is the Executive Director of Women’s Shelters Canada, an organization that brings together 13 provincial and territorial shelter networks and provides a unified voice to collaborate, educate, and innovate for systemic change and an end to violence against women. Prior to this, she was the Executive Director of Women’s World 2011. For many years, Lise was with the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW), first as a Research Officer and then as Executive Director.
Lyric is the Director of Policy and Advocacy for the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), where she leads the institution’s formulation of evidence-based policy recommendations and manages ICRW’s advocacy efforts with the U.S. Government and internationally. She is also an adjunct professor on advocacy for women’s rights at George Washington University and a global coalition leader in a number of women’s rights issues. Lyric is on the Editorial Board of Apolitical and writes regularly on gender and foreign policy for such outlets as Huffington Post, Devex, The Hill, Thomson-Reuters Foundation and openDemocracy.
Mariam Abou-Dib is the Political Assistant to the President of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and has been active in the labour movement for over twenty years. She currently oversees the CLC’s work on Women’s and Human Rights, International Solidarity, Inter-Union Disputes and the “FAIRNESS WORKS“ Campaign. Before joining the CLC, Mariam was the Director of the Membership Programs Branch at the Public Service Alliance of Canada for fourteen years, where she oversaw the work of the union on human rights, health and safety, communications, and campaigns. Mariam is a strong facilitator and mediator and has provided counsel and training on progressive management in a union environment. Prior to her employment in the labour movement, Mariam was an Executive member and worked for the National Action Committee on the Status of Women. She has also held local leadership positions with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Locals 3380 and 1281.
Marjorie Griffin Cohen
Marjorie is an economist and Professor Emeritus at Simon Fraser University. She has written extensively in the areas of political economy and public policy, including the economy, labour, women, electricity deregulation, energy, climate change, gender and international trade agreements. Her most recent book, Climate Change and Gender in Rich Countries: Work, Public Policy and Action was published in 2017. She is currently the Chair of the BC Fair Wages Commission as well.
Myroslava has dedicated her work/life to promoting disability rights in international development and humanitarian response initiatives. For the past 5 years, Myroslava has worked with Humanity and Inclusion (formerly Handicap International). In May, she will be joining Wellspring Philanthropic Fund as their program officer for Disability Rights; working from her base in Ottawa, Canada.
Olga Abizaid works with WIEGO at the local level to strengthen and give visibility to informal workers organizations. She has also done fieldwork to document the needs of informal women waste pickers in Ecuador, in relation to gender and workers´ health issues.
Stella has been a feminist and community-based social justice advocate for over 40 years. She has worked as a secretary, legislative assistant, university lecturer, and policy analyst for the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women, as well as on many community-based action research projects. She has served on the board of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW), the Halifax YWCA, and the C-2000 Steering Committee. Now retired, she remains active in social justice, environmental and anti-poverty work locally. She coordinates and co-chairs the Community Society to End Poverty in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
d’bi young anitafika
From facilitating international artist residencies in South Africa, Hawaii, India, Belize, the UK and Costa Rica to being heralded as a YWCA Woman of Distinction in the Arts, the creative endeavours of African-Jamaican d’bi.young anitafrika are globally celebrated. A triple Dora award-winning published playwright-performer, anitafrika is also the creator of the intersectional, decolonialist praxis, the Anitafrika Method. She is the founding Artistic Director of the Watah Theatre and the Anitafrika Retreat Centre where she teaches artists from around the world. She addresses issues of gender, sexuality, race, class and the human experience through her vast field of artistic knowledge.
Catherine joined CAN-Rac Canada in July 2016, after five years leading the energy and climate programs at the Ecology Action Centre, Atlantic Canada’s longest-running environmental advocacy organization. She is also the former Coordinator of the Atlantic Canada Sustainable Energy Coalition (ACSEC). Catherine is committed to work that confronts climate change head-on, wielding bold and creative strategies. She thinks a lot about citizenship, community, and beauty, and does her best to incorporate these values in all that she does.
Morna Ballantyne has been a passionate Canadian advocate for universal high-quality child care for more than 30 years. She serves as the Executive Director of Child Care Now, Canada’s national child care advocacy organization, formerly known as the Canadian Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada. Child Care Now uses public education and political action to advocate for a publicly funded, inclusive, quality, non-profit childcare system for everyone.
Liz Bernstein is the founding Director of the Nobel Women’s Initiative and has led the organization in building strong relationships with Global South grassroots women’s organizations to grow the global women’s peace movement. In particular, Liz has focused on building the organization’s capacity for amplifying the messages of grassroots activists from conflict countries and bringing them more international support. Previously, Liz served as Coordinator of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) from 1998 through 2004, Liz currently lives in Ottawa, Canada, where she is a co-founder of Ecology Ottawa.
Eleanor Blomstrom is the Co-Director and Head of Office at WEDO. Her research, capacity building, and advocacy focus on sustainable development, climate change, disaster risk reduction and urbanization, with a women’s human rights and justice lens. Eleanor continues WEDO’s long-standing role of facilitating space for women’s rights advocacy, organizing and action as co-lead of the Women’s Major Groups for Sustainable Development and Disaster Risk Reduction. Prior to WEDO, Eleanor worked on climate change and community development projects in the US, Nicaragua and Nigeria.
Gabrielle Bouchard is President of the Fédération des femmes du Québec. Co-winner of the prize Héméris 2015 Quebec Council LGBT Bouchard worked as a trans rights advocate and public educator at the Centre for gender advocacy from 2011 to 2017. She was the spokeswoman in the lawsuit against the Quebec government to end the legislative discrimination against trans people, not binary and intersex in the province. She participated in the process leading to legislative changes to end the forced sterilization of trans people in Quebec.
Kara Gillies has been active in the fight for sex workers’ rights and safety for close to 30 years. The Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform is an alliance of Canadian sex worker and allied groups, organizations and individuals fighting for reform of Canada’s prostitution laws. The objective of the organization is to create a unified and cohesive response to law reform and to strengthen the capacity of communities to engage with legislative processes that impact their lives. In addition to her work with the Alliance, Kara is also involved with reproductive justice and abortion care.
Anuradha Dugal is the Director of Violence Prevention Programs at the Canadian Women’s Foundation and was previously a Board Member (2002 – 2007) and Chair of the Violence Prevention Committee. She is currently responsible for all national strategies related to violence against women and girls and teen violence prevention, including trafficking. Anu is deeply involved in social issues (gender equality, urban agriculture and sustainable development) and she sits on the advisory group for Making Women Count at Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, as well as the Council Of Montreal Women, the Ontario Provincial Round Table on Gender-based violence and the federal Canadian Status of Women Minister’s Advisory Council on the Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.
Daria studied at Queen Mary University of London, where she explored subjects such as human rights, criminal law, environmental and water law, transitional and restorative justice, and feminist jurisprudence. During her year abroad in Belgium, she co-wrote an experimental dissertation on ex-Yugoslavia transitional justice mechanisms from a feminist perspective. Through that, she participated in the Women’s Court held in Sarajevo in 2015, and subsequently interned in a Croatian NGO – Documenta, that works in peace-building and reconciliation. She currently works in a criminal defence law firm and helps run a pro bono legal advice center in her community, which employs students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Samantha McGavin co-manages Inter Pares’ Burma program, which has been supporting civil society in Burma since 1992. Samantha also has spent years documenting and promoting non-hierarchical management structures, consensus-based decision-making, and feminist practice within international cooperation and social justice organizations. She joined Inter Pares in 2002, and before joining the Burma team in 2017 was Inter Pares’ Communications Co-Director.
Tenzin Dolker works at AWID as the Resourcing Feminist Movement Coordinator. Previous to her work at AWID, she has consulted with the UN Agency for Migration on returns and reintegration projects, migration management, social inclusion, and preventing violent extremism. Tenzin also worked as a human rights and governance analyst at the Ford Foundation in New York, where she helped manage a $55M program for the internationalization of the human rights movement that placed intersectional analysis at the center of its grantmaking. Tenzin also worked at Machik, a grassroots NGO supporting girls’ education and policy innovation in rural and nomadic areas of Tibet.
Founder of Tiniguena, National NGO dedicated to community development, women’s empowerment and local control of natural resources, Augusta is a recognized feminist and CSO leader in Guinea-Bissau. She has devoted her life to working for social change and peace in her own country and nurturing solidarity for justice with others around the world. She is the co-founder of Tiniguena in 1991. Tiniguena has developed a national reputation for creative environmental education and leadership, promoting sustainable livelihoods for rural communities, and fostering local food systems that are biodiverse and resilient.
Zulminarni Hidjazi Arsyad
Zulminarni Hidjazi Arsyad (Nani) has more than 30 years of experience in promoting women’s liberation, fighting poverty and discrimination through social, economic and political empowerment. In 2001, Nani founded PEKKA, the Women-Headed Households Empowerment Program, an organization that supports over 50,000 rural widows, abandoned, divorced and single women in more than 1,000 villages of 20 Provinces in Indonesia. Nani is also The President of ASPBAE (Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education).
Mariam Jalabi is a founding member of the Syrian Women Political Movement (SWMP) and the Representative of the Syrian Opposition Coalition to the United Nations. Ms. Jalabi’s advocacy and leadership at the United Nations has proven instrumental in influencing the narrative on Syria. Ms. Jalabi has served as a member of the Women’s Advisory Committee to the High Negotiations Committee (HNC) and was a founding member of the Syrian Non-violence Movement (SNVM). Ms. Jalabi has counselled negotiators for the Syrian opposition as a member of the Women’s Advisory Committee to the talks. In her work with the Syrian Women’s Network and the Syrian Feminist Lobby, she has spearheaded numerous initiatives to expand the political participation of Syrian women and minorities, as well as to increase their presence in the media.
Kenita Placide is the Executive Director of the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE) and Outright Action International’s Caribbean-based Advisor. She has advocated around HIV and human rights inclusive of women, youth and LGBTI issues, for over 12 years and has been instrumental in bringing attention and funding to the smaller islands in the eastern part of the Caribbean. A runner-up for the LGBT Intergroup’s GO Visible Award in 2012, she is the mind behind the planning and implementation of many Caribbean sub-regional sessions. She made history by co-coordinating the Caribbean’s first International Dialogue on Human Rights in 2012 in Saint Lucia. Kenita’s work seeks to remove barriers of patriarchy in LGBT advocacy and she has served as co-organizer of the first Caribbean Women and Sexual Diversity Conference for the past five years. She is one of many called to honour in 2016 as a Champion of Change by the Pan Caribbean Partnership for HIV/AIDS (PANCAP).
Sheema Khan holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Harvard and is an inventor with over 20 patents worldwide in drug delivery. On top of her work as a patent agent, Sheema is also a monthly columnist for the Globe and Mail, where she writes about Islam and Muslims. A collection of her incredible columns was published in the book Of Hockey and Hijab in 2009. She is especially interested in the subject of feminism within Islam.
Anita Khanna is the National Coordinator of Campaign 2000: End Child and Family Poverty in Canada and the Director of Social Action and Community Building at Family Service Toronto. Campaign 2000 is a non-partisan, national coalition of 120 organizations committed to finally enacting the long overdue 1989 federal all-party resolution to end child poverty. Anita has also served as Executive Director (Interim) of the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA) and city-wide organizer at Social Planning Toronto.
Shalini Konanur is the Executive Director and a lawyer at the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO). SALCO is a not-for-profit legal ad clinic that works with low-income South Asian people across Ontario, and advocates on issues of human rights in Canada. Shalini’s work focuses on the intersections of poverty, race, disability, and gender-based violence, with a particular focus on GBV and racialized people. SALCO continues to be a national leader in its work against forced marriage in Canada. Shalini currently sits on Ontario’s provincial Roundtable on Violence Against Women and Ontario’s Anti-Racism Consultation Committee.
Oriana López Uribe
Oriana Lopez Uribe is a Mexican feminist who advocates for sexual and reproductive rights of young people and women at national, regional and international levels. She began her activism as a volunteer with Mexfam in Mexico, developing strategies for sexual and reproductive health services for young people, and developing sexual rights materials and strategies to reach young people. In 2007, she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Communication with a research study and a documentary film about transsexuality; of which a special cut was screened in the Mexican Congress to advocate for legal recognition in 2007. She is a member of the feminist alliance Resurj- Realizing Sexual and Reproductive Justice and the regional network Vecinas Feministas por la Justicia Sexual y Reproductiva.
Ketty Marcela Lopez
Ketty Marcelo Lopez is a leader in the Yánesha Ashaninka village of the Central Selva Junin Region of Peru. Her involvement in communal leadership began from a young age, she has occupied several positions in her native Pucharini community and became a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Native Communities in her region. She has tackled environmental issues in her community and extractive industries at great personal risk. She was also representative of the Indigenous Women of the Central Selva; strongly promoting their work in favour of the Rights of Indigenous Amazonian women, amplifying the voices of Indigenous women and strengthening the Regional Council for Women in the Central Selva. She is the founder and current President of the National Organization of Andean and Amazonian Indigenous Women in Peru – ONAMIAP.
Harriett is the former President of the Board of Directors of Canada Without Poverty (CWP) and has previously worked as Director of various community organizations throughout her over 25-year career. Harriett has presented at numerous Treaty Body reviews of Canada, to the Human Rights Committee at the United Nations in Geneva. Her early life of childhood violence and sexual abuse, close to 35 years of poverty, and 19 years as a single parent, has inspired her to effect positive change within the community sector and for those living in poverty across the country.
Yah Parwon is a feminist and a women’s rights advocate. She serves as the Advocacy Officer with Medica Liberia (mL), a women’s rights organization that provides psychosocial, health and legal services for survivors of post-conflict sexual gender-based violence. Yah focuses on advocacy as a tool to engage national and local leaders to influence the development and implementation of women’s rights laws and policies. Yah believes and commits to ensuring that women’s voices are no longer buried by patriarchy. She is passionate about giving adolescent girls the opportunity to live a healthy and self-determined life – she is the co-founder of a non-profit community-based initiative (The Rising Youth Mentorship Initiative) that provides access to sexual reproductive health information to girls.
Luz Piedad Caicedo
Luz Piedad Caicedo is an anthropologist, feminist, and magister in Interdisciplinary Studies on Development. She holds a Master’s degree in History and specialization in Political Sciences and is both a founding partner and sub-director of the Corporación Humanas – Colombia. She has investigated the factors that lead women to be involved in drug crimes and deprived of their liberty, the impact of armed conflicts on the lives and safety of women, and the impact of the demobilization of paramilitaries on women in their host communities. She is also the co-author of several of the publications for the Corporación Humanas.
Juliane Rosin is working as the officer for International Gender Equality, as well as the executive manager of W20 Germany at the headquarters of the Council of German Women’s Organizations – an umbrella organization of almost 60 women’s NGOs. Prior to her current position, Juliane has worked mainly within the CSO sector. In more than 10 years of engagement in the fields of international cooperation, sustainable development and gender equality, Juliane joined W20 in 2016 and has represented the group in several G20 negotiations and international conferences. She managed the international W20 Dialogue in 2017 during the German G20 presidency as a cooperation project of the Council of German Women’s Organization and the Association of German Women Entrepreneurs.
Kiké Roach is the Unifor Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University. She has served as an Executive Member of the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, the Women’s Coalition for Employment Equity, and Mpenzi: Black Women’s International Film and Video Festival. As a civil rights lawyer, she has advocated for accountability and reform in policing for many years, representing community organizations. She was a regular commentator on current and legal affairs for CTV News and is co-author of the book “Politically Speaking“. She has addressed audiences across Canada and in the United States on issues of anti-racism, feminism, and progressive change.
Heba Khalil is a Palestinian Canadian living in Ottawa and a member of the Ottawa chapter of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW). She moved to Ottawa eight years ago to begin her Honors Bachelor of Science degree. She is a leading member of the Islamic community and has a wide range of experience designing and organizing Islamic, cultural and community events. She is currently conducting a research project at the University of Ottawa with the aim of studying Muslim women’s representation in Western entertainment media. Heba is particularly passionate about the specific challenges faced by minority women.
Theo Sowa is an independent advisor and consultant, specializing in international social development with a particular emphasis on children’s rights and protection issues. She is currently the CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund. Her work includes advisory roles to African and other international women and children’s rights activists and leaders, in addition to policy development and advocacy with a variety of international agencies and organizations. She was the Senior Programme Advisor on the UN Study on Children and Armed Conflict (the Machel Report) and led the five-year review of the report. She has authored several publications, including being a contributing editor to ‘The Impact of War on Children’; a contributing author and co-editor of a Harvard Law School/UNICEF Innocenti publication on ‘Children and Transitional Justice’; and co-author of ‘Groupwork and Intermediate Treatment’.
Coral Sproule is a first-generation farmer who has been involved in food justice, agricultural policy work, social justice and food systems education for most of her adult life. She lives near Perth, Ontario with her partner and two children where she farms with her neighbour on an 80-acre organic mixed farm. Coral has a deep commitment to working in solidarity with other small to medium-scale and peasant farmers through her work with the National Farmers Union and La Via Campesina. She also works part-time for The Table Community Food Centre where her main focus is on youth and children’s food literacy education and engagement, as well as related work in food accessibility, justice and community building. She is following the path of her mother who has always been strongly involved in advocacy for women’s rights, equality and equity. She has a passion for seed saving and hopes to focus on developing these skills and contributing to the seed and food sovereignty of her community.
Named by the Stevie Awards as 2017’s Most Innovative Woman of the Year, Jess is the President and CEO of The MATCH International Women’s Fund- Canada’s only global fund for women. Emphasizing the role of innovation in social movements, The MATCH Fund resources women’s organizations around the world working to change systems and dismantle barriers through innovative and disruptive approaches. Jess has worked in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Asia for a range of actors including the World Bank, the UN and USAID. Jess was the Director-Women’s Platform for CARE Canada’s signature ‘I am powerful’ campaign. Prior to her appointment at The MATCH Fund, Jess was with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), managing large-scale reform for the Agency that supports Palestinian Refugees in Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.
Irma Alicia Velasquez Nimatuj
Irma Alicia Nimatuj is a journalist, social anthropologist, and international spokeswoman. She has been at the forefront of struggles for respect for indigenous cultures. Dr. Velásquez Nimatuj is the first Maya-K’iche’ woman to earn a doctorate in Social Anthropology and she initiated the court case that made racial discrimination illegal in Guatemala. She has won numerous academic fellowships and awards for her journalism and was a visiting professor at the University of Texas in the Spring of 2016 and a visiting professor at Duke University in the Spring of 2017. She is the author of “Pueblos Indígenas, Estado y Lucha por Tierra en Guatemala“ (2008) and “La pequeña burguesía indígena comercial de Guatemala: Desigualdades de clase, raza y género“ (2002). She writes a weekly newspaper column in “El Periódico de Guatemala“ and through both her political and academic efforts seeks to create viable and realistic ways to create equality for indigenous people and a truly participatory democracy in Guatemala.
Beth Jordan is the Founder and Principal of Adobe Consulting Services, a boutique consulting firm providing facilitation, training, planning and evaluation services to the government and the not-for-profit sector. She has worked extensively on issues pertaining to HIV/AIDS, violence against women and the integration of anti-racism and anti-oppression frameworks. A committed activist, with over 18 years of leadership experience, Beth is a sought-after facilitator and speaker, who is recognized for her ability to effectively lead organizations and large groups to an understanding and achievement of their common goals. Beth Jordan is a recipient of the 2005 YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Social Justice and the 2006 Premiers Award.
Sarah leads Action Canada’s engagement with government bodies and officials, as well as campaigns aimed at advancing sexual and reproductive rights in Canada’s foreign and domestic laws, policies and programmes. For the past six years, Sarah has supported the work of the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, for which Action Canada is the Secretariat. Sarah has extensive experience with international human rights accountability mechanisms, leading organizational and coalition work to hold the federal government accountable for meeting its human rights obligations, as they relate to sexual and reproductive rights. Sarah has held positions with the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, Global Affairs Canada, and Employment and Social Development Canada.
Originally from Toronto, Emily has always been interested in the political process and event planning. In Spring 2017, Emily graduated from Queen’s University with an Honours BA in political studies and history. She will complete her Masters degree in political management at Carleton University by August 2018, and along the way has volunteered with a Canadian Senator. Her interests include elections in the social media age and political communications. In March 2018, Emily began working at Jane and Co. as an Events Associate responsible for aiding in the planning and execution of successful events.
Julie Vautour is a committed feminist and has a variety of academic and work experiences working on feminist and women’s rights issues. She’s published on Indigenous women’s sexual health and rights as well as undertaken a MA in Feminist and Gender Studies. Her thesis focused on sexual education, race and virginity. She is also involved in abortion access and reproductive justice.
Rachel Vincent has been with the Nobel Women’s Initiative since 2008, where she has led the organization in its work with grassroots women’s organizations and movements in Latin America and amplifying the voices of feminist peacebuilders in the media. Rachel started her career as a radio journalist, working for six years in Canada, the US and Mexico, including hosting an afternoon radio program in Mexico City. For the last 18 years, Rachel has turned her in-depth understanding of advocacy and media to advising non-governmental organizations and social justice activists on how to shape their messages for maximum policy impact. Rachel speaks and writes regularly about women’s rights and is the editor of When We Are Bold: Women Who Turn Our Upsidedown World Right, published in September 2016.
Jane has more than a decade of experience in planning tours and logistics for politicians and party leaders, international conferences and conventions and protocol for some of the country’s highest-profile events and visits. She has worked in the office of Senators, MPs and Party Leaders as well as Protocol for the Parliament of Canada. She followed that with 3 years of experience running major accounts for public affairs advertising clients. In January 2017, Jane launched Jane & Co. – a unique consultancy designed to offer effortless event support and project management in the national public affairs market, from creative strategic advice to seamless and affordable execution.
Diana Sarosi is the Manager of Policy at Oxfam Canada. Previously, she worked with the Nobel Women’s Initiative as Manager of Policy & Advocacy. Diana also co-founded a human rights organization in Thailand dedicated to protecting human rights defenders and supporting families of disappeared and torture victims.
Beth is the Policy Lead at The MATCH Fund. Beth provides strategic analysis of funding and support for women’s rights organizations focusing on Canada’s new Feminist International Assistance Policy. Beth brings over 25 years of working on women’s rights and gender equality issues as an independent analyst and activist. She has developed analytical tools, supported policy development, designed training, and provided technical support for bilateral aid agencies, UN entities, and NGOs. Outside of her work with The MATCH Fund, Beth coordinates the Women, Peace and Security Network-Canada.
Paulette worked on the front lines of social service organizations in some of Toronto’s most economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Since then, she has led shelters, employment and housing programs, and earned recognition as one of the most respected women leaders in Canada. Paulette joined the Canadian Women’s Foundation in 2016, after 10 years as CEO of YWCA Canada. She is an expert on gender equity, gender-based violence, women’s poverty and the wage gap, girls’ empowerment, and leadership. Working with all levels of government, Paulette has advocated on issues of poverty, housing, violence against women, immigration, and social justice.
Rita Morbia first joined Inter Pares in 2001 and was the Executive Director from 2009 to 2017. She now shares this role as the organization’s Co-Executive Director. Rita also has program responsibilities in the Philippines and Sudan in the area of women’s rights and reproductive health and has a background in environmental activism. She serves on the Board of the Canadian Health Coalition and has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation.
Liz holds a Master of Arts degree in Women’s Studies from York University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Ottawa. Prior to joining Canada Without Poverty, Liz practiced poverty law in community legal clinics as a staff lawyer. She is also a course instructor at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, where she teaches an introductory legal aid course. As a social justice advocate, Liz has long been interested in women’s issues, poverty alleviation and access to justice for people in rural and remote areas.