Montreal International Women’s Conference builds global solidarity

The first ever Montreal International Women’s Conference, held August 13-16 in Montreal, brought together over 200 women activists from around the world to Montreal to launch a global womens’ network focused on the rights and challenges facing working women in both developed and developing countries.

“It was an exciting starting point to build an ongoing international conversation between sisters working as trade unionists, community organizers, and sisters working at the grassroots level,” says Nancy Quiring, UFCW Canada director of the Western Region, and Chair of the National Council Women's Advisory Committee.
Back row / l-r : Laurie Duncan, Local 175; Nancy Quiring, National Office; Odette Perron, Local 501;  Emmanuelle Lopez, National Office;
Olivia-Maude Cournoyer, Local 500.
Front row/ l-r: Rehya Yazbek, Local 1000A; Leanne Wilkins,Local 1000A; Anouk Collet, National Office; Jennifer Tunney, Local 175
Sister Quiring was one of nine UFCW Canada women (see photo) at the conference that was organized by Femmes de Diverses Origines – Women of Diverse Origins, Montreal; Gabriela from the Philippines, Action Network for Marriage Migrants' Rights and Empowerment (AMMORE), as well as Asian Rural Women.

Workshops and plenary sessions covered various themes including: Women Workers; Women and Health; Women and Migration; The Struggles of Indigenous Women; Women from Rural Lands; and Violence Against Women, to name a few.

“While the stories are different country to country, we learned from each other the challenges facing working women internationally are the same,” says Sister Quiring.

“Women workers around the world continue to face wage inequality, violence, job discrimination, and family pressures. By reaching across borders, the Montreal conference was an empowering first step in building a worldwide community of sisters committed to positive change for working women everywhere.”
 Tess Tessalona, Conference Secretariat

Vol. X No. 34 • August 30, 2010