10 Takeaways from the Women Deliver 2019 Conference
This week, a group of Mothers Matter Centre Staff, HIPPY Coordinators and Home Visitors from all over Canada attended the Women Deliver 2019 Conference. Over 8,000 delegates came to Vancouver for the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women in the 21st century. Here is what our group took away from the event.
Reem, Winnipeg (MB), Mosaic – Newcomer Family Resource Network: “What inspired me is how resilient women all around the world are to have the courage to step in front of everyone and advocate for their people. That has opened my eyes to so many things that we take for granted and other women have to fight for. Also, I learned how important it is to collect data to get a better idea of the service we provide. It’s important to go to the decision makers with your numbers.”
Nazia, Toronto (ON), Working Women Community Centre: “I reached out to some of the speakers and their organizations. I went to their booth at the Information Fair instead of going to their session. I got to meet a lot of people and organizations. Whenever we need any help or any support in the future, I will definitely connect our families to these organizations.”
Wazi, Vancouver (BC), Mothers Matter Centre: “One thing I took away is that young women are powerhouses. They know what they want. They are brave. They speak out. It is time for us as middle-aged women to support them, give them all the power, be behind them, and let them lead, because they are amazing leaders. I want to support all the women – and men – that I know to have all the skills they need to lead. I am very excited about the future and to see that it is in good hands.”
Sanaa, Halifax (NS), Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia: “I will use my power to empower the HIPPY Home Visitors to do the work and have this conversation with our families. Maybe in our group meetings, we can have some discussions about how education is very important, how to empower the mothers themselves. It’s important that they can teach their boys how to treat girls. Likewise, they have to teach their girls about their rights and not just carry on their culture and custom. Also, I want to teach my daughters to be leaders and my boys to be feminists.”
Meade, Vancouver (BC), Tsleil-Waututh Nation: First, I loved how the land was acknowledged, and I raise my hands to the people who mentioned this at the beginning of their workshops. Secondly, as I sat in different sessions with all the different women, I have seen how each different community has their challenges. As we come together, I’m hoping this will make a big impact where we can help, earn and appreciate the different approaches we are using to make sure our younger girls don’t have to endure the sadness some of us had to go through.
Natasha, Vancouver (BC), Mothers Matter Centre: “My highlight has been hearing the personal stories, journeys, and triumphs of the incredibly diverse group of delegates. They are proof that women from all corners of the world can undergo anything and demonstrate strength, resilience, and translate hardship into advocacy for their communities.”
Shinda, Vancouver (BC), Immigrant Services Society BC: “I liked it very much to hear the different stories. All the women are so creative, all so committed, so diligent. I was inspired by all the women there. The sessions covered so many topics, I wanted to attend all at the same time. One thing I am taking away is the power of data and how important it is to have more knowledge about data.”
Anisa, Toronto (ON), Working Women Community Centre: “I really got a lot of inspiration from attending various sessions and engaging at the different information booths. I never thought of some of the things as an issue, e.g. rights for domestic workers. This really hurt my feelings that these people are suffering. I want to share what I learned at the conference with my coworkers back at home.”
Carol, Brooks (AB), SPEC Association for Families and Children: “At the conference, they stressed the connection between education and better performance. It’s very timely, as we can talk to our clients so they see education as something important. There are a lot of things I want to take back to my organization. We serve a lot of women from different backgrounds. It will be a good idea to use this information to empower women and to help them to speak out.”
Swedini, Nanaimo (BC), Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society: “We do have power, but now it has been validated and we’ve got the permission to use this power. There were over 8,000 people at this conference who validated that power.”