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Past Events 2014-2015


Panel Presentation and Call to Action: CEDAW and Indigenous Women¿s Activism 


The Women¿s Human Rights Education Institute (WHRI)


in collaboration with:

the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC)

the Indigenous Women's Movement (Guatemala)

the Centre for Women's Studies in Education (CWSE) and 

the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA)

are pleased to present a dialogue and call to action:

CEDAW and Indigenous Women¿s Activism using Women¿s Human Rights Mechanisms to Challenge Colonial States in Canada, Guatemala and Beyond

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

 at the Innis Town Hall, University of Toronto, 2 Sussex Ave

4:00- 7:00 pm.

RSVP required!! Please register with this link: https://eventbrite.ca/event/17170986884/

This event will focus on the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) as a tool for activism through highlighting groundbreaking work being done by indigenous women¿s organizations that is changing the international discourse of women¿s human rights.

The panel will cover:

¿ CEDAW Inquiry Procedure on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada, the recently published report on the inquiry and where to take it from here

¿ Guatemalan Indigenous women¿s activism using CEDAW, in particular Tzununija¿s call for a new CEDAW General Recommendation recognizing the specific forms of intersectional discrimination experienced by indigenous women around the world

¿ International women¿s human rights activism and how to move forward and build linkages across borders

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Dawn Lavell- Harvard - Native Women¿s Association of Canada (NWAC)
  • Cherry Smiley - FAFIA¿s Campaign of Solidarity with Aboriginal Women
  • Shelagh Day - FAFIA (via video-conferencing) 
  • Silvia Tecun Leon: Tzununija Indigenous Women¿s Movement, Guatemala 
  • Alda Facio - Expert Member of the UN Working Group on Discrimination Against Women

For more information please contact the Women¿s Human Rights Education Institute- http://learnwhr.org/

¿This is an extremely important report for Canada,¿ says Dawn Harvard of NWAC. ¿Canada has been told, first by the International- American Commission on Human Rights, and now by the United Nations CEDAW Committee, that Canada¿s failures to act violate the human rights of Aboriginal women.¿ - Dawn Harvard of NWAC, in reference to the CEDAW Report to the Canadian Government. 



Dr. Dawn Lavell- Harvard (NWAC) Ph.D., now Interim President of the Native Women¿s Association of Canada (NWAC), is a proud member of the Wikwemikong First Nation, the first Aboriginal Trudeau Scholar, and has worked to advance the rights of Aboriginal women as the President of the Ontario Native Women's Association for 11 years. She was also the Vice-President of NWAC for almost 3 years.





Cherry Smiley (NWAC and FAFIA), from the Nlaka'pamux (Thompson) and Dine' (Navajo) Nations, is an artist and Indigenous feminist activist, working for years as a front-line anti-violence worker in a transition house for battered women and their children and rape crisis centre. She is a founding member of Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry (IWASI). Cherry graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree, exhibiting her installation, Revolution Songs: stories of prostitution in 2014.


Silvia Tecún León is a Maya Quiche lawyer and activist from Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Silvia works with Movimiento de Mujeres Indigenas Tz¿ununija, a strong indigenous women¿s rights organization in Guatemala on issues political mobilization, the rights of indigenous women, and the legal situation of women working to protect their territories against mining. Working in particular with women and girls that are victims-survivors of sexual violence, Silvia takes cases through the justice system as well as offering support for their material needs.


Shelagh Day is an expert on human rights, with many years of experience working with governments and non-governmental organizations. She was the Director of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, the first President of the Women¿s Legal Education and Action Fund, and a founder of the Court Challenges Programme of Canada. Ms. Day is currently a Director of the Poverty and Human Rights Centre, and the Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action.


Alda Facio is a feminist human rights activist, jurist and writer. Co-founder of the WHRI, she is an Expert Member of the UN Working Group on discrimination against women in law and practice of the Human Rights Council; Director of the Women, Gender and Justice Program of the UN Latin American Institute for Crime Prevention (ILANUD), and was one of the founders of the Women¿s Caucus for Gender Justice of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Alda has carried out hundreds of trainings for judges, police, and judicial officials throughout Latin America, as well as for women¿s organizations and civil society throughout the world.


WHRI Intensive, Toronto, June 1 - 30, 2015 

  • 3 weeks online learning pre-course (done from your home) in May 2015
  • 4 weeks intensive in Toronto: June - 30, 2015 (Plan to arrive in Toronto by May 31st at the least)
  • Online learning post-course and submission of post-institute plans

¿Note: this program covers the content of what used to be the six-week WHRI

CEDAW for Change, Toronto, June 6 - 13, 2015

  • Weekend workshop: An Introduction to International Human Rights Law & the History of WHR, June 6 - 7
  • CEDAW for Change Institute: June 9 - 13

To hear from past participants or for full information about the next programs, the application process, and the online application form, visit the WHRI's website at: www.learnwhr.org

For more inquiries, contact WHRI Executive Director Angela Lytle or WHRI Communications Officer Hala Zabaneh at info@learnwhr.org.


Wonderful Women Writers Series

Date: Tuesday April 28 2015

Time: 5:15-6:30pm

Location: Room 2-279,OISE, 252 Bloor St. W., Toronto

Free, no pre-registration required

A new reading series showcasing some of Toronto's finest women writers & their feminist & women-centred fiction

Nora Gold

Co-ordinated and hosted by Dr. Nora Gold, prize-winning author and Writer-in-Residence at the CWSE.

Come hear C. Fong Hsiung, Renate Krakauer & Eva Tihanyi


C. Fong Hsiung, the author of "Alfie," a short story published by Life Rattle Press for The Totally Unknown Writers Festival 2012. Picture Bride is her debut.

Renate Krakauer who, after a career in the public sector, turned to writing: short stories, essays and a memoir.  Only by Blood is her first novel.

Eva Tihanyi has published seven books of poetry, the most recent of which is Flying Underwater: Poems New and Selected.  She teaches at Niagara College.

Nora Gold is a writer, editor, scholar and activist, and the Writer-in-Residence at the CWSE.  Her new novel, Fields of Exile, has received enthusiastic praise, most recently from Cynthia Ozick, who "read this novel "with nonstop enthralled admiration."  Gold's previous book, Marrow and Other Stories, won a Canadian Jewish Book Award, and was praised by Alice Munro.  Dr. Nora Gold is also the creator and editor of the prestigious online literary journal, Jewish Fiction .net.  Her website is noragold.com

Download the flyer (PDF) here

Facebook event page here

More information about CWSE's Writer-in-Residence Nora Gold here



CWSE Celebrates International Women's Day

with a series of events listed below.

Feminist Student Research Study Group

Date: February 25, 2015

  March 18, 2015

Time: 3:00 - 5:00 PM

Location: Room 2-225 (CWSE), OISE, 252 Bloor St W., Toronto 

The Feminist Student Research Study Group is a montly event that was designed for helping students developing research ideas, writing papers about feminist, gender and women's issues, building networks and supporting each other. 

Queering the Divine

Date: February 26, 2015

  March 12, 2015

  March 19, 2015

Time: 3:00 - 5:00 PM

Location: Room 2-225 (CWSE), OISE, 252 Bloor St W., Toronto 

A 3-part open discussion series for Queers and non-queers to "queer" spiritual and mythological traditions and seek connection to Queer sources of divinity. For more information visit http://sacredqueers.wix.com/queeringthedivine

Fair Trade and Community Networking Fair

CUPE 3902 Unit 1 Strike: Postponing the Fair Trade and Community Networking Fair

You may have heard about the CUPE 3902 Unit 1 Strike at the University of Toronto. At this moment, TAs, Course Instructors, and Invigilators at UofT are on strike after overwhelmingly rejecting the offer from the University. TAs are asking that the minimum funding package be raised above the poverty line.


*We will, with deep regret, we have to postpone the Fair Trade and Community Networking Fair planned for Wednesday March 4th. We hope you are able to join us when we reschedule.

Location: Room 2-225 (CWSE), OISE, 252 Bloor St W., Toronto 

A space for people to explore, support and get involved with local fair trade and innovative community groups and centres.  Organizations such as Sistering, The Alliance for South Asian AIDS Centrre, Shameless Magazine, International Peace Initiaties (IPI), Project North 44 etc. will be joining us with notices of events and services, information on opportunities, arts and crafts as well as local and fair trade goods for sale, tarot reading and much more. 

For updates and more information, visit:


Banner Making

CWSE Banner Making Moved:

The CWSE Banner Making originally scheduled for Thursday, March 5th at CWSE will now be joining the Toronto IWD Banner Making Party happening tomorrow, Wednesday, March 4 from 6:30 ¿ 9:30 PM at Ryerson Student Centre, 55 Gould Street, Toronto in solidarity with both, CUPE 3902 Unit 1 Strike at the University of Toronto and the Toronto IWD.

To join the IWD Banner Making event on Facebook, visit: 

We hope to see you there!

Making banners and signs for the International Women's Day March! Some supplies will be provided, but feel free to bring more.


International Women's Day 

Date: March 7, 2015

Rally: Meet at OISE auditorium at 11 AM

March: Leaves from 252 Bloor St. W at 1 PM and finishes at Ryerson University.  The CWSE is attending the International Women's Day 2015 March and Rally in solidarity with the World March of Women.  For more information, visit: www.iwdtoronto.ca


Celebrating the Life and Leadership of 

Dr. Maya Angelou

Date: November 27, 2014

Time: 6:00 - 8:30 PM

Maya Angelou, a mentor, mother/sister, friend, sheroe, author, poet, artist, teacher, black political civil rights activist, literary writer, educator, novelist, actor, film maker, producer, dancer, voice, essayist, historian, storyteller, singer, performer, calypsonian, griot, change agent, womanist and feminist passed away Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at the age of 86.  As civil rights and social justice activists, the African Canadian community and friends will join in celebrating what we learned from Dr. maya Angelou's activism and its effects on the rest of the world.  Through the celebration of the life and leadership of Dr. Maya Angelou, we will recognize her importance in leadership, women's empowerment and as a champion of human rights.


 New Challenge for Human Rights?

The Emergence of an LGBTI Human Rights Norm:

Perspectives and Problems

A lecture by Dr. Bronwyn Winter

Date: November 25, 2014

Time: 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Location: Room 2-295, OISE, 252 Bloor St W., Toronto 

Bronwyn Winter is in the Department of French Studies at the University of Sydney, where she teaches in International and GLobal Studies, European Studies, French Studies and International and Comparative literary studies.  Her publications include Hijab and the Republic: Uncovering the French Headscarf Debate, and After Shock: September 11, 2011: Global Feminist Perspectives.  She is also on the international editorial board of the forthcoming Enclyopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies. 

Program Overview:

Introduction to the history and politics of the emergence of an LGBT human rights norm.

Discussion on "Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation"

Is every social justice issue a human rights issue. 

View and download flyer


"Comfort Women" in Asia: Alone in Atrocity, Together for Justice

Monday Nov 3, 2014

6:30pm - 8:30pm

William Doo Auditorium,

45 Willcocks St,

(corner of Willcocks St & Spadina Ave)

During the years of the Asia-Pacific War, the Imperial Japanese Army mobilized more than 200,000 women from across Asia into a military sexual system.  Those women coming from distinct culture, identity, heritage, and memory were all euphemistically referred to as "Comfort Women".  Their ongoing struggle has brought them together in solidarity for their rights as women, as human beings.  

An evening to reflect on the long lasting legacy and resilience of the "Comfort Women" survivors and to dicuss approaches to move towards peace and reconciliation.  Our very own, Angela Lytle, the Executive Director of the Women's Human Rights Education Institute is also on the panel along with speakers who have been engaged in supporting survivors of Japanese Military Sexual Slavery through art, education, and activism etc.  

View flyer with Program and Panel details. 


Follow Up Planning and Action Meeting

Date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Time: 4 - 6 PM

Location: Room 2-227, OISE, 252 Bloor St. W., Toronto. 



Motherhood in Patriarchy: Abolishing the Matrillinear Order

By Dr. Miriam Irene Tazi Preves

Miriam Irene Tazi Preve has a PhD in Political Science and a Masters Degree in Political Science/Women's Studies and Romance Studies from the University of Innsbruck, Austria.  She is currently teaching at the University of Applied Sciences (MCI) in Innsbruck and has held various academic positions in universities around the world, including her service as the Marshall Plan Chair at the University of New Orleans.  Her work is part of the new interdisciplinary paradigm of the "Critical Theory of Patriarchy", developed at the University of Innsbruck.  She is the author of Motherhood in Patriarchy (2013), Familienpolitik - Nationale und Internationale Perspektiven [Family Policy - National and International Perspectives] (2009), and Fathers in Offside Positions (2007). 

Date: Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Time: 11:30-1 PM

Location: CWSE - OISE, Room: 2-225  

Download the flyer (PDF) here


Wonderful Women Writers Series


Co-ordinated and hosted by Dr. Nora Gold, prize-winning author and Writer-in-Residence at the CWSE. 

Come hear Carole Giangrande & Carol Lipszyc 

Carole Giangrande is the author of seven books, including the award-winning novella A Gardener on the Moon.  Her new novella Midsummer was published this spring by Inanna.

Carol Lipszyc is currently an Associate Professor at SUNY Plattsburgh. Her book of short stories, The Saviour Shoes, is published by Inanna Publications.

Date: Thursday Octoer 23 2014

Time: 5-6:15pm

Location: Room 2-227, OISE, 252 Bloor St. W., Toronto.

Free, No Pre-registration required. 

Download the flyer (PDF) here

Facebook event page here

More information about CWSE's Writer-in-Residence Nora Gold here


CWSE Open House and Orientation

Meet feminist faculty, CWSE staff, associates and other students! 

Find out about lectures, conferences, workshops, seminars, and film series hosted by the CWSE throughout the year and how you can get involved.

Help us build an exciting new year of action and insight at the Centre! 

Date: Tuesday, October 8, 2014

Time: 4-6 pm

Location: CWSE - OISE, Room: 2-227  

Light Refreshments will be served.


Download the flyer (PDF) here



The Centre for Women’s Studies in Education Spirtuality Circle is pleased to co-present: 

Honouring Shakti- the Way of Peace: Honouring Women Peacebuilders

With Maya Tiwari, founder of the Wise Earth School of Ayurveda, Mother OM Mission and Living Ahimsa Foundation and Honoured Guests Sister Elaine Maclnnes, Debby Danard, Sat Dharam Kaur & Julie Groulx and Debra Deen Kerby 

Date: Thursday, July 17, 2014

Time: 7-9 pm

Location: UT Multi-faith Centre, Koffler House, 569 Spadina Avenue  

Note: This is a co-sponsored event and ticketed registration is not through the CWSE, but through the website www.ahimsalifecanada.ca

For questions or information: angelasabrina.lytle@utoronto.ca     


Our June 2014 IE workshops are now open for registration!

Weekend Workshop: Incorporating Texts into Institutional Ethnographies, with Dorothy Smith and Susan TurnerJune 6-8, 2014 (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, $450 CDN + HST)

Weeklong Intensive Workshop with Dorothy Smith and Susan TurnerJune 8—13, 2014 ($850 CDN + HST, plus $450 + HST for weekend prerequisite)

To apply or more information, email cwse@utoronto.ca.

>>Spaces are almost full, register now!<<

More information about Dorothy Smith and Susan Turner here


Wonderful Women Writers Series

Come hear Nora Gold read from her new novel, Fields of Exile

Thurs June 12 2014, 5-6:15pm

Free, no pre-registration required

Room 2-214, OISE, 252 Bloor St. W., Toronto

Dr. Nora Gold is a writer, editor, scholar and activist, and the Writer-in-Residence at the CWSE. Her novel Fields of Exile, published last month was picked by The Forward as one of  “The 5 Jewish Books To Read in 2014,” and received enthusiastic advance praise  from Phyllis Chesler, Alice Shalvi, Irwin Cotler, Ann Birstein, Thane Rosenbaum, Steve Stern, Nava Semel, and Naim Kattan.

Gold’s first book, Marrow and Other Stories, won one of the Canadian Jewish Book Awards, and was praised by Alice Munro, who wrote Gold after reading the title story: "Bravo!"

Gold is also the creator and editor of the prestigious online library journal, Jewish Fiction.net and a blogger for “The Jewish Thinker” at Haaretz. For more information, please visit noragold.com. 

Download the flyer (PDF) here

Facebook event page here

More information about CWSE's Writer-in-Residence Nora Gold here


The CWSE presents the 17th Annual Dame Nita Barrow Lecture

"Changing Laws & Unchanging Statistics: Rape & Rape Laws in India with Reflections from Canada"

with Poonam Kathuria, founder and Director of SWATI (Society for Women’s Action and Teaching Initiatives) in Gujurat, India.

July 22 2014, 7pm

George Ignatieff Theatre, 15 Devonshire Place, Toronto

Hosted by the Centre for Women’s Studies in Education and Adult Education and Community Development Program at OISE. 


WHRI, Nepal, August 4-15, 2014. Two-week residential intensive Women’s Human Rights Education Institute, open for international enrollment. Offered in collaboration with IHRICON Nepal (Institute for Human Rights Communication). Pre- and post-program offered online

CEDAW for Change Institute, Nigeria, November 2014. Offered in collaboration with WILPF-Nigeria. Open for international enrollment.

For more information on all our programs, and to apply, please visit our website:www.learnwhr.org.

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