Evidence of meeting #27 for Status of Women in the 41st Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was women.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Tracy Redies  President and Chief Executive Officer, Coast Capital Savings Credit Union
  • Ellen Moore  Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chubb Insurance Company of Canada
  • Jocelyne Michelle Coulibaly  Representative for the Ottawa Region, Board of Representatives, Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne
  • Geneviève Latour  Programming Manager, Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne

5:10 p.m.

Representative for the Ottawa Region, Board of Representatives, Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne

Jocelyne Michelle Coulibaly

I think we must not wait until young people grow up; we have to try to instil in young people the importance of every individual, from the beginning of their lives.

The sociology course I have just completed taught me that we also have to avoid gendering roles, and that means not saying that women are just made for this area and men are made for that kind of work.

March has just ended, and we should not just wait for a special day to celebrate the work women do. We have to be able to recognize the work women do everyday, not just on March 8.

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

I think we should celebrate women every day. I know that our only male colleague in this group celebrates women every day and says, “Hallelujah”.

In your comments you mentioned about girls feeling inadequate. Several of our presenters have mentioned that girls can do really well until about age 15, and then for some reason, hormonal or whatever, girls start to question themselves. They seem to start losing some of their self-confidence in that 15- to 18-year-old period of time. You also mentioned that in different words, but it's the same thing.

What can we do about that, and how do we help young women overcome that in those important years?

5:10 p.m.

Programming Manager, Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne

Geneviève Latour

I think that presenting accessible models is part of the answer. These are women who have experienced success, young women, women who represent diversity. We have to provide them with a space, because often, girls think they are the only ones who experience what they experience. When they talk with other girls they realize it is common and it is a systemic problem. Together, they can tackle the problem and take action to change things and achieve the ideal world they have in mind. That is often the vision they have of the world and of reality, at that age. They are starting to understand that it can be different. They think they are the only ones who think that. So by providing a space for them to get together and talk, they can see how they can take action and be part of the solution.

Jocelyne, I don't know whether you had something to add.

5:10 p.m.

Representative for the Ottawa Region, Board of Representatives, Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne

5:10 p.m.

Liberal

Judy Sgro York West, ON

Very good.

Thank you both very much.

5:10 p.m.

Programming Manager, Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne

Geneviève Latour

Yes, thank you.

5:10 p.m.

NDP

The Chair Irene Mathyssen

Thank you very much.

Madam Young is next. You have five minutes, please.

April 2nd, 2012 / 5:10 p.m.

Conservative

Wai Young Vancouver South, BC

I also want to second what my colleague across the way has said and thank you very much for coming. There's some important information there.

I'm from B.C., and this whole sense of a Franco-Ontarian minority organization group is kind of intriguing to me. I have some questions around that.

First off, in a previous presentation the Girls Action Foundation appeared and gave us a set of recommendations. If you don't mind, I'd like to read some of them to you to see if you agree or don't agree with these recommendations.

First, they recommend that we provide mentorship and diverse role models for girls growing up. Another recommendation is to educate boys and young men to think critically about gender expectations and to promote equality between the sexes. A third is to implement and expand programs that reduce gender harassment, especially in educational institutions.

What do you think about those recommendations?

5:15 p.m.

Programming Manager, Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne

Geneviève Latour

I think they are good. As I mentioned, it is important to have models and also to talk about it with the boys. When I talk about mixed workshops, with boys, we have to remember that the subject of discussion is still violence against women and the role of women in society. So when we talk about solutions, we are really talking about continuing to talk about women and what women feel.

Often, the boys are given information and now realize that some things they were doing or some actions they did not think of as violence represent barriers for women. I think this sharing is important so that men realize, when they were not aware before, that they can be obstacles.

The guys have good ideas when it comes to solutions. So from that perspective we think the guys are part of the solution: to hear what the girls have to say.

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Wai Young Vancouver South, BC

I had to step out of the room for a minute, and I understand that my colleague had already asked that question.

Can you focus on.... This study is not to look on violence against women, even though that's very important, as we know. We are looking at the economic participation, prosperity, and leadership of girls.

One of things that has not been talked about very much is men's role in that. We heard a bit about it earlier. Our previous presenters talked about the corporate world, the glass ceiling, and some of the challenges there. I'm interested in your organization and what you're doing in this area.

Are you doing any programming around helping the economic future and prosperity of girls? If so, how does your organization provide services or ideas around how boys or men could help with that?

5:15 p.m.

Programming Manager, Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne

Geneviève Latour

In fact, financial literacy is a subject we want to spend more time on. We have had an opportunity to talk about the cooperative movement in some workshops. But we are at the mercy of the funders. We have ideas, and materials, but we do not have the resources to put our programs into operation.

However, we have a financial literacy program for girls and boys. We were just talking about how to do a proper budget, and manage a line of credit, and we were saying how it is different now that the student is going to post-secondary school. These financial literacy courses have to include a gender-specific element.

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Wai Young Vancouver South, BC

Let me be clear. It sounds as though you would like to do programming in this area, but you don't have the resources.

5:15 p.m.

Programming Manager, Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne

Geneviève Latour

Yes. When I talk about resources, I mean financial resources. I think our members explained to us what they want to hear. We have done the research and now we just have to be able to put the program into operation.

But we have put a program on the cooperative movement into operation, and women and participate and they play a large role at that point.

5:15 p.m.

Conservative

Wai Young Vancouver South, BC

Are you aware that the federal government, under Human Resources and Skills Development, has a program to fund financial literacy workshops and stuff across Canada? Perhaps that's something for you to look into.

5:15 p.m.

Programming Manager, Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne

Geneviève Latour

Yes, certainly we do research. We are awaiting replies. Our program is ready to be put in operation. We just have to have positive replies.