Dr Enid Collins, professor emeritus, Ryerson University, told a gathering at the Jamaican Canadian Centre in Toronto on Sunday evening that women’s struggles to achieve social justice are an ongoing journey.
” Women have achieved gains on many fronts but still have a long way to go to achieve gender equity,” she said.
Dr.Collins was the keynote speaker at annual International Women’s Day celebration, organized by the women’s committee of the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA).
Citing Statistics Canada data from 2016, she noted that although women make up the largest segment of the workforce, they earn 87 cents for every dollar men earn.
She said that changing demographics in Canada and across the world show that women’s work is critical to sustaining the economy and that employers, governments and institutions “must place a higher value on women’s work.
Dr. Collins noted, noted, however, that it is encouraging that in the 2018 federal Budget, the Trudeau government is committed to make investment in women’s issues and programs a priority.
“And Premier Kathleen Wynne has just announced legislation which promises bold initiatives to address the gender gap.”
She told the gathering that ” all segment of our community must become informed, engaged, in order to take advantage of progressive benefits and to challenge elected representatives when necessary.”
She also said that changing the conversation to address relationships between the sexes is critical in moving forward.
“For any meaningful change to occur, men must be part of the conversation, at home and in the public sphere,” she pointed out.
“Structures that maintain dominance of men in societal institutions need to be unravelled. This work cannot be left exclusively to women, ” she said.
At the celebration, awards were presented to several outstanding members of the community.
The following were the recipients:
Staff Sergeant Stacy Clarke has been a member of the Toronto Police Service since 1998 and has served in a broad variety of community-oriented policing functions.
Ettie Rutherford is active in several community projects .She currently operates two consulting businesses.
Rev. Sky Starr is an avid stakeholder in her Jane/Finch community and was instrumental in the formation of a crisis response network team.
Simone Banton–Piper currently serves on several JCA Committees and chairs the Public Relations Committee. She also volunteers on several ad hoc committees.
Jeannette Lemon has been a member of the North York West Chapter (JCA) of the Spelling Bee of Canada Competition for several years.
Olive Thompson has been a member of the JCA for over 16 years. She has diligently served the community with her cooking, baking and nurturing of others.