Still a long way to gender equity – Dr. Enid Collins

Dr Enid Collins receiving flowers from the Women’s Committee member Pam- Powell and Chair Camille Hannays-King

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 BantonPiper 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.