Most WLUSA Members probably aren’t aware that the Waterloo Regional Labour Council hosts an International Women’s Day brunch every year in early March at the Unifor Hall in Kitchener, and it’s always a fun and educational experience. It’s a great opportunity to meet women from different unions around the region and to hear local speakers engaged in women’s issues. MPP Catherine Fife has spoken in the past. This year the event took place on March 2nd, and the speakers were Elizabeth Clarke, Debbie Chapman and Lyndsey Butcher. Debbie Chapman is a Kitchener City Councillor, and is also a WLU faculty member.
Elizabeth Clarke spoke about supporting homeless women and how we’re doing it wrong in this region. A lack of a gender-based approach to services for women experiencing homelessness cause services to not be designed specifically for them. Debbie Chapman spoke about how society has a duty to ensure everyone can live a dignified life, and how class divides are gendered and racialized. She spoke about how women and contract academic staff work more hours and spend more hours per week working than then their full time counter parts Lyndsey Butcher spoke about women’s health issues, including topics such as how the provincial government’s recent move to restrict health and social services will disproportionately affect women. She also brought up that women pay the bulk of costs when health-related financial decisions need to be made.
If you’re willing to spend some of your own money, you can win some great prizes or even the 50/50 draw. Don’t worry about spending too much, since it all goes to a good cause. All the money that the WRLC raises at the event goes to local women’s shelters. WLUSA usually sponsors a table which seats eight, so that means that you don’t have to pay anything to get in. If this sounds like something that interests you, just let the WLUSA Executive know, or talk to someone on the Status of Women Committee. Men are also welcome to attend, and if you volunteer, lunch is on the Waterloo Regional Labour Council!