Day 1

Women In International Security Canada alongside Steering Committee partners for the 16 Days of Activism Canada was thrilled to host a launch reception to kick off the 16 Days Canada campaign in Ottawa. To really hone in on the issue of violence against women, this year the launch was held at the Well- La Source a drop-in shelter where homeless, refugee and abused women in need can go for assistance, a warm meal and support.

The afternoon began with welcoming remarks by Kim Dube and speeches by WIIS Canada’s Executive Director Urooj Mian, Nadia Williamson of the UNHCR Canada, Sunny Marriner of the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre and a keynote delivered by the Status of Women Minister, the Honourable Patricia Hajdu. The afternoon also consisted of poetry performances by Vanessa Ess, Lee-Ann Mudaly and Yamikani Msosa. It concluded with a very emotional candle lighting ceremony to mark the beginning of the campaign in Canada.

Everyone was out in their best purple attire with over 80 representatives of partners participating in the campaign, government, service provider organizations, survivors of violence and fighters. Overall, with the incredible assistance of our volunteers, the event was a success.

To see the program click here.

To read our Executive Director’s speech click here.

Special thank you to:

Tandoori Fusion for providing the wonderful reception.

Sophhimage Photography

The Well – La Source for hosting us.

Day 2

Immigrant Women’s Services Ottawa (IWSO)'s Roses & Candles Gala

On Day 2, over 200 service providers, community members, and politicians gathered for the Immigrant Women Services Ottawa’s annual fundraising event. It was held  to commemorate the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence and to celebrate IWSO’s achievements in 2015. Funds were raised to support services provided to immigrant women and their children who are victims/survivors of violence. There were speeches from Kim Rudd, MP for Northumberland-Peterborough South who shared welcome remarks sent by Mrs. Sophie Trudeau, and the Honorary Chair was Ms. Rima Aristocrat, President and CEO of Willis College. Community agencies and members were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the Ottawa community. Award recipients were- Legal Aid Ontario, Ottawa Community Housing, Resettlement Resource Service Volunteers, Ms. Claire Tremblay, Ms. Connie Tang, Ms. Odette Rwigamba and Hodan Egale of the Somali Canadian Youth Centre.  Excellent entertainment was provided by The Star Tools, and there was dancing throughout the evening. There was an amazing silent auction with so many items to interest everyone! Make sure you don’t miss it next year!

Day 3

If you missed WIIS Canada’s Executive Director and the one and only Roua Alijed on the radio promoting the 16 Days Canada campaign, we have the link right here. Roua performed this year’s campaign poem, Primary Colours live! Sneak peek! Click the link below, click the PLAY button and take a listen.  It all begins at 40 minutes in!

Exploring the links of Economic Inequality and the Empowerment of Women

Link to the podcast >

Day 4

Mindfulness for Trauma Healing

Webinar: Mindfulness for Sexual Violence Trauma Healing

On November 28th Danya Daccash, a mindful feminist therapist, held a webinar on Mindfulness for Sexual Violence Trauma Healing which was attended by 130 people. She advocated the use of mindfulness as a  deep healing practice and discussed the brain science of trauma. The webinar included a belly dance lesson illustrating embodied practice. If you missed the event, the webinar replay will be available until the end of the 16 Days campaign, December 10th.  Check it out at:

The Mindfulness for Sexual Violence Trauma Healing WEBINAR REPLAY will be available for the remainder of the global “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence” Campaign (ends December 10th):

Day 7

Queens University Centre for International and Defense Policy (CIDP) Lunch

On December 1st, Day 7 of the 16 Days campaign, a roundtable discussion was hosted by the Queen’s Centre for International Defense Policy (CIDP) and the Queen’s International Affairs Association (QIAA) in Kingston. With over 18 participants, ranging from visiting defence fellows and military professionals including  LCol. Jan van der Felsen, Col. Marcus Acosta, and LCol. Alain Carrier, and students in political and global development studies, the conversation focused on two broad topics: how violence and increased militarism has affected access to education in countries that have recently experienced armed conflict, and women’s role in peace negotiations, peace-building, diplomacy and decision-making positions, and how this is linked to making education safe in militarized areas.

After a presentation from Dr. Stefanie von Hlatky, Board Chair of WIIS Canada and CIDP Director, on gender mainstreaming in the armed forces, participants were split into three groups. Each group had 10-15 minutes to discuss the sets of questions that were being passed around the room. Questions ranged from access to education in militarized areas, to female representation in international security scholarship and policy positions. The wide range of questions kept everyone on their toes, and provoked participants to examine gender and representation within their schools, within their governments, and throughout the world.

Day 13

#WearPurpleDay: On Day 13 of the campaign, Canadians tweeted pictures in their best purple attire, in solidarity for the fight against violence against women. Here are some of our pick pics! Congrats and thank you Canada!!!!!

Lunch & Learn: A Woman’s Journey Through Prostitution
Monday, December 7, 2015
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Theatre Room, Stanley A. Milner Library, Edmonton Alberta

On Day 13 of the 16 Days Campaign, The Sexual Exploitation Working Group in Edmonton hosted Rachel Moran, from Dublin, Ireland, for a public lecture and discussion. Rachel spoke about her experience, detailed in her book, Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution and her current work in Ireland advocating for changes to legislation and policy around prostitution and human rights. Rachel had an engaging conversation with approximately 150 Edmontonians about the language around prostitution and the unique challenges facing indigenous women in Canada.