Home-work by Marisol D’Andrea
30×40″, acrylics on canvas, May 2013
Commissioned by United Steelworkers Local 1998 and presented to the CWSE May 28th, 2013.
Photo credit: Kim Walker

“In January 2013, the USW Local 1998 commissioned me to produce a work of art considering the theme of garment workers in tribute to the late Roxana Ng—a professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto who passed away on January 12, 2013. I was honoured to receive this task as Professor Ng dedicated more than 25 years of research to the rights of garment workers in Canada. I never had the opportunity to meet Professor Ng, but through conversations with her former colleagues I learned that she had a kind and humble spirit that she dedicated to activism and social justice.”

Read more about garment workers in Canada at Marisol’s blog.

Thank you Marisol and Local 1998 for this beautiful and touching gift. We’ve proudly hung it just inside the front door of the CWSE where it’s visible to all.

Roxana Ng Memorial Video

“Take good care! There is much sickness around, and we are all working way too hard! Meditate, nurture yourself and breathe.” — Roxana Ng

Roxana Ng, Head of the Centre for Women’s Studies in Education (CWSE), passed away June 12, 2013.

Thank you to Heather Reid, PhD student at OISE, for making this video, which was originally shown at the May 29th 2013 memorial at the OISE library in honour of Roxana.

Pantayo Kulintang Ensemble & Friends at Roxana Ng Symposium

On May 28th, the CWSE and Roxana Ng’s colleagues celebrated her academic work with a symposium in her honour. The symposium featured Pantayo Kulintang Ensemble & Friends, and you can click here to see the video of their beautiful performance.
Pantayo is an all-women kulintang ensemble based in Toronto. “Our music is grounded in traditional kulintang music of the Maguindanaon and T’boli peoples of the Philippines, but explores the possibility of kulintang music influenced by our identities as diasporic Filipinas. Members of Pantayo are Christine Balmes, Michelle Cruz, Kat Estacio, Katrina Estacio, Marianne Grace Rellin.” Check out their Facebook page here.

Katherine Hensel at the WHRI

Katherine Hensel at the WHRI

Our annual Women’s Human Rights Education Institute (WHRI) is under way, which is why we haven’t been posting quite as much as usual — it’s a hectic season for us.

Pictured above is Angela Lytle, director of the WHRI, introducing Katherine Hensel, who spoke on the violent reality and discrimination of aboriginal peoples.

Photo by Michael S.

Kenyan Fair Trade Goods at the CWSE

Monday, June 24, 2013, 12:30—3pm at the CWSE:

As we near the end of our annual Women’s Human Rights Education Institute (WHRI), we encourage everyone to stop by this Monday in support of WHRI attendee Dr. Karambu Ringera, who will be selling fair trade Kenyan jewelry & goods on behalf of her International Peace Initiatives (IPI) program.

Dr. Karambu Ringera has brought beautiful crafts made to support IPI’s activities in community peacebuilding and mitigating the effects of poverty, disease, discrimination, and violence. IPI provides homes for orphans and vulnerable children, supports African grassroots organizations and community leaders, and provides trainings in peace education and conflict resolution. For more about information about Dr. Karambu’s organization: www.ipeacei.org/. All proceeds go directly to International Peace Initiatives.

We will have a table set up at the CWSE from 12:30—3pm on Monday, June 24th. We’re located in the OISE building, 252 Bloor St W, downtown Toronto, in room 2-225 on the second floor. Cash only please!

For more about our annual Women’s Human Rights Institute: www.learnwhr.org

Women win rape lawsuit against Kenyan police

Mercy Chidi attended our Women’s Human Rights Education Institute (WHRI) in summer of 2010. She is the award-winning co-founder and programme director of Ripples International, an NGO based in Meru, Kenya, which runs programmes related to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment and the rehabilitation of female survivors of sexual abuse, child marriage and female genital mutilation.

While attending the WHRI, Mercy met Fiona Sampson, a lawyer with The Equality Effect. Now Merci has returned briefly to Toronto, and yesterday she spoke at the WHRI about the incredible achievements she and Fiona have had through Ripples and the Equality Effect.  On May 28th this year, Mercy and her organization won their case against the Kenyan police on behalf of more than 240 girls who had been raped in Kenya. They charged that police have been complicit in the rapes, and the Kenyan High Court agreed.

You can read more about the win here, here, and here, and you can read about the case here and how it came to be here.

This is an incredible landmark case that will have impacts on international law. Congratulations Mercy, and thank you for all your hard work.