Women's Conference 98

August 18, 1998


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Women's Conference 98
dated August 18, 1998 

Women's Conference 98
A woman's place is in the union and also in the House of Commons. That was the message brought to the CAW's Annual Women's conference by the federal NDP's spokesperson for Health and the Status of Women Judy Wasylycia-Leis.

Judy Wasylycia-Leis,
NDP's spokesperson
"We need more women, feminist women. We need trade unionists, we need political, progressive community activists in Parliament in order to loosen the right-wing stranglehold over every aspect of our society."


The close to 200 women union activists were reminded that while some progress has been made, there is still a great deal of work to be done and that women today have the talent to do the job.

Judy Wasylycia-Leis,
NDP's spokesperson
"We've got the analysis, we've got the organizing skills, now we have to go out an mobilize that support. Take on the leadership position and grab the reins of power."

just as Cheryl has talked about and what she is going to do as she takes on this great job as Director of the Women's Department in the CAW.

"And we have to do that on several fronts, on three fronts at least. We have to do it through our unions in the collective bargaining process. We've got to do it through community organizing and coalition building and we have to do it through direct political participation."

Wasylycia-Leis stressed to need to keep the union movement strong for the benefit of the entire country.

Judy Wasylycia-Leis,
NDP's spokesperson
"True equality will never be achieved without a strong and flourishing labour movement. It is only through unions in fact that we can actually rid ourselves of that damaging circumstances caused in the workplace by laws, by legislation that ignores the needs of working people."

Also speaking at the conference was Jane Doe, the woman who successfully sued the Toronto Police Department for failing to warn her of a serial rapist, and whom later victimized her. Wasylycia-Leis urged women to emulate Jane Doe's courage and conviction.

Judy Wasylycia-Leis,
NDP's spokesperson
"It took the courage of someone like Jane Doe, to come forward, to battle this issue for years. To take that kind of sacrifice and go through that kind of humiliation time and time again to get us this far. That's the kind of courage we need to hold onto, we need to leave this conference with and be determined to take on these issues as long as it absolutely takes."


CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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