Action, Advocacy, Education since 1945

CFUW Purposes and Goals

  1. Promote high standards of public education in Canada, advanced study and research by women, and a sound concept of lifelong learning.
  2. Advocate for the advancement of the status of women, human rights and the common good locally, nationally and internationally.
  3. Promote cooperation, networking, support and understanding among women.
  4. Encourage and enable women to apply their knowledge and skills in leadership and decision-making in all aspects of the political, social, cultural, educational and scientific fields.

Recent advocacy initiatives and participation:

Advocacy spans a great gamut of activities in support of women in our community.
Here are some of the key activities in which our members have or are currently participating:

  • In October, Women’s History Month is marked with a luncheon and guest speaker.  The 2022 theme was Women in Politics.  Carole James, our speaker, shared influences that led her into politics and into a life of public service that spanned 30 years.  She highlighted the importance of women mentoring women in the political world.   In past years we have had storyteller Margaret Murphy, who shared fascinating highlights of CFUW Nanaimo’s work in Action, Advocacy and Education during the past 75 years (1945-2020).   Other speakers have included: Josie Osborne, then Mayor of Tofino; Merna Forster, who championed women appearing on Canadian banknotes; award winning author Susan Juby; and Louise Mandell, then Chancellor of Vancouver Island University.  Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the 2020 event was held virtually, and no event was hosted in 2021.
  • From November 25 to December 10 each year, we take part in a number of initiatives to mark the United Nations campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.”  Again this year we hosted a Gathering at the Bastion, inviting members of the Nanaimo Women’s Action Committee, government representatives and other allies to share and reflect.  In 2020 and 2021,  we teamed up with the VIU Faculty Association’s Status of Women Committee to create video projects, asking community members to voice their support for the 16 days of activism.  View the one-minute videos from 2020 and 2021.
  • Our other initiatives include organizing the Nanaimo Bastion lit up in orange lights as part of the United Nations “Orange the World” campaign to symbolize a brighter future.  We requested the City of Nanaimo to proclaim Nov 25 – Dec 10 as UNiTE TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN week and display our banner with this message on Front Street.
  • We provided outreach support in 2017, 2018 and 2019 to Tuition Waiver Students at VIU with a FriendsGiving turkey dinner in October and the distribution of Holiday Care Baskets in December.  Such in person activities at VIU have been suspended in 2020 and 2021.  CFUW Nanaimo is  currently promoting donations to VIU in support of the program to purchase gift baskets and packages for the Tuition Waiver Students students.
  • We are a member of the Nanaimo Women’s Action Committee, which is a consortium of local women’s groups including Haven Society, Nanaimo Family Life Association, VIU Student Union Women’s Representative, VIUFA Status of Women Committee and Zonta.
  • We collaborate with Nanaimo public libraries and Literacy Central Vancouver Island to create book displays during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence and International Women’s Day campaigns.
  • We have volunteered at, and participated in the Coldest Night of the Year, an annual event held to raise awareness about homelessness and precarious housing, and to raise funds for distribution in local communities.  In Nanaimo and Parksville, the funds raised assist programs under the umbrella of the Island Crisis Care Society.
  • We are participating in the CFUW Long Term Care Study Group in response to the crisis precipitated by COVID 19, and we promote the May 4, 2022 National Day of Action on LTC.
  • We are participating in the Moose Hide Campaign Day on May 12, 2022.  This national event is a day of ceremony. It’s a day where all Canadians are called to join together to take a stand against violence towards women and children and to take practical steps for our collective journey of reconciliation.