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“The need for this kind of meeting is greater than ever. There are many misconceptions and outright lies circulating about feminism and women’s conditions in this society.”

“The need for this kind of meeting is greater than ever. There are many misconceptions and outright lies circulating about feminism and women’s conditions in this society.”

News

the Pan-Canadian Young Feminist Gathering catch a Wave of Resistance October 11–13, 2008

by Sarah Ghabrial | October 1, 2008

This October 11, 12, and 13, Montreal will host some 500 young women from across the country, bent on proving to Canada and to the world that the feminist movement here is alive and well. The conference is called Waves of Resistance / Toujours RebELLES, and will be taking place at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) campus, in the city’s downtown area. Plenaries, workshops, and an assortment of evening-session spectacles and divertissement will be held in French and English.

The conference organizers say that they first recognized the need for such a gathering in 2003, when they held a pan-Quebec meeting for young women to network, identify their most pressing issues, and build common struggles.

Five years later, under what they recognized as a conservative cloud hovering across the continent and the world, they decided that what young Canadian women needed was a national conference to solidify, mobilize, and energize the movement. Throughout their literature they declare boldly: “No to injustice, no to violence, no to oppression, no to inequality!” – a cheer that is likely to be heard across Montreal throughout the weekend, and, the organizers hope, will reverberate across the country.

Why young women?

Elsa Beaulieu is one of the many dedicated women behind Waves of Resistance who recognize the need to reach out to women under 35, many of whom feel strongly about contemporary issues, but feel and disconnected from mainstream anti-oppression groups and networks. This conference is “a call to young women from all over Canada to meet each other and see that they are not alone, and that feminism is not only pertinent but vital to our generation.”

Participants will come from every province and territory, and represent a wide diversity of experiences and backgrounds. The goal is to share and acknowledge these different positions and histories, to come together in solidarity around common issues and causes, and to publish and disseminate a manifesto elaborating their visions for gender-equity in Canada and globally.

“The need for this kind of meeting is greater than ever,” says Beaulieu. “There are many misconceptions and outright lies circulating about feminism and women’s conditions in this society. The truth is that women, as a group, are experiencing a disproportionate share of poverty and violence. The situation is particularly harsh for non-white or non-heterosexual women. We must organize and fight back.”

There still is time to RebELLE:

  • For those looking at a long train- or plane-ride to Montreal, the conference offers travel bursaries, and buses and carpools are being organized from a number of cities.
  • For participants who need a place to stay, spaces can be reserved either in the gymnasium of the Collège de Maisonneuve, or through billeting.
  • Toujours RebELLES continues its call for attendees and workshop-facilitators.
  • Registration is allowed until the first day of the conference, but food, accommodations, and workshop space is limited.

Want more information? You can send any questions by email: info@rebelles2008.org.

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