Media Kit

Canada to host largest international gathering of women in July


Expected to draw some 1500 participants from around the world, Women's Worlds 2011 will be the largest international gathering of women to ever take place in Canada. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the congress is a unique global event intended to enhance women's leadership skills and organizational capacity, support the exchange of knowledge and ideas, and foster research and action networks on women's issues.

Keynote plenary speakers:

Raewynn Connell (Australia) - gender relations / identity expert
Monica Chuji Gualinga (Ecuador) - Kichwa leader and environmentalist
Malika Hamidi (Belgium) - international expert on women and Islam
Judith Heumann (USA) - disAbility rights advocate
Devaki Jain (India) - feminist economist
Danièle Magloire (Haiti) - NGO leader
Sebenzile Matsebula (South Africa) - disAbility rights activist
Waneek Horn-Miller (CDA) - Mohawk mentor; coordinator, First People's House, McGill University
Samhita Mukhopadhyay (USA) - editor of
Andrea Smith (USA) - Cherokee educator and anti-violence activist
Nicole Schwab (Switzerland) - gender equality facilitator
Mary Simon (CDA) - Inuit activist; President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami

An emphasis has been placed on encouraging and supporting the participation of young women, women with disAbilities, and Indigenous women. Plenary sessions will be offered in English, French, Spanish, and American Sign Language. A Solidarity Fund is supporting 75 women from under-resourced and under-represented communities in Canada and around the world to participate in this historic event.

Carleton University and the University of Ottawa are co-hosts. Coordinating efforts have been possible through financial support from Status of Women Canada, as well as other donors sought through intensive fundraising activities.

WHAT: "a global convergence to advance women's equality through research, exchange, leadership, and action" - Women's Worlds 2011 convenes women from across the world to CONNECT and CONVERSE about women's rights and equality. Academics, activists, researchers, policy-makers, and artists will exchange under the broad theme of Inclusions, exclusions, and seclusions: Living in a globalized world. In addition, each day's content is inspired by a distinct theme: Breaking Cycles, Breaking Ceilings, Breaking Barriers, Breaking Ground.

Examples of presentations of interest:

  • Women's Philanthropy: Women Investing in Women
  • Women, Development and ICTs: How can the internet be used as an effective platform for social change where inaccessibility persists?
  • Women and Work in a Global World: On the Move and Crossing Borders: Women's Labour Mobility in a Global Context, looking at migration and commuting as they relate to women's paid labour
  • Women, Weight and Power: Weighing Women's Presence in the World
  • How Peacebuilding Undermines Women's Rights in Afghanistan
  • How Federalism Affects Women's Politics in Canada & Other Federations
  • Job Satisfaction of Academics: Does gender matter
  • The Midwifery of Dying
  • Women and Web 2.0: Strengthening the Use of Social Media for Women's Organizations
  • Veiling Canada: Niqab vs. Hijab and the Question of Accommodation
  • Bloggers Without Borders: Ethics of Responsible Travel Blogging
  • Imperceptible Fundamentalisms: Perfect Woman and the Roles of  Barbie

WHERE:  Ottawa Convention Centre; University of Ottawa; various downtown venues

WHEN: 3-7 July 2011

WHY: WW 2011 is a unique convergence of academic and activism where a diversity of minds and experiences can examine provocative questions related to globalization and women. It is as much about grassroots activism as it is about academic achievement.

Two main factors that set WW 2011 apart from similar conferences:
- its original focus on academic research as a tool to advance women's equality
- its inclusion of the valuable wisdom and perspectives of research that occurs beyond academic - in communities, among grassroots, and at the front lines


Caitlin Kealey