Ø 2011 – at the National Conference of Diocesan Anglican Church Women Presidents / Coordinators, our then Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, encouraged the promotion of the White Ribbon Campaign with its pledge never to commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women and girls. Primates in the Anglican Communion had taken the pledge
Ø Accordingly, I returned home and asked for (and received) support from our Board to do that promotion. This support has taken various forms, some of which are noted below:
Ø First and foremost, we provided information to women’s groups in the parishes about the White Ribbon Campaign, its history and association with the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, Nov. 25 – Dec. 10, with key dates noted, especially Dec. 6, Canada’s Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and encouraged them to make white ribbons for White Ribbon Sunday – the Sunday closest to and before Nov. 25 (eg. Break the silence about violence against women and girls. See http://www.whiteribbon.ca
Make white ribbons for everyone to wear, along with the pledge never to commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women and girls. Wear the white ribbons, as well, on December 6 for the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre when 14 women students at École Polytechnique were gunned down). Within the last number of years, we have provided a Sunday Bulletin cover for White Ribbon Sunday. We continue to encourage and promote support for White Ribbon Sunday in our Board magazine, Keeping in Touch; Board E-Newsletter, Let’s Keep in Touch; the Anglican NetNews; Board Facebook page; The Diocesan Times; etc., and word of mouth.
Ø The number of parishes making and distributing white ribbons has increased since 2011 and there are a number of parishes that develop and execute imaginative ways to increase awareness and take action. The leadership of the Diocesan Mothers’ Union Council cannot be overstated.
Ø The Anglican Church Women Board, mindful of its mandate to encourage and support all women, as well as its support for the collaboration principle of healthy leadership promoted by our Diocese, has coordinated with the Diocesan Mothers’ Union on 4 special occasions:
1. 2012 – Both the ACW Board and the MU Council developed jointly a proclamation to be presented by then Dartmouth MLA, Andrew Younger, in the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly. The Board has a very nice copy of the proclamation in the ACW Office in the Diocesan Centre. The proclamation / resolution is in The Hansard Record #3249, page 4239. All MLAs were provided white ribbons by the ACW and MU women present that day – November 25, 2012.
2. 2015 – Broken Relationships: Exploring Gender-based Violence – a panel discussion evening (Fri.) and workshop day (Sat.) with funds directed to Stepping Stone Nova Scotia*. This was a learning event focused on the issues related to gender & power imbalance, misogyny, and gender-based violence. While co-hosted by the Anglican Church Women Board and the Diocesan Council of the Mothers’ Union, there was partnering with churches, government,
NGOs, and groups and individuals committed to addressing issues of gender imbalance, misogyny, female empowerment, and gender-based violence. A key resource for the design of the Conference Day was the Women’s Interchurch Council of Canada (WICC) resource, Healing Waters: Churches Working to End Violence Against Women. There is a compilation of ideas for action that were generated from the workshop component of the event.
*Stepping Stone Nova Scotia is a charitable organization that provides services and supports to the following: Sex workers, current and former; People at risk of entering the sex trade; and, Trafficked persons
3. The Mothers’ Union Diocesan Council and the Anglican Church Women Board co-hosted a Rally in early May 2019 on the topic of human trafficking. There were some actions developed & collated from the workshop component of that event.
4. The Mothers’ Union Diocesan Council and the Anglican Church Women Board developed and jointly presented at Synod 2019 the following Resolution regarding human trafficking that was unanimously approved. However, Archbishop Ron reminded Synod delegates that any effort to address human trafficking and its devastating outcomes was the work of everyone and not just the women, a point that was raised by John Stone when the resolution was moved and seconded.
Human Trafficking Resolution:
That the Diocese of NS and PEI supports the intent of the Anglican Consultative Council resolution 15.10 to work against human trafficking; specifically, that the Diocese:
i) laments and condemns the growing trafficking of boys and girls, men and women, for sexual purposes or exploitative labour in Canada;
ii) welcomes the work being done by the Anglican Church of Canada Working group, facilitated by Dr. Ryan Weston;
iii) commends the use of the resource material of the Anglican Church of Canada by parishes and regions https://www.anglican.ca/issues/human-trafficking/ ;
iv) commends the use of the Canadian Council of Churches resource Human Trafficking in Canada: A Leadership and Learning Kit for Churches by parishes and regions.