Tag Archives: equality

Canada’s Excellence Research Chairs. All kinds of problematic.

The appointees for Canada’s Excellence Research Chairs program were announced this week. Of the 19 candidates, all were men. Furthermore, based on photos published, it appears that all but two are white.

Industry Minister Tony Clement has stated that the appointments were based on nominations from the universities and suggested that there is nothing the government can do about such things.

CBC’s The Current covered the issue yesterday, and one of the guests was Wendy Robbins, who was part of the team that in 2003 successfully launched a human rights complaint over the lack of women receiving Canada research Chairs. She takes on the argument that there is simply a lack of suitable candidates at the moment and this is a problem that will self correct as more women enter the sciences.

While U of A president Indira Samarasekera, who was tapped to look in to what happened, famously noted concern that more women than men are enrolled as undergraduates, the fact is as educations and careers advance, the numbers of women go down. This is as true for the sciences as it is for law as it is for business as it is for any traditionally male dominated field.

The lack of suitable candidates argument is old and tired. It suggests that this is just the way things are and nothing can be done. It implies that white men are just better at these things, otherwise there would be many women and people of colour to choose from. It fails to acknowledge the systemic discrimination that occurs over years.

Another factor may be the nature of the positions. The purpose of the program was to attract researchers to Canada. It has been noted that women were approached about being short-listed, but declined to have their names put forward. It is likely that the fact that women’s jobs, at every level, are less valued compared to men’s jobs. This means families are less likely to move for a woman’s job. This is one of the many factors in preventing women from advancing in their field.

There is another problematic element to this story. This program involves a huge amount of money going to very few people at a time when universities across the country are slashing budgets. The University of Alberta has raised tuition in several programs, instituted a new $290 fee for every undergraduate student, and required staff to take six furlough days (that is to say, unpaid days off) a year. Investment in research is important, but so is investment in teaching. Can universities who can barely afford to teach their students afford to pay huge salaries to a few ‘rockstar’ researchers?

This announcement reveals that there is still much to be done to support women and people of colour at every level of university.

Men and Feminism

Sometimes the role of men in feminism isn’t addressed in the feminist community. After we had some awesome male callers on our show we were inspired to address this subject. Stay tuned for an upcoming show about men and feminism on Adamant Eve. In the meantime all the male feminists out there, we want to know what feminism means to you! Leave a comment and let us know what you think about feminism, what you love about it and what is hard about it?

Gay and Lesbian March in Havanna

People marched in Havana today as part of the events leading up to the International Day Against Homophobia. Debates and workshops were also held on topics such as gay marriage and gay/lesbian adoption. Gay marriage is not legal in Cuba, and more progress is obviously needed, but Cuba has come a long way from its earlier years on LGBTQ issues. Recently sex reassignment surgery for transsexual people has been covered by the free national health system.

Severely Queer

Tune in to Adamant Eve next week for our feature on the attack on Shannon Barry, how the police have handled the case, and how people in Edmonton are reacting.

One of the responses has been the formation of The Community Response Project. What started out as a facebook group may be growing in to a movement. Over 40 people attended a meeting last very rainy Wednesday night to talk about what the community can do in the face of this. There were a lot of great ideas discussed, so join the facebook group, sign up for the list serve, stay tuned to the blog and tune in to Gaywire and Adamant Eve for updates and more information in the coming weeks.


Events that weren’t originally planned to address all of this, but are now becoming part of the response, are coming up in two weeks. Severely Queer will be presenting a talk and workshop with Kenyon Farrow.

On May 14, from 7-9pm at the Jubilee Auditorium, Farrow will speak on WHOSE STREETS? Exploring Race, Sex & The Politics of Gentrification in Progressive and Radical Organizing.

On May 15 from 12-4pm he will facilitate a workshop called MAKING MOVEMENT: Organizing Strategies for Racial, Gender & Economic Justice.

To register for the workshop and for information about accessibility, email tkerr10@hotmail.com.


Kenyon Farrow speaks at the plenary session “HIV/AIDS Crisis: This Is What We’re Doing About it!” held Saturday, Jan. 31, at the 21st National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change.

Live at 5:30!

Listen to the podcast

Kelsey, Laura, Melanie, Saba and Sam are bringing you a live show tonight! Tune in at 5:30 to CJSR 88.5 FM and www.cjsr.com to check it out!

Equality in Alberta

The Parkland Institute released findings on March 8, International Women’s Day, which show women in Alberta still have a very long way to go indeed when it comes to achieving equality in this province.

Spoken Word

The spoken word piece today was by Diamond by alixa + namia of climbing poeTree. We can’t link to it because of the flash site, but if you follow the link and go to “Listen”, you can find it.

Fighting for Reproductive Rights

You can hear the documentary by Karin Wells called The Women are Coming on the website of CBC’s Sunday Edition. Unfortunately, they didn’t include it in this week’s podcast. This documentary tells the story of the Abortion Caravan, one of the most incredible examples of civil disobedience in Canadian history. In 1970, Women traveled from Vancouver to Ottawa holding town halls and speaking publicly about women’s experiences with abortion and the need for abortion on demand. When they got to Ottawa, 35 women chained themselves to chairs in the House of Commons and disrupted Question Period. The resulting disruption led to the first adjournment of Parliament due to a disturbance in the Gallery in its then 103 year history. Check out this original press release from 1970. And check out this paper on the RCMP surveillance of the AC and women’s liberation groups in Canada.

Voices for Choices is the amazing pro-choice collective at UofA.

From their constitution:

To be pro-choice is not to be pro-abortion (which is, in fact, the opposite of what we want to do!). We believe that we should let a woman decide for herself what reproductive choice is right for her depending on her own values, beliefs, culture, and experiences. We work toward removing barriers a woman may have in making a free choice by increasing the accessibility, social support, and funding for all three options. We believe that supporting sexual health and safer sex is inseparable to being pro-choice and so we will do what we can to increase the knowledge and accessibility of sexual health and contraception.


The Global Education Network Graduate Student Group at the University of Alberta presents its Engaging Feminist Voices Speaker Series with Dr. Phil E. Okeke-Ihejirkia who will be delivering the lecture:  Theorizing Feminism for Those on the Margins: Reflections of a Transnational Scholar.

Check it out on March 17, 2010 – 11:00 am to 1:00 pm – Education South 122. Lunch will be provided and everyone is welcome.


APIRG’s Alt Sex Ed series is going strong!

On  Wednesday, March 17, 2010 they have a workshop called
Creative Sex – History, stories, tips, and audience discussion.

APIRG will also be offering two presentations by Janet Hardy, author of The Ethical Slut, a book on polyamorous relationships.

On Wednesday, March 24 Hardy will be presenting the lecture: Millennial Ethical Sluthood. It will be from 7-9pm at the TELUS Centre on UofA Campus.

On Thursday, she will be offering the workshop: Loving Beyond Gender.

The cost for this workshop is $5 and You must pre-register, which you can do by emailing Jess at outreach@apirg.org

Listen to the podcast