Intercultural Dialogue Institute (IDI) Toronto organized a luncheon with round-table discussions honouring the International Women’s Day.  Deborah Newman, Deputy Minister, Training Colleges & Universities gave a keynote speech right after the presentation by Gina Valle ( regarding her “Legacies” Photo Exhibition.



Discussion Point 1. Greatest Achievements of Women

  • Managed to succeed in both having families and careers (although there continues to be a number of barriers)
  • Getting the right of vote.
  • Having the right to divorce.
  • Ability to choose birth control.
  • Raising awareness of violence against women.
  • Achieving the role of Governor General.
  • Relatively good political presence (eg. Women Premiers, Ministers, Mayors, MP and MPPs).
  • Changing the society making it easier for women to feel comfortable and to succeed everywhere (eg.: less tolerance for harassment).
  • Being expected of finishing university-post secondary education in all fields.
  • More choices in all aspect of our lives


Discussion Point 2. The most challenging issues faced by women in our current society

  • Inequality (such as wages)
  • Insufficient acknowledgement for contributions
  • Helping women in other parts of the world
  • establishing our as leader in certain sector
  • Work-family balance: women expected to do it all.
  • Traditional roles are being challenged; it depends on the family dynamics. Who works more? Who’s busy less? What iff wife earns more salary than husband?
  • Less roles in top executive/leadership positions, although more present in the public voice.
  • Continuing stereotypes of gender, sexuality


Discussion Point 3. Expectations for improvement regarding women’s issues in the next decade

  • Increased profile of women in the corporate world.
  • Increased equality (eg. equal pay for equal work).
  • Decreased violence.
  • More education of men and women on women’s issues.
  • Increased support for women’s choices.
  • National day care.
  • Making the expectations equal.
  • Continued removal of systematic barriers.
  • More women on male dominated fields.
  • More women helping / mentoring women
  • More funding and education for immigrant women
  • Better balancing of all our tasks and responsibilities
  • Improving ourselves (women) in leadership roles


Special thanks go to our event sponsor Zaillan Corportation (


12:30pm : Reception with Photo Exhibition: Legacies (Reflections of Canadian Women & their Grandmothers)
01:00pm : Lunch
01:25pm : Opening remarks
01:30pm : Welcome remarks on behalf of IDI Toronto
01:35pm : Introduction video (Intercultural Dialogue Institute)
01:40pm : Presentation on selected items from the “Legacies Photo Exhibition” by Gina Valle
02:05pm : Keynote Address by Deborah Newman, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities
02:30pm : introduction of the Roundtable discussions with the following topics
03:00pm : Closing Remarks by Yasmin Ratansi

Bookmark and Share