The Institute for International Women’s Rights – Manitoba, Inc. is a relatively new organization, yet builds on the history and work of previous community groups, like UNIFEM and UN Women (Winnipeg Chapter), that worked to support women’s equality and women’s rights, locally and globally. Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, IIWR-MB is founded to generate education, awareness, and action to promote women’s human rights.
IIWR-MB is a community focused organization, reaching out to diverse individuals and organizations in Manitoba that are working in the general area of women’s rights. We are incorporated as a not for profit organization in the Province of Manitoba. We are separate and distinct from the Institute for International Women’s Rights Global College, (University of Winnipeg) although we work closely together, and IIWR Global College is an Organization Member of IIWR-MB. IIWR Global College’s mandate is to provide opportunities for students for research, learning, dialogue, and action on Women’s Rights in collaboration with groups and organizations within the university, and in the larger community.
IIWR-MB had our first meeting in March 2013, and since then we’ve accomplished much!
The first Annual Meeting, in the fall of 2014, featured Noelle DePape speaking about the challenges new comer women face coming to Canada. Noelle worked with the Advocacy Committee of IIWR-Manitoba and we sent a strong letter to the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, and Opposition Parties, outlining the concerns we identified. (Read more detail in our 2014 Annual Report)
Two major programs, From Peace in the World to Peace in the Home (see event report) and Why Girls Matter – Stories from Nigeria (see event report) jointly sponsored, one with Voice of Women for Peace (Manitoba), and the other with the Institute for International Women’s Rights Global College, were held in November, 2014, with a large public audience participating. A Conversation Cafe on Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence proved to be an excellent vehicle for sharing and coming up with strategies. (See the results of the event.) On Wednesday, March 4, we co sponsored a program on “Children in Care: What Manitobans Should Know”with the Institute for International Women’s Rights Global College. It was important to hear the voices of those working in the system, as well as those being served. You can see the report here. Recently, we held a special event Raising Our Voices: Celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th 2015. We celebrated in song and in verse the strength and lives of women today. Over $2,215 was raised to support Dr. Mukwege and Panzi Hospital in the Congo. You can see the final report here.
IIWR-Manitoba continues as a member of the Steering Committee for the UN Safe Cities – Winnipeg initiative. The work of the committee continues by building a data base, and Manitoba will partner with Ka ni katnickhihk to provide new supports for indigenous sex assault victims. We also are members of FAFIA (Feminist Alliance for International Action), the public engagement group of the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation, the Provincial Council of Women Manitoba and MOON Voices. We have marched in the Peace Walk, attended rallies, and stood with our Indigenous Sisters, urging action for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.