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Senate Subcommittee on Women

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Current Co-Chairs of Committee

Prof Sarah Turner

Prof Susan Gaskin (on sabbatical 2013-14).

This website has been established by members of the McGill Senate Subcommittee on Women as a resource site for women at McGill, both new arrivals and established faculty, staff and students.

SSCOW Information leaflet can be read or downloaded from here.

News, upcoming events, and announcements

- Photo campaign: feminist presence at Mcgill Faculty of Law. Plural and intersectional feminism!

- Ex-Australiam PM Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech has been turned into a song

     "I will not be lectured by sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever."

- Smashing the “glass cage” of insecurity: Annual International Women’s Day sees strong support in Montreal

Every year, March 8 marks International Women’s Day, which draws attention to social and institutional gender inequalities across the globe. In Montreal, the day is celebrated with citywide events and demonstrations, such as the annual march, which has been organized since    2002 by the March 8 Committee of Women of Diverse Origins.

- International Women's Day March 8.
Saturday, March 8, is International Women's Day. It is a day for celebrating a range of economic, cultural, social, and political achievements of women but also a time to consider what still needs to be done to advance women's rights. Great improvements have been made, but there IS much that still needs doing – both locally and internationally. In many sectors in Canada women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, while globally women's education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men. Please join us, and other members of the McGill community, as we honour women everywhere and work together to protect and promote women's rights, equity, and social justice around the world.

- National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. December 6.

White Ribbon Day

On 6 December 1989, 14 women were killed at École Polytechnique. They were killed because they were women, because they were students in an engineering program.  What has come to be called the Montreal Massacre is an event we are all called upon to remember: violence against women continues to be part of our present.

It is 24 years since the murders of these women, and 6 December is again to be commemorated as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.  It is an occasion to remember the women murdered and for all of us to recommit to ensuring their deaths were not in vain. As we mourn the 14 deaths in 1989, as well as the too many women and girls murdered or abused since then, we need to continue to work for women’s equality, for policies that lead to equity among women, and to an end to structural and individual violence against women and girls.

Canada is still not a safe country for all women who live here, with more than 50 per cent likely to experience violence sometime in their lives, usually before they are 25. For some women, those most marginalized, these risks are even greater. Societal and structural policies and programs continue especially to harm single mothers, women with disabilities, and indigenous and immigrant women.  These, as well as increasing limits on women’s access to justice and to continuing inequities, may explain why Canada is only at 21st place in the 2012 Global Gender Gap Report of the World Economic Forum.

The Fourteen Not Forgotten are:

  • Geneviève Bergeron, 21, was a second year scholarship student in civil engineering.
  • Hélène Colgan, 23, was in her final year of mechanical engineering and planned to take her Master’s degree.
  • Nathalie Croteau, 23, was in her final year of mechanical engineering.
  • Barbara Daigneault, 22, was in her final year of mechanical engineering and held a teaching assistantship.
  • Anne-Marie Edward, 21, was a first year student in chemical engineering.
  • Maud Haviernick, 29, was a second year student in engineering materials, a branch of metallurgy, and a graduate in environmental design.
  • Barbara Maria Klucznik, 31, was a second year engineering student specializing in engineering materials.
  • Maryse Laganière, 25, worked in the budget department of the Polytechnique.
  • Maryse Leclair, 23, was a fourth year student in engineering materials.
  • Anne-Marie Lemay, 27, was a fourth year student in mechanical engineering.
  • Sonia Pelletier, 28, was to graduate the next day in mechanical engineering. She was awarded a degree posthumously.
  • Michèle Richard, 21, was a second year student in engineering materials.
  • Annie St-Arneault, 23, was a mechanical engineering student.
  • Annie Turcotte 20, was a materials engineering student.

Also posted in The Reporter.


- The Senate Subcommittee on Women (SSCOW) takes notice of the incident and assault charges as reported in the Montreal Gazette on Friday, November 1, 2013 and issues this statement in response to the alleged incident:

Keeping in mind the legal and jurisdictional issues around this alleged incident,  SSCOW condemns sexual violence and expresses its support for survivors of sexual assault.  We call on the University to take all such incidents extremely seriously whether they occur on or off-campus, involving McGill students and McGill student-athletes who represent the University, faculty or staff. We encourage the University to be proactive in creating a culture of responsibility and accountability.
Related documents

- Call for Proposals: Science, Technology, and Gender: Challenges and Opportunities 
Submission deadline February 15, 2014

Submission instructions and more conference information

Submissions are invited for a joint meeting of the Association for Feminist Epistemologies, Methodologies, Metaphysics, and Science Studies (FEMMSS) and the Canadian Society for Women in Philosophy (CSWIP) to be held at the University of Waterloo, August 10 to 13, 2014.  FEMMSS is a multidisciplinary organization.

This conference welcomes submissions from across the disciplines. We invite feminist papers, posters, panels, and workshops related to Science, Technology and Gender.  Conference presentations are eligible for submission for consideration and review in a resulting anthology or special journal issue. Topics can include but need not be limited to:

  1. Challenges to and challenging scientific literacy
  2. Implicit bias and stereotype threat
  3. Creating equitable Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics organizations and institutions
  4. Gender, oppression, and the public understanding of science
  5. Rhetoric, argumentation, and gendered communication
  6. Epistemologies of ignorance
  7. Policy of/for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
  8. Intersectionality in practice and study of science and technology
  9. The ethics and politics of science and technology
  10. Science, technology and global justice
  11. Feminist methodologies in the humanities, social and natural sciences
  12. Production of biological “differences”
  13. Feminist scholarship of teaching and learning
  14. Professional development (ex. interdisciplinary communication/ teaching/ research)


- NSF-led Gender Summit 3 – North America Diversity Fuelling Excellence in Research and Innovation.

Leading international experts will discuss topics ranging from the role of sex differences in the mechanisms controlling cell behaviour to how productivity of research teams is influenced by gender balance. With more than 100 speakers and 30 sessions, this is the most influential event addressing gender issues in science. See the speakers, and register at www.gender-summit.com.


The first women students at McGill were nicknamed the ‘Donaldas’, in recognition of the businessman Donald Smith, Lord Strathcona, whose financial generosity made it possible, in 1884, to overcome the resistance of McGill administrators. In 1898, Lord Strathcona again contributed to the promotion of education for women. He was also the main donor for Royal Victoria College, which was at once a residence, a teaching institution and an intellectual centre for women at the university. [Thanks to McCord Museum for permission to reprint this photo]


For more on the mandate of SSCOW see ‘Senate Subcommittee on Women

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