2024-2025 Series 3 - Women, Peace and Security

January 9 - February 13, 2025

Discover seven determined women who are working tirelessly to advocate for gender equality and empower women to be key stakeholders and participants when making decisions that affect their safety and well-being. Whether on a global, national or local scale, these women are tackling such vital issues to women as victimization by war and religion, domestic violence and sexual abuse, security implications of poverty, political intolerance, institutional and gender bias, catastrophic consequences of climate change on family sustainability and more. Each speaker will offer their unique insights on gender injustices and how their actions are making a real difference in creating a more equitable world for all. Join us and learn about these inspirational women and their mission for change.

Series Coordinators:
Peter Reesor, Joan Irvine, Don Brough, Jim Martin


6 lectures, live at the Bayshore Centre and Online on Vimeo
Replays until March 20 on Vimeo

Women, Peace and Security - What is it, and why does it matter?

  • Date: Thursday Jan. 9, 2025, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Location: Online (Live Streamed on Vimeo)

    Canada's Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security, Jacqueline O'Neill, will discuss the origins and relevance to Canadians of a global movement. She will cover Canada's role in its evolution over the past 30+ years. Ambassador O’Neill will also discuss current issues and challenges at home and abroad (including growing online/cyber attacks on women in public life and security crises sparked by climate change). She will address why and how the issue is increasingly relevant to Canadians.

    Lecturer - Jaqueline O’Neill

    Jacqueline O’Neill is Canada’s first Ambassador for Women, Peace and Security. Appointed by the Prime  Minister in 2019, she advises the Government of Canada on global leadership on Women, Peace and Security. Previously, as President of the Institute for Inclusive Security in Washington, DC, Ambassador O’Neill directly supported coalitions of women leaders in Colombia, South Sudan, Sudan, Pakistan, and beyond. She also worked at the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Sudan and at Khartoum’s Ahfad University for Women. Along with former Lt. General Roméo Dallaire, she helped found the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative to eliminate the use of children during conflict. Ambassador O’Neill earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Alberta and a master’s in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

    Video discussion with Ambassador O’Neill and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau



    Global Trends in Women's Employment in Renewable and Clean Energy: Continuities, Contradictions, Disruptions

    • Date: Thursday, Jan. 16, 2025  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Location: Online (Live Streamed on Vimeo)

    Concerns about environmental sustainability and fossil-fuel insecurity have motivated countries around the world to transition to clean energy supplies derived from renewables such as solar, hydro, bioenergy, geothermal and wind. Since producing and distributing clean energy is more labor-intensive than producing and distributing fossil fuels, this shift is creating new employment opportunities and addressing energy poverty in remote or under-served communities. Although there is tremendous potential to create employment in clean energy almost everywhere in the world, there is growing concern that women, who are already underrepresented in the sector, will become even more marginalized if gender equity policies and programs are not proactively planned and implemented. This lecture will identify opportunities and constraints for women’s employment in clean energy in industrialized, emerging and developing economies, and makes recommendations for optimizing their participation.

    Lecturer -  Bipasha Baruah 

    Bipasha Baruah is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Global Women’s Issues at Western University. Dr. Baruah earned a PhD in environmental studies from York University, Toronto. She specializes in interdisciplinary research on gender, economy, environment, and development. Her current research aims to understand how to ensure that a global low-carbon economy will be more gender equitable and socially just than its fossil-fuel based predecessor. Author of a book and more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and other works, Dr. Baruah serves frequently as an expert reviewer and advisor to environmental protection and international development organizations.


    Situation of Women in Afghanistan and Obligations of the International Community and Feminist Groups for Changing the Situation

    • Date: Thursday,  Jan. 23, 2025  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Location:  Online (Live Streamed on Vimeo)

    After taking Afghanistan by force in August 2021, the Taliban has issued more than 90 edicts stripping away all rights of women in Afghanistan. Today girls are not allowed to go to schools beyond grade 6, women are not allowed to work, they are not allowed to visit parks, gyms or beauty salons, they are not allowed to travel without a male guardian. Even if they fall sick and need emergency treatment, taxi drivers are instructed not to transport them, hospitals and clinics are instructed not to treat them, and pharmacies are instructed to not sell them medicine. What is happening in Afghanistan is the worst form of Gender Apartheid, challenging all the international resolutions and conventions related to women's rights. My lecture is about roots of this institutionalized discrimination, its implications for women's rights and freedom around the globe and why it is crucial for the world to stand with Afghan women and support them in claiming their rights.

    Lecturer -   Nargis Nehan 

    Nargis Nehan “Iron Woman of Kabul" (Bloomberg) migrated to Pakistan during civil war. As she graduated from a refugee school, she started working for an international organization to support her family and pursue her higher education. Since her return to Afghanistan in 2002, Ms. Nehan has served public offices as Treasurer of the country, Senior Advisor to the Ministers of Education and Higher Education, Senior Advisor to President and Acting Minister of Mines and Petroleum. She has also founded EQUALITY for Peace and Democracy/Development in 2010 which is still actively working and building resilience of women in Afghanistan.

    Since the collapse of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and all the restrictions Taliban enforced on Afghan women, Ms. Nehan is living in exile in Toronto, Ontario, and is the Founder of Canada's Feminist Forum for Afghanistan working tirelessly advocating for Afghan women’s rights and restoration of democracy in Afghanistan.

    Entry in "Who is Who in Afghanistan"


    Women, Peace, and Security at NATO

    • Date: Thursday,   Jan. 30, 2025  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Location:   Online (Live Streamed on Vimeo)

    In her book Deploying Feminism, Stéfanie von Hlatky tells the story of how NATO militaries have been delegated authority to advance gender equality as part of their activities, while simultaneously tackling increasingly complex threats. Drawing upon fieldwork and interviews, she illustrates how NATO, the world’s foremost alliance, has even embedded these ideas in the planning and execution of missions. For troops deployed on NATO missions, this often means seeking out women in their operating area to improve intelligence gathering activities. While this helps the mission, does it help women and conflict-affected communities? Looking at NATO’s operations in Iraq, Kosovo, and the Baltics, Professor von Hlatky shows how gender equality can become a true planning priority.

    Lecturer -    Stéfanie von Hlatky 

    Stéfanie von Hlatky is the Canada Research Chair in Gender, Security, and the Armed Force and the Associate Dean (research) of the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University. Prior to joining Queen’s, she held positions at Georgetown University, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., Dartmouth College and ETH Zurich. She has published two books with Oxford University Press, five edited volumes and over 40 articles and chapters on topics such as why and how democracies fight wars, how global norms affect military practices, and Canadian defence policy.


    Murdered and Missing Women and Girls in Canada

    • Date: Thursday,    Feb. 6, 2025  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Location:    Online (Live Streamed on Vimeo)

    Please come along with me on this journey of how the First Nations women of Turtle Island have been directly attacked through misogynistic objectifying by the Canadian government through legislation. This has set the stage for the inexcusable abuses our women and girls have experienced since contact. From this treatment we will see the rising up of our most powerful women, who are leading the way forward for the women of Turtle Island. 

    Lecturer -     Trish Meekins 

    Trish Meekins is a First Nations woman from the ancestral lands known today as Huron, Bruce, and Grey Counties. She is a mother of four grown men and a grandmother of 2 grandchildren. Trish carries a Master and a Bachelor of Social Work degrees, in the Indigenous Field of Study. Trish has been an educator and therapist for most of her adult life and attributes her passion for her people from her grandfather Wilmer Nadjiwon, as well as many other ancestors, who have shown the same passion. Trish lives in Owen Sound with her partner.


    How do we promote women’s peace and security in Grey Bruce?

    • Date: Thursday,     Feb. 13, 2025  10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • Location:     Online (Live Streamed on Vimeo)

    When we think of women in leadership roles, we often think of powerful women in the corporate world or political arena. However, there is a group of women who are often overlooked when it comes to leadership opportunities - rural women.

    Rural women face unique challenges when it comes to taking on leadership roles. While they may have better educational achievements, they often face discrimination and stereotypes and struggle to balance their responsibilities at home with their professional ambitions. Despite these obstacles, many rural women are breaking barriers and making strides in leadership.

    We must recognize the valuable contributions that all women bring to the table and ensure that they have the support and resources they need to succeed in leadership roles. By empowering rural women to lead, we can create a more inclusive and equitable society for all. Let's all work together to break down barriers and create a world where all women have the opportunity to lead and thrive.


    Lecturer - Francesca Dobbyn 

    As the Executive Director of the United Way of Bruce Grey for 20 years Francesca Dobbyn has provided leadership and guidance to the community on many issues. Her work in the field of energy poverty has gained provincial, if not national, attention. In addition to being a University of Guelph alumni, Francesca has participated in 2 Banff Leadership programs and recently completed the Maytree Foundations School of Public Policy. Francesca has built a life’s work speaking out for those who cannot or will not be heard.




    Women's Centre Grey Bruce: What Changes have Addressed Gender-Based Violence and Human Trafficking?

    Human trafficking is an under-reported crime, but it is recognized as one of the fastest-growing crimes worldwide and Grey Bruce is not immune. Local law enforcement agencies received sixty-six Human Trafficking Calls for Services between 2015 and 2019, with forty-four occurring in 2018/2019 alone. Two-thirds of all Canadians reported human trafficking cases occur in Ontario. 90% of victims are female. Average victim age is 17. This lecture is given by both Heather Sheldrick, Executive Director and Lindsay Brown, Program Manager of The Women's Centre Grey Bruce will provide information on Human Trafficking and how the agency is addressing the issue with the introduction of their Anti-Human Trafficking Residential Program for Youth.

    Lecturers - Heather Sheldrick and Lindsay Brown

    Heather Sheldrick is a highly motivated, results-driven individual with over 20 years’ experience working in the chartable non-profit sector as an Executive Director and professional fundraiser. A strong advocate for empowering women, Heather has spent most of her career focused on closing the gap in gender equality and leadership.

    Lindsay Brown is the Program Manager for the Anti-Human Trafficking Youth Program. Lindsay has worked with youth of all ages and abilities in community-based, residential and educational settings. Lindsay strives to create and maintain a safe and inviting space where young people can develop and grow.