To be a visible national voice for teachers
To act as a strong advocate for public education
To bring public attention to the need for all members of school communities to work, learn and live in a safe and healthy environment
To focus public and professional attention on necessary conditions for teaching and learning
To advocate for social justice issues
Women are major voice in the teaching profession. Statistics Canada data shows a steady increase in the percentage of women teachers: from 59 per cent women in 1989, to 65 per cent in 1999 and 69 per cent in 2005. CTF’s 2008 data shows that 72.6% of teachers across Canada are women. However, there is a gender imbalance in key leadership positions and in active participation within their respective federations and unions. From an equity perspective, this situation still requires pro-active work. That is one of the reasons why CTF established an Advisory Committee on the Status of Women. One of its goals is to advise the Executive Committee on long-term directions, strategies, policies and regulations to promote the status of women in education.
On the international scene, CTF works with Education International, United Nations Girls' Education Inititative, the Canadian Labour Congress, UNESCO, and other organizations.
GENDER ISSUES IN EDUCATION
There are many issues related to gender in education and gender is a key element in any discussion of Social Justice in Education.
CTF has identified gender, equity, status of women and girls, gender “gaps” in education, sexual identity and sexual orientation as some of the issues for its work.
HUMAN EXPLOITATION AND TRAFFICKING
Human trafficking denies millions, mostly girls and young women, the right to live in dignity and to receive an education. Slavery has not been eliminated…it thrives in the efforts of those who work the trafficking business. Human trafficking forces people into sexual and labour exploitation that is nothing less than slavery. Unless we continue to put the issue in the spotlight and demand action from governments worldwide, the problem will continue and worsen.
The elimination of child sexual exploitation and child labour requires substantial strengthening of financial resources for international development. Education International (EI) has encouraged its Member organizations to lobby their respective governments to devote at least 0.7% of GNP to development assistance with most of that expenditure dedicated to the development and improvement of quality public education. This is to ensure that adequate resources are provided to allow for an expansion of public education, including quality early childhood learning opportunities and the building of schools, to move closer to achieving the goal of Education For All
EI has also encouraged its Members to lobby their governments to ratify ILO Convention 138 (minimum working age, 1973). Canada has not yet ratified this Convention.
A report of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women (Feb. 2007) entitled “Turning Outrage into Action to Address Trafficking for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation in Canada” made several recommendations to Parliament designed to strengthen Canada’s efforts in combating trafficking. Taken together, the report calls on the federal government to adopt a comprehensive strategy to combat the trafficking of persons worldwide.
The very first recommendation in the report states that “…in collaboration with the provinces and territories, the federal government (should) develop a national framework to address poverty in Canada.”
The Canadian Teachers’ Federation urges the Government of Canada to take immediate steps to address those areas that have been consistently identified as contributing to human trafficking and to remain a champion of its abolition.