2013 International Women’s Day -- Honoring women leaders of teacher organizations in Canada

March 07, 2013

OTTAWA… On International Women’s Day, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) would like to salute all women teachers and, particularly, the women who hold leadership positions within the CTF Member organizations and our Affiliate Member.

“We are proud of all the Canadian teachers who have helped to raise awareness around gender issues, provided leadership training and promoted the equality of women within the labour movement here and abroad,” says CTF President Paul Taillefer.

“Internationally, CTF and its Members organizations have also helped to advance gender equality in developing countries for over 50 years through the CTF International Programs,” adds Taillefer.

Statistics show that women make up the majority in the education sector and in their organizations. According to the 2006 Census, women account for:

  • 83.6% of elementary school teachers;
  • 57.3% of secondary school teachers;
  • 52.9% of school principals and administrators of elementary and secondary education.

“Women are powerful and effective leaders whose voices and vision benefit their organizations,” explains Taillefer. “Women’s leadership within their teacher organizations often leads to leadership positions in other areas of public life, such as politics. This leadership also opens doors to mentorships and to the nurturing of skills in other women. It often inspires young women and girls to follow in their footsteps. That is why leadership development is a critical step in female empowerment.”

CTF would like to honour the following women who serve on the CTF Board of Directors:

  • Dianne Woloschuk, CTF President-Designate and former president of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF)
  • Lily B. Cole, CTF Vice-President and President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association (NLTA)
  • Katherine Mackwood, President of the Yukon Teachers’ Association (YTA)
  • Gayla Meredith, President of the Northwest Territories Teachers’ Association (NWTTA)
  • Carol Henderson, President of The Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA)
  • Suzanne Bourgeois, President of the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick (AEFNB)
  • Heather Smith, President of the New Brunswick Teachers’ Association (NBTA)
  • Shelley Morse, President of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU)
  • Louise Landry, Executive Director, AEFNB
  • Gwen Dueck, Executive Director, STF
  • Rhonda Kimberley-Young, Secretary-Treasurer, Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF)
  • Emily Noble, Education International representative, former president of CTF and of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO)

CTF also wishes to recognize the following members of the CTF Advisory Committee on the Status of Women for their wisdom and guidance in the promotion of gender equality:

  • Lily B. Cole, Chairperson of the Committee, NLTA President
  • Shelley Morse, NSTU President
  • Heather Smith, NBTA President
  • Michelle Vanhouwe, teacher librarian, local Saskatoon Teachers' Association representative and STF member
  • Shari Worsfold, Treasurer of the YTA
  • Maureen Weinberger, ETFO Vice-President

Many more women hold office within CTF Member organizations’ boards/executive committees. Learn about more of
them in the most recent issue of Perspectives.

Follow the blog of the trade union delegation (including CTF and EI) reporting on this week’s 57th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women whose theme examines violence against women and girls.

More information on the 2013 CTF Women’s Issues Symposium, April 17-18, 2013, in Ottawa.

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation, an alliance of 15 Member organizations and one Affiliate Member representing nearly 200,000 teachers across the country, is a member of the international body of teachers Education International (EI). Follow CTF on Twitter @CanTeachersFed, @EnseigneCanada.



Paul Taillefer, CTF President


Francine Filion, Director of Communications, 613-899-4247 (cell)