The Canadian Voice of Women for Peace (VOW) is Canada’s oldest national feminist peace group founded in 1960. We are a non-partisan, non-profit membership-based organization of diverse women across the country. We stand for a feminist peace based on nonviolence, disarmament, sustainability, solidarity and equality.
Share a highlight of your work on WPS issues
In 1995, VOW was the Canadian lead group for peace at the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. VOW then became part of the international lobby which succeeded in the adoption of the landmark Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in 2000. VOW also has consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and every year takes a delegation of women to the UN Commission on the Status of Women conference in New York. We welcome all women to join our delegation.
Who do you admire in the WPS field?
VOW admires our member Setsuko Thurlow, a Japanese-Canadian woman who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 and has dedicated her life to nuclear disarmament. Setsuko was the co-recipient on behalf of the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017. You can read Setsuko’s speech at the award ceremony in Oslo.
What have you read recently that you would like to recommend to Network members?
VOW members have recently read Tshaukuesh Elizabeth Penashue’s 2019 beautiful and powerful memoir “Nitinikiau Innusi: I Keep the Land Alive” about her decades-long struggle to preserve Innu culture, language and territory against the industrialization and militarization of Innu land in Labrador. She courageously protested against RCAF and NATO low-level fighter jet flying and bomb testing in Labrador from the mid-1980s to 2005.
If you could make one recommendation on WPS issues to Prime Minister Trudeau, what would it be?
VOW recommends a massive reduction of military spending and a re-allocation to urgent social and environmental needs. We want Canada to demilitarize to decarbonize. We also want Canada withdraw from NATO and join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
What is your dream for the WPS agenda?
VOW wants the WPS agenda to help end war and militarism.
VOW does not agree that Canada’s aggressive defence policy “Strong Secure Engaged” is an example of WPS as Canada’s 2017 National Action Plan suggests.