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People from diverse communities and backgrounds have come together this weekend to work on women’s struggle for justice and equality in a conference organized by the BC Teachers’ Federation.  Remembering our rights is being held in Creston, BC, to acknowledge the many concerns expressed about life in the nearby closed community of Bountiful.

“This conference will provide the opportunity to analyze and discuss the rights of contemporary women,” says BCTF President Jinny Sims. “Participants at Remembering our rights will develop strategies and initiatives that will improve women’s rights in our communities and, ultimately, in our society.”

Delegates will spend the weekend in strategy sessions, discussion groups, and workshops. Sims says the goal of the conference is to foster an understanding of women’s rights throughout our community, but especially in closed communities.  “In light of the Bountiful controversy and the role women play in that particular society, it’s especially fitting that we hold this conference in nearby Creston,” she says. “We need to come together to shed light on the exploitative situations in which many women find themselves, to help them develop networks in their various communities, and to help empower them to improve their lives.”

Following a recent public forum in Surrey in which women spoke out about domestic violence and abuse, Remembering our rights will emphasize the need to create environments in which all women feel safe. 

Keynote speakers include Mary Woo Sims, Chair of Human Rights Defenders, Marilou McPhedran, Co-director International Women’s Rights Project, and Molly Bono, Native Women’s Association of Canada.  Further details can be found on the BCTF home page, www.bctf.ca. 

The conference begins today at 1:00 p.m. with opening remarks from BCTF President Jinny Sims, and concludes Saturday afternoon, at Prince Charles Secondary School in Creston, BC.

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For more information, contact Yvonne Eamor, BCTF media relations officer, at
604-871-1881 (office) or 604-340-1959 (cell).