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Islanders part of delegation taking part in commission on the status of women

P.E.I.’s “famous five” women in senior positions in government gathered for a photo in 1993. From left, speaker of the house Nancy Guptill, left, then lt.-gov. Marion Reid, then opposition leader Pat Mella, then premier Catherine Callbeck, then deputy speaker Libbe Hubley.
P.E.I.’s “famous five” women in senior positions in government gathered for a photo in 1993. From left, speaker of the house Nancy Guptill, left, then lt.-gov. Marion Reid, then opposition leader Pat Mella, then premier Catherine Callbeck, then deputy speaker Libbe Hubley. - Submitted

As a young feminist growing up outside O’Leary, Jillian Kilfoil never dreamed she would be invited to share her perspectives on gender equality and women’s empowerment with an international audience.

But Kilfoil, who is now the executive director of Women’s Network P.E.I., will have that opportunity as part of a Canadian delegation heading to New York for the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meetings March 12-16.

Full details of the agenda can be found at http://www.unwomen.org/en/csw.

“Growing up in a rural area has shaped my identity and work in many ways, since rural communities face many challenges and rural girls and women face particular realities,” she said. “I am grateful to be able to share my lived and professional experiences in a global context. The opportunity to connect with passionate feminists from around the world will be an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The priority theme for this year’s commission is “Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.”

P.E.I.’s Status of Women Minister Paula Biggar will also attend and plans to recognize the 25th anniversary of Prince Edward Island’s “famous five” – a time in Island history when five of the most senior positions in government were held by women.

The Prince Edward Island famous five are Marion Reid, who was lieutenant-governor of Prince Edward Island; then premier Catherine Callbeck, then opposition leader Pat Mella, then speaker Nancy Guptill, and then deputy speaker Elizabeth (Libbe) Hubley, former deputy speaker of the legislative assembly.

The provincial government will organize events throughout the year to commemorate the anniversary. More details will be announced at a later date.

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