As the mayor of Mont Royal from 1987 to 1993 and as President of the Communauté urbaine de Montréal since 1994, Vera Danyluk has worked tirelessly to make her community, and those across Canada, safe for families, men and women to live in. A recipient of the Canada 125 Medal and Woman of Achievement Award of 1997, she has been a member of numerous boards, including being the vice-chair of the National Strategy on Community Safety and Crime Prevention. Whether through her role as a teacher, her political career or her continuous work in community organizations, Mrs. Danyluk strives to build communities without fear of violence and crime.
Fredericton, New Brunswick
A dedicated health care professional, "Nonnie" has devoted most of her life to helping others. In 1982, after being provincial secretary-treasurer for the New Brunswick Nurses Union (NBNU) for two years, Ms. Gaudet became its president and served as such for eight years. Recognizing that the profession is largely female, she realized that the value of women's work had to be promoted before the work of a nurse was fully valued. Ms. Gaudet served on the pension committee of the NBNU to improve benefits and ensure that retiring members would not live below the poverty line. Continuing to support and fight for the rights of all women, Ms. Gaudet has served as chairperson of the Board of the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research; as chairperson for the pension committee for part-time and seasonal employees employed by the Province of New Brunswick; on the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women for nine years and on the executive of both the Canadian Nurses Association and the National Federation of Nurses unions.
Throughout her career as a lawyer and a professor of law at the University of Calgary, Kathleen Mahoney has fought for women's rights in Canada and around the world. She was one of the founders of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) to promote equality for women and girls through the Canadian legal system. In Canada, two of Professor Mahoney's pro bono victories in the courts include the Keestra and Butler cases which upheld limits on hate speech and pornography in the interests of equality. On an international front, she was the member of the pro bono legal team responsible for the legal argument that systematic rape is a form of genocide in the case of Serbian war actions. This work was also requested for the International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda and the Hague. Whether it is through her role as a writer or through her position in the university, Professor Mahoney continues to be influential in judicial education, combating child pornography and other forms of sexual exploitation.
Linda Silver Dranoff
As a family law lawyer, writer, activist for law reform, speaker and media commentator, Linda Silver Dranoff has for 27 years advanced the cause of equality for Canadian women, and contributed to the significant expansion of women's rights in family law. She was counsel on precedent-setting cases for women, including the first Supreme Court of Canada case to give Ontario wives a share of family investments, and the first to expand spousal support rights to take account of benefits, bonuses and changes in the cost-of-living. She spearheaded the lobbying drive in Ontario for equal sharing of family property for divorced and widowed spouses, resulting in the Family Law Act 1986. As a member of the Ontario Council on the Status of Women, Linda Silver Dranoff contributed to briefs and lobbied for law reform with respect to family property, pay inequity, sexual harassment, disinherited spouses, child care, violence against women, constitutional issues, and the establishment of a Ministry Responsible for the Status of Women. Linda Silver Dranoff's four law books, her regular "Ask a Lawyer" column in Chatelaine (in its 23rd year), and her other writings, speeches and media appearances, have given women the power that comes from knowing their rights.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Woman can affect change in many ways. Lynda Sorensen, a mother of three, has dedicated her life to helping, encouraging and mentoring women of all ages to create and author change through the political system. Ms. Sorensen was the director of nursing at Stanton Yellowknife Hospital. Later she was instrumental in establishing the first northern branch of the Consumers Association of Canada and is a founding member of the Yellowknife Business and Professional Women's Association. A former Member of the Legislative Assembly, active for 25 years in the Western Arctic Liberal Association and past president of the National Women's Liberal Commission, her dynamic political career is inspiration to many Canadian women. As the first Chief of Staff to the Premier of the Northwest Territories, she continues to create awareness and motivation among her peers and to make significant contributions to her community and society as a whole.
Anila Umar (Youth Award)
Coming to the end of two degrees in Biological Sciences and Psychology, both Bachelors of Science, Anila Umar has still found the time in her busy school career to lobby for change, give voice to young immigrant women and minority women of Calgary and advocate for youth and children's rights. From co-chairing the Indian Student's Association to serving on the Board of Directors for Alberta/NWT Network of Immigrant Women as a youth representative, Ms. Umar is a wonderful role model for Canadian youth and young women in particular. Her tireless efforts are just the beginning of an inspirational career in youth and children's rights.
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