Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

October 07, 2004

Persons’ Day breakfast to raise money for women in Afghanistan

Women in positions of leadership at the University of Guelph are holding a fundraising breakfast Oct. 18 at 7:15 a.m. in Room 442 of the University Centre to raise money for the charitable organization Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.

The organizers are holding the event on Persons’ Day – the day in 1929 that the British Privy Council formally declared that women were persons under the law.

“This astonishing but landmark ruling was the result of lobbying by the Famous Five: Emily Murphy, Nellie NcClung, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards,” said Jacqueline Murray, College of Arts dean. “One of the ramifications of this decision was Emily Murphy’s appointment as the first woman to sit in the Canadian Senate.”

Murray and 12 other female leaders at U of G decided to come together to help women and girls in Afghanistan who are deprived of an education and political rights. Ninety per cent of women in Afghanistan are illiterate, and a whole generation of girls was not permitted to go to school under the Taliban regime, said Murray. Since the fall of the Taliban, schools for girls have been opened, but they receive no funding from the Afghani government.

Murray said she is hoping the breakfast will raise enough money to pay a year’s salary for five to eight teachers at a school for girls and women in Afghanistan. “The salary for a teacher is about $750,” she said.

The guest speaker is Cheshmak Farhoumand-Sims, a peace educator, researcher and practitioner, who will discuss “Women and Peacebuilding in Afghanistan.” Farhoumand-Sims, who recently travelled to Afghanistan to give gender, human rights and peace-building training, has been a lecturer at the University of Toronto, McMaster University and the University of Western Ontario.

A full hot breakfast will be served at the event, including eggs, bacon, baked goods, tea biscuits, preserves, fruit, juice, coffee and tea.

The event is sponsored by Margaret Carter, president of United Steelworkers Local 4120; Shari Dorr, chair of the Professional Staff Association; Janice Folk-Dawson, president of CUPE Local 1334; Virginia Gray, director of the Office of Open Learning; Isobel Heathcote, dean of graduate studies; Julie Hutchins, chair of the Exempt Group; Jill McCutcheon, acting associate vice-president (academic); Maureen Mancuso, provost and vice-president (academic); Murray; Joanne Shoveller, vice-president (alumni affairs and development); Roselynn Stevenson, U of G Faculty Association; Nancy Sullivan, vice-president (finance and administration); and Brenda Whiteside, associate vice-president (student affairs).

Handcrafted Afghan-made products, books and note cards will be for sale at the event, with proceeds going directly to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.

The ticket cost is $35, and participants will receive a charitable tax receipt because the full amount will go to the aid organization. The cost for students is $10 (without a tax receipt). Tickets are available downtown at the Bookshelf and on campus through Susan Callan in the College of Arts dean’s office, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56265, or

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rachelle Cooper, Ext. 56982.

Email this entry to:

Message (optional):