The Honourable Maryam Monsef visited MOSAIC headquarters on February 1st and participated in a forum with approximately 80 audience members. Guests included clients, volunteers, representatives and leaders from community groups, staff and board members.
MOSAIC CEO Olga Stachova noted in her welcome address that Minister Monsef is personally well-acquainted with the work of MOSAIC, not only because she arrived to Canada as a refugee, but also because one of her first jobs was with a settlement agency in her home town and riding of Peterborough, Ontario.
A wide range of issues was discussed in the relaxed and friendly interactive session and included gender-based violence; childcare challenges; gender integration strategy; support for mental health pre and post migration of newcomers and refugees; gender wage gap and economic security and prosperity for women. Ms. Monsef said that some communities would need to have “courageous conversations” regarding issues like mental health and encouraged the audience members to come to her and the government with ideas and solutions to resolve problems.
The minister shared information about her background and her recognition of responsibility that came from being Canada’s first Muslim Cabinet Minister.
She also provided an overview of the scope and work of the Department for Women and Gender Equality (formerly known as Status of Women), her mandate, achievements, and personal commitments.
The minister’s department currently funds two MOSAIC research projects addressing gender equality.