Status of Women Committee 2023/2024

The DCFA Women and Gender Equity Committee engages members by facilitating the exchange of ideas and resources among academic women for the benefit of the Douglas community.

Status of Women TOR (PDF)

Dorritta Fong (Chair)
Morna Fraser (Secretary Treasurer)

DCFA Status of Women Committee Supports Afgan Family

A group of people sitting on the floor.

The Douglas College Faculty Association Status of Women Committee* is supporting this gofundme to help raise funds for the sponsorship of an Afghan family of five, currently living in a refugee camp in Pakistan. The mother, Maryam (a pseudonym, for her protection), is a 39-year old woman with twin daughters (five years old), a 15-year-old daughter, and a 21-year-old son. She had to flee Kabul after the Taliban’s return to power and has been targeted for her work in the area of women’s education and health. The family will be co-sponsored by Mosaic, but requires $45,000 to complete their application. The rest of the funds will be covered in kind by family members already residing in Vancouver, BC. Here is some of Maryam’s story, in her own words:

“I am Maryam , and I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Afghanistan’s Gawharshad University in 2015. I also studied law for two years at Kateb University from 2015 to 2017 before discontinuing my studies due to pregnancy.

My family and I are of the Shia Muslim and the small (1%) Sadat ethnic minority, most of whom are Shias. My spouse, four children, and I have been living in Islamabad, Pakistan since October 15, 2022.

I had begun my women’s rights activities even before university education while I worked as a home teacher for BRAC’s Education Programme in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2010 in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. As my family and I are from minorities, I’ve noticed their limitations and taboos, specifically women in minorities are deprived of their rights, so I was feeling very sad and worried because of the next generation who will live in bad situations in our traditional society.

To support minority women, I decided to start with the people in our village in north Afghanistan Sar-e-Pul. My spouse and I run literacy, personal hygiene, and women’s rights classes voluntarily with personal expenses for three months during summer vacation a year from 2010 to 2014. In addition, I can point to my activities in the field of awareness about women’s rights programs in Sar-e-Pul province one month during winter vacation a year between 2014 and 2016 for the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA).

As my brothers are filmmakers and they had been working in the film industry since 2009, I was involved with some of their projects as a gender advisor. The films are about sex, doubt about religion, and LGBTs. I worked as a Gender Advisor in Heerad Legal Services between 2019 to 2021.”

After coming to the aid of a local woman in her village who was the victim of domestic abuse, Maryam became the target of the Taliban. Maryam and her family fled to Pakistan on 15 October 2022, where they have been living in a refugee camp ever since. Maryam writes, “There is no way forward or back to face my enemies who are out to kill me and my family.”

Any funds that you can donate will be used to sponsor Maryam, her twin daughters, aged 5, her teenage daughter aged 15, her 21-year-old son, and her husband.

*The Douglas College Faculty Association is not collecting funds and is in no way administering the funds being collected, but supports advocating on behalf of this campaign, which is organized by Kim Trainor, a DCFA Member and Table Officer.

Please donate here.