Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

3rd Session, 40th Parliament,
Volume 147, Issue 52

Wednesday, September 29, 2010
The Honourable Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker

Ismaili Walk for Women

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, I also want to recognize the great Senator Norm Atkins. He was a friend and a great example to all of us. If he were here today, he would say, “Enough said: Move on to what you really want to say.” Therefore, I will continue with my statement.

I rise before honourable senators today to speak to you about sisterhood.

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the Ismaili Walk for Women in Vancouver. This was the nineteenth year of the walk and the third year of a successful partnership between the Ismaili Muslim Community of British Columbia and the BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre Foundation.

Funds raised from this event benefit the Women’s Health Research Institute in its endeavour to advance knowledge and care for women, newborns and their families across British Columbia and around the world.

However, the Ismaili Walk for Women is about more than raising money for, and awareness about, women’s health research. This walk is about sisterhood, empowerment and giving a voice to women. Sarah Morgan-Silvester, Chair of the BC Women’s Foundation, stated: “The partnership between the Ismaili Muslim Community and the BC Women’s Foundation has been an inspiring example of community leadership.”

Samira Alibhai, President of the Ismaili Council for British Columbia, went on to state:

This walk is part of our tradition of service, giving back and helping those in need, and helping improve the overall quality of life in the society in which we live by making a meaningful contribution to our local community.

Over this past year, our government has brought pressing issues like maternal health to the forefront, and I commend Prime Minister Harper for this work. We have made substantial investments to ensure that mothers and children have healthy and vibrant futures.

Events like the Ismaili Walk for Women reconfirm Canada’s commitment to ensuring that maternal health objectives are met. Being able to participate in an event where women from all walks of life rally together to fight for women’s health was both liberating and inspiring.

The following mission statement echoed throughout Stanley Park this past weekend, and it is still one that is fresh in my mind this afternoon: “Healthy mothers create healthy families, which build healthy communities.”

Honourable senators, I ask you to join me in congratulating those who made this walk a great success. However, I think it is important to recognize that this is but one small step towards the greater goal of raising awareness about women’s health issues, both nationally and internationally.