The Alberta Federation of Women United for Families (AFWUF) held its fourth annual convention in Red Deer in early November.  The convention attracted 150 women (and some men) from across Alberta.  A much appreciated aspect of the convention was the free babysitting service offered.  AFWUF arranged with the local church youth group to have babysitting provided to mothers with young children.

The theme of the convention was “Awareness” AFUWF members were encouraged to become aware of all the issues affecting the family in the 80s – issues such as pornography, prostitution, permissive divorce, abortion and sex education programmes that fail to promote chastity.

Three guest speakers participated in the convention.  Sharon Dudas was the first speaker, a representative for the Teen-Aid programme which is a pro-family and pro-chastity sex education programme being used in some schools in Calgary and Lethbridge.

The stated purpose of Teen-Aid is to reduce the many adverse consequences (physical, emotional and social) of pre-marital sexual activity among teens.  The programme encourages teens to practice abstinence as a pre-marital lifestyle.  It increases understanding of fertility and encourages teens to respect their power to create life.  It promotes stronger, and more effective, communication with parents.

Gloria Johnson was the banquet speaker and a workshop leader.  At the banquet, Mrs. Johnson shared some experiences regarding her own family and she gave many concrete suggestions to help husbands and wives keep their families strong.  Her other topics included “organized not agonized,” and “How to do less for your children so you can do more with them.”  AFWUF members found Mrs. Johnson’s talks entertaining, informative and a good balance for the other, more serious, conference speakers.

Gwen Landolt, a representative from REAL Women of Canada, gave the most specific, hard-hitting speech of the convention.  Besides giving information on REAL Women’s activities during the past year, Mrs. Landolt discussed pending federal legislation which will affect the family.  All members were asked to write separate letters to their MPs, to Prime Minister Mulroney and to the appropriate federal ministers, expressing the following concerns.

  • That the proposed tougher prostitution laws be enacted
  • That the proposed permissive divorce law (“no-fault” divorce) will contribute to poverty for women and children
  • That the proposed definition for pornography is too vague and not tough enough
  • That the proposed Strategic Defence Initiative has many positive aspects to it
  • That AFWUF’s and REAL Women’s position on equality (for example, opposing comparable wroth laws but favouring equal pay for equal work) be given more attention by MPs.

AFWUF members responded favourably to Mrs. Landolt’s suggestions for concrete action by individuals.

AFWUF’s board of directors was expanded from 15 to 17 members during the business portion of the conference.  The 17 directors are from across Alberta and represent the 3,500 members.  The president-elect is Mrs. Janice Ellinson of Innisfail, who has been involved with Innisfail Pro-Life Society for several years.  Mrs. Ellinson is expecting her eighth child early this year.

Five resolutions were passed during the business meeting.  The resolutions opposed comparable wroth laws and favoured equal pay for equal work; favoured reduction in federal grants to Planned Parenthood; opposed the reduction of income tax exemptions for dependent children; favoured promoting chastity in the schools; and encouraged members to show respect toward everyone, especially those with whom we disagree.

AFWUF membership ($5 annually) are available from R.R. 2, Red Deer, Alberta, T4N 5E2. AFWUF is a pro-life, pro-family women’s group which promotes equal rights for women, including the rights to choose the career of wife and mother.  AFWUF also recognizes the family as the basic unit of society and it promotes laws which protect the family.

More information about Teen-Aid can be obtained from Teen-Aid of Southern Alberta, 141209th Avenue, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4C5.  (403) 320-8336. Donations to Teen-Aid are tax-deductible.