Olympes de la parole

The University Women’s Club of Montreal Inc. is proud to spearhead the first North American competition of les Olympes de la Parole in Canada!

Les Olympes de la Parole is an academic competition open to secondary school girls. It uses a human rights approach to reflect on the central theme of gender equality. It involves teamwork, critical thinking, innovation, and parental and community participation.

It is a unique opportunity for empowered girls to engage in the conversation, to let their voices be heard and their actions influence policies that foster a gender-equality world.


Les Olympes de la Parole is named after Olympe de Gouge, a French politician, playwright, and activist who authored La Déclaration des droits de la femme et de la citoyenne in 1791. Because of her writings, she was convicted of treason and was guillotined in Paris in 1793.

The first Olympes de la Parole competition was successfully launched by the Association Française des Femmes Diplômées des Universités (AFFDU) in 2001. Today, it is organized in Switzerland, Spain, Tunisia, Morocco, and other countries.

Building on the success of this initiative, the University Women’s Club of Montreal Inc. (UWCM) is proud to launch the first Canadian Edition of Les Olympes de la Parole in Montreal in September 2017.


UWCM’s competition aligns well with the goals of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which was adopted by 193 member states, including Canada. UWCM actively supports the implementation of all 17 Global Goals of this Agenda, more specifically, to:

  • Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning (goal 4).
  • Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls (goal  5).


The theme chosen by UWCM reflects both the priority theme and the review theme for the Sixty-Second Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women scheduled for March 12th to 23rd, 2018.

For the first edition of the Canadian Olympes de la parole, the participants will reflect on the following:

«The emergence of communication technologies has transformed lifestyles, work organisation, learning methods and skills needed to acquire and apply knowledge.

Using information supported by evidence, you, a secondary school student, will explain how access to new technologies could contribute to the empowerment of indigenous girls and women in a particular region of Canada».

Participating schools

The Sacred Heart School of Montreal
Villa Maria College
The Study

About the University Women’s Club of Montreal

The UWCM was founded in 1927 by university graduate women involved in the promotion of quality education for girls and women in Montreal. The UWCM Foundation offers scholarships to university and college girls in Montreal and to Indigenous girls and women at all academic levels.

UWCM is a member of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded organization with over 100 Clubs and 8000 members, located in every province across Canada. Since its founding in 1919, CFUW has been working to improve the status of women and girls, to promote human rights, public education, social justice, and peace. CFUW is affiliated with Graduate Women International (GWI) located in Geneva and has a Consultative Status with the United Nations.