Olympes de la Parole Competition:

Empowered Girls Voice!

Second Edition 2018-19

The University Women’s Club of Montreal is proud to spearhead the
second edition of les Olympes de la Parole Competition 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 inequalities and its impact on the empowerment of women and girls. This event involves team work, critical thinking, innovation, parental and community participation.

It presents a unique opportunity for empowered girls to engage in the global conversation, to let their voices be heard and their actions influence policies that foster a gender-equal 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 UWCM successfully launched the first north American competition of Les Olympes de la Parole in September of 2017, with participation from the Study, Villa Maria College and The Sacred Heart School of Montreal.


UWCM’s competition aligns 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:

  • End poverty in all its forms everywhere (goal 1)
  • Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning (goal 4).
  • Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls (goal 5).


For this second Canadian edition of Les Olympes de la Parole, the theme chosen by UWCM reflects the UN review theme which will be debated at the sixty third session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) in New York on March 2019.

«Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development»

We are assigning all candidates to reflect on the following theme:

Feminization of poverty persists and remains an impediment to the empowerment of women and girls, for, according to UN sources, the number of people living in multidimensional poverty has reached 1.6 billion

«As the world is getting ready to commemorate in 2019 the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child you, High School student, will analyze the impact of poverty on the empowerment of women and the development of girls. You will use evidence to explain how access to education can help eradicate a specific dimension of poverty you have chosen to study»

Project Milestones*

November 2018 >> Official launch of the competition

October 2018-March 2019 >> Selected classes in participating schools work on their projects

April 2019 >> Evaluation by UWCM Review Panel

May 2019 >> Award Ceremony

*Exact dates to be determined after consulting with all schools.


Scholarships will be awarded to the best 3 projects:

1st Prize                      $2,000.00

2nd Prize                     $1,500.00

3rd Prize                     $1,000.00

All participants will be honoured with a certificate attesting to the community hours involved in this competition.

Participating Schools

  1. The Sacred Heart School of Montreal
  2. Kanawhakee Survival School
  3. Villa Sainte Marcelline
  4. Collège International Marie de France

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 indigenous and non-indigenous girls and women attending university and college in Montreal.
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 has special consultative status at the United Nations and is represented at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.
CFUW is the largest affiliate of Graduate Women International (GWI), a nongovernmental organization located in Geneva, whose main purpose is the advocacy for girls and women’s rights worldwide.
CFUW is also an affiliate member of the International Alliance of Women.