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8178: Haitian Woman New Head of Quebec Women's Organization (fwd)

From: MariLinc@aol.com

While visiting my family in Montreal, I saw this article in today's Montreal 

Marilyn Mason


Monday 4 June 2001

Women's federation changes hands

CEGEP teacher Vivian Barbot, born in Haiti and with a long record of union 
activism, is acclaimed president of the Quebec Women's Federation, succeeding 
Francoise David.

The Gazette

CEGEP teacher Vivian Barbot, a 59-year-old Quebecer of Haitian origin, has 
become the Quebec Federation of Women's first president from a visible 

She said she hopes her being named as president of Quebec's largest women's 
organization will serve as an inspiration to other women from ethnic 

"I hope my presence will be seen as a sign of recognition of the multi-ethnic 
character of Quebec and a tangible sign of openness of the federation and 
Quebec society in general," said Barbot, who has served for the past two 
years as the federation's vice-president and also sits on its 
intercultural-relations committee. 

She made her comments at a press conference after she was acclaimed president 
at the federation's annual meeting. 

Barbot takes over the $40,000-a-year job from Francoise David. 

David, who held the presidency for seven years, was widely loved and admired. 

Among other things, David was the instigator of the 1995 Bread and Roses 
March from Montreal to Quebec City against poverty and was a main force 
behind last year's World March of Women. 

While she was president, the number of organizations belonging to the 
federation grew to 160 from 60. As well, individual memberships climbed to 
800 from 100. 

Having completed the maximum three terms allowed under the federation's 
constitution (as well as the tail end of a predecessor's mandate,) David had 
no choice but to retire. 

She is considering starting up a provincial political party that would be a 
feminist alternative to what exists now. But she will first take the summer 
off to reflect upon that option before making any announcement, she said. 

Barbot said that while she can never replace David, she plans to continue the 
same strong leadership role. 

Barbot's activism to date includes serving on a women's committee at her 
local teachers' union at CEGEP de Victoriaville. As well, she served as 
president of the Federation des Enseignantes et Enseignants de CEGEPS, 
affiliated with the Centrale des Syndicats du Quebec. 

Going by her family history, it appears activism is in her blood. 

>From in 1963, she and her family spent 21 months living in the Argentinian 
embassy in Haiti, she said in an interview after the press conference. 

Her father, Clement Barbot, was a political figure opposing the Duvalier 
dictatorship, and the family sought protection at the embassy, she said. 

In 1965, the family lived as exiles in Argentina. There she met the man who 
would become her husband, Real Lymburner. The Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu man 
was traveling in Argentina at the time. 

Barbot immigrated to Canada in 1967. She and her husband have lived for the 
past 30 years in Durham Sud in the Eastern Townships where Barbot teaches 
French at the CEGEP and her husband is a sociologist. 

The couple has two sons, ages 29 and 26, and a daughter, 22. 

- Debbie Parkes can be reached by E-mail at dparkes@thegazette.southam.ca

Marilyn Mason, President & COO
Mason Integrated Technologies Ltd (MIT2)
P.O. Box 181015
Boston, Massachusetts 02118 USA
Tel: (+1) 617-247-8885
Fax: (+1) 617-262-8923
Email: MariLinc@aol.com
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