This special panel will explore how the academy materially benefits from undervaluing the labour of racialized immigrant women. It will raise larger questions about how structural racism and exploitation practices harm racialized women.
Dr. El Bialy and Dr. Youssef are two bilingual scholars who have worked at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, for a number of years, Dr. El Bialy for 10 years and Dr. Youssef for 5 years. During their employment at uOttawa they have been doing professorial work: teaching courses, supervising graduate students and conducting research in both French and English. Their work has received awards such as the excellence award in teaching. Through the years they have been required to do the work of full-time professors without receiving the proper remuneration and recognition, as well as without having proper union support or job title. Dr El Bialy and Dr. Youssef were classified as 'Technical Officers’, job categories that are on paper support staff positions. Categorizing Dr. El Bialy and Dr. Youssef as support staff while assigning them the duties of full-time professors has allowed the university to extract the expertise, skills and labour of two highly qualified professionals without having to afford them the job security and compensation that is provided to others with similar qualifications and experience. It is not a coincidence that these two employees at uOttawa who are classified as support workers despite doing professorial work are visibly racialized women.
Recently, the Faculty of Medicine has tried to “rectify” their mistake by downgrading their duties to that of administrative assistant staff and is working towards eliminating their positions. As a result, Dr. El Bialy and Dr. Youssef filed complaints with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario and the Ontario Labour Relations Board.
Scholar Strike Canada supports Dr. Bialy and Dr. Youssef in their fight for justice. For more information please read the statement of the BIPOC Professors & Librarians Caucus Working Group UOttawa
Media Coverage here
Dr. Tania Das Gupta, Professor, York University
Dr. Tania Das Gupta is a professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies at York University. Her publications, teaching and research interests are in the following areas: South Asian diaspora and transnationalism, race and racism, immigration and refugee issues, racism in the workplace, community activism, racism in the labour movement. She has published books on racism in nursing, as well as a book on racism in paid work. Her most recent book, published in 2021 by the University of British Columbia Press is titled Twice Migrated, Twice Displaced.
Dr. Safaa El Bialy, Faculty of Medicine
University of Ottawa
Dr. Safaa El Bialy holds a bachelors in Medicine and a PhD in Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (1995). She previously held the position of Full Professor at the Cairo University's Faculty of Medicine. In September 2011, she started her current, full-time professorial role, which has been mis-titled as a “Professional Technical Officer” at the University of Ottawa. At the faculty of medicine, she teaches courses on histology and anatomy, as well as clinical sessions. While at the University of Ottawa she has won multiple awards including the Excellence Award in Teaching. Her research has appeared in peer reviewed journals like Anatomical Sciences Education, Education in Medicine, the Journal of Medical Internet research, and the University of Ottawa’s Journal of Medicine.
Yavar Hameed, Human Rights Lawyer
Yavar Hameed is an Ottawa-based human rights lawyer. His law firm established in 2004 focusing on the advocacy of human rights in several areas including administrative law, general civil litigation, criminal law, prisoner’s rights and labour and employment law. In 2017 he was the Canadian Civil Liberties Association Award Honouree for his contributions to the advancement of human rights, human dignity, fundamental freedoms and democracy in Canada and worldwide.
Dr. Minelle Mahtani, Associate Professor
University of British Columbia
Dr. Minelle Mahtani is an associate professor at the Institute for Social Justice at University of British Columbia. She also serves as the Brenda and David MacLean Chair in Canadian Studies where she teaches courses in critical Canadian studies. She hosted her own radio show at Roundhouse Radio, 98. 3 Vancouver for years and has published work in The Walrus, Maisonneuve and VICE and has been nominated for a national magazine award. She identifies as a woman of mixed race descent, of Indian and Iranian background. Her previous books include “Global Mixed Race” (edited collection) and a monograph, “Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality.”
Dr. Nermine Youssef, Faculty of Medicine
University of Ottawa
Dr. Nermine Youssef holds an MD, and a Masters in Basic Medical sciences. She previously held the position of Assistant lecturer Anatomy and Embryology at the Ain Shams University's Faculty of Medicine. In January 2017, she started her current, full-time teaching and research role, which has been mis-titled as a “Technical Assistant” at the University of Ottawa. At the faculty of medicine, she teaches courses on anatomy and Embryology, as well as clinical sessions. While at the University of Ottawa, her teaching has been deeply appreciated by students as evidenced by highly rated evaluations reports. Her research has appeared in peer reviewed journals like Medical Education, and the Journal of Medical Education and Curricular Development. She also has supervised the development of a number of pedagogical manual online books.
The event is organized by the The Joint Chair in Women’s Studies at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. This event is kindly co-sponsored by Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa, Carleton University’s Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies and Scholar Strike Canada