Statement on Lisa Laflamme

Lisa LaFlamme speaking at the 2018 CW4WAfghan Annual Symposium in Toronto

Like so many Canadians, we at Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan have been informed, moved and inspired by the reporting of Lisa Laflamme throughout her many years in Canadian media. Not only is Lisa an exceptional journalist, it has been powerful for girls and women to see before them an experienced and skilled anchor who was also a woman. We know from our work in Afghanistan the power of role models in motivating girls and women to pursue diverse careers despite the challenges, including in fields traditionally dominated by men. 

Lisa has often covered Afghanistan, and in particular, took a special interest in the situation of women and girls there. She has always covered their challenges and triumphs from a true rights perspective, with great sensitivity and genuine compassion. She has been a committed voice on a story that is so often under-reported: the status of women and girls in places at war, the human rights consequences for them, and the humanity and individual stories behind the injustices experienced by people on the other side of the world, helping close the gap between “them” and “us.” Canada, and indeed the world, needs more reporters like Lisa.

All this makes the decision by Bell Media and CTV to dismiss Lisa Laflamme a move of such clear sexism and ageism, deeply disappointing and baffling. In a system that so often places barriers in the way of women telling their own stories, Lisa’s work has been a beacon. When attempts are made to silence prominent women’s voices like hers, the challenges become even greater for women and girls who don’t enjoy that level of prominence or influence – and we all suffer when these diverse stories are not told. We know Lisa will go on to undertake important new journalistic work that reflects her commitment to women and girls, to media development, and other passions, and as an organization that will continue to stand for the rights of women everywhere, we look forward to her achievements in the next phase of her career.