Violence against women

4 Tips For Self-Care

Women sitting in cafeDid you come back from the holidays feeling like it wasn’t exactly a holiday?

Are you back at work, staring blankly at a mountain of emails in your inbox, realizing that you never actually had time to put your feet up amid the whirlwind of travel plans, family gatherings, and last-minute-gift dashes?

If your own needs tend to fall off of your to-do list, now is a great time to think about self-care. And it’s not about spending hundreds of dollars at a spa or committing to daily meditation—it’s just about setting aside pockets of time for activities that help you unwind and reset.

Food for Thought: It’s Time to End Body Shaming

Woman looking awayI never forgot when my aunt stood up and berated my mother in front of a table full of family and friends for allowing me to have, “one more piece of meat” during a holiday meal.  Funnily, most kids can’t wait to sit at the ‘adult table.’ It’s a right of passage I suppose. But for me, being a kid with the adults simply meant more eyes, more potential pot shots under the guise of concern, tough love and reminders to sit up straight.  Sure, the latter had health benefits I’d appreciate later in life but the rest? Body shaming.  

Last month, a Mall Santa in the town of Forrest City, North Carolina, resigned after fat-shaming a boy who visited him. “Lay off the hamburgers and French fries,” said Santa to Anthony Mayse, a 9-year-old boy who had merely asked Santa for an iPod Touch and Drone. He left Santa’s lap in tears. 

Rape Myths Hide Troubling Reality

Woman looking at viewerUnderreporting of sexual assault is a problem we hear about frequently in Canada and around the world. Whether that underreporting is a result of police negligence, underfunding of sexual assault centres, police forces and labs, a biased judicial process, or poor sexual education in schools, what’s often missing from the discussion is recognition of how culture influences our understanding of sexual assault.

Culture is significant - it shapes who we are, our morals, ethics, principles, and how we connect to one another. Patriarchy, as a dominant force in Canadian culture, shapes who we become as individuals and who we are as a society. 

How to Support Survivors of Sexual Violence

Woman looking at cameraWhen someone tells you about their experience of sexual assault, it can be difficult to know how to react. You may struggle to know what to say or worry about saying the wrong thing. You may want to help and be supportive, but not know how.

It’s important to understand that when someone shares their experience with you, the best thing you can do is listen to their feelings, thoughts and needs, and to support them in their healing process, whatever that may be. Everyone who experiences sexual assault will have different ways to handle the situation and to heal.

Domestic Violence Can Affect Anyone

ClaudineWhen Claudine Lukawesky ran the Boston Marathon this year, her goal had nothing to do with her finishing time. She ran to honour a friend who survived domestic violence and raised funds for the Canadian Women’s Foundation in the process.

“This whole process has made me do things I thought I would never do,” Claudine says. Her friend’s experience and ongoing recovery inspired her to learn more about domestic violence, and find ways to take action.

5 Ways to Lead for Change

Woman smilingWhen you think of leaders you admire, what are their qualities? Perhaps they fearlessly speak their minds, or inspire others by setting a powerful example.

The good news is that you can develop these skills on your own. And there’s no need to wait for a promotion at work to get started. Getting involved social change is a fantastic way to practice leadership skills.

How? When it comes to gender equality, we have a few ideas for how you can lead for change:

Shaneen’s Story: Seeing a Path to Social Justice

ShaneenIn high school, Shaneen Cotterell signed up for ReAct: Respect in Action, a violence prevention program that stoked her interest in social justice. As told to Jessica Howard.

In grade 11, my social science teacher suggested I try the ReAct after-school program, because she knew I was interested in the issues it covered. When I saw that the program talked about things like oppression, gender stereotypes, abuse, and healthy relationships, I signed up and stayed involved through Grades 11 and 12.

Introducing our new President and CEO! A Q&A with Paulette Senior

Paulette SeniorAs a young newcomer to Canada, Paulette Senior wouldn’t have envisioned herself where she is today—stepping into the role of President and CEO at the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

She was 11 when she moved from her grandmother’s home in Jamaica to join her family in Canada, and struggled with culture shock and a new school. “The school system didn’t really value me and didn’t really see me as bright and capable; in fact, it told me the opposite.”

One of Paulette’s teachers decided she didn’t belong in her grade level, so she was streamed into “an incredibly basic form of education”. But when a different teacher later recognized she didn’t belong there, she got the chance to re-join the regular stream.

“I Don’t Think You’ll Understand” – How Music Can Help Us End Violence

Woman with dandelionMusic is powerful. It’s a medium like no other – thoughts, feelings and raw emotions laced with rhythms and chord progressions that keep the message flowing.

Music for so many is an escape. It provides a chance to reflect on personal events that happen in life and an opportunity to relate to another human being. Who hasn’t said at one point “hey, that line says exactly how I feel right now…”

But what happens when that line brings to light an experience that you’ve worked hard to forget? Or gives you chilling insight into someone else’s pain?

Telling Indigenous Women’s Stories – Why the Coverage Needs to Go Further

Dictionary definiteion of justice"This isn’t another poor Indian story, is it?”

It’s been over 10 years, but I still remember the shock I felt hearing those words from my producer. It was 2005 and I worked at a national current affairs show, and had just pitched my first story on a missing Indigenous woman. A girl I knew from back home in Saskatchewan had disappeared. Her name was Amber Redman and she was 19. Amber was on a volleyball team that I coached when I was in university. I didn’t know her well, but I remember she was a shy, sweet girl.