Jessica Howard

Jessica HowardJessica Howard is Senior Writer at the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Having worked as a journalist, blogger, content strategist and university instructor, she believes that storytelling is key to social change. As a mother of two sons, she is also highly knowledgeable about Lego, Star Wars and Superheroes.

Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Equality: Q&A with Kevin Vowles

Kevin Vowles
There were sparkly red stilettos, strappy metallic sandals, and snakeskin mules. Many men put on high heels with pride (and with socks) for the White Ribbon Campaign’s annual Walk a Mile in her Shoes fundraiser earlier this month. 
 
“It was inspiring to see so many people walking to create awareness about violence against women and showing their support for the work of White Ribbon,” says Kevin Vowles, the organization’s Community Engagement Manager.
 
Since 1991, the White Ribbon Campaign has rallied men and boys to become allies in ending violence against women. Before joining the organization, Kevin spent four years working with youth in a teen healthy relationships program on Salt Spring Island, B.C. that has received funding from the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Thank You for Your Messages to Women in Shelters!

Alone. Isolated. Afraid. That's how we often feel when faced with a difficult decision or a new journey in life.

Just knowing that someone is on your side, or has overcome similar obstacles, can make each step easier to take.

For Haydee, who summoned the courage to leave an abusive relationship with her young daughter, words of support became a lighthouse in the middle of a dark ocean. 

Her story has inspired many of you to support the Foundation's Campaign to End Violence, by donating and sending a message of support  to women in shelters. 

Thank you to all of you who reached out with heartfelt messages of support. You can still contribute a message through May 31!

How To End Violence Against Women? One Step Is Teen Healthy Relationships Programs

“Young women are telling us loud and clear they’re worried about the future of gender equality in Canada,” says Paulette Senior, President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

She’s responding to the sobering findings of a new Canadian Women’s Foundation study that indicate 79 per cent of Canadians believe Gen Z women (those born after 1999) will be just as likely or even more likely to feel unsafe because of their gender.

The study asked participants whether they expect the next generation of women to experience various forms of violence: sexual assault, online harassment, physical violence from a partner, as well as sexual harassment in public or at work. In all of the categories, the majority said violence against women will either persist or get worse.

Free Advice Helps Survivors of Domestic Violence Face Legal Labyrinth

This is an updated version of a story originally published in the Spring 2016 issue of SHE magazine.

When Maya* left her abusive husband, she feared for her children’s safety. To protect them, she waived her financial and property rights in exchange for an agreement that her husband wouldn’t seek custody of the children. He later changed his mind and took her to court to demand access.

Maya couldn’t afford a lawyer, but didn’t qualify for legal aid. For guidance, she turned to the Jane Doe Legal Advice Clinic, a service that was delivered by West Coast LEAF (Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund) in Vancouver, BC.

6 Ways to Get Involved in the Campaign to End Violence

7 in 10 people who experience family violence are women and girlsWhen Haydee made the heart-wrenching decision to leave an abusive relationship, she felt “alone on a life raft, in the middle of a dark ocean.”

With the help of counselling and encouragement from others, she and her daughter began rebuilding their lives.

“That feeling (of support) fuelled my courage and strengthened my determination to start anew.”

What can you do to support women who have experienced violence?

"My desire for a better life overruled my fear": Kathy's Story

Kathy Tuccaro with her truckKathy Tuccaro never pictured herself as a heavy equipment operator, but a skilled trades program at Women Building Futures helped her take her life in a new direction.

AT JUST SEVEN years old, Kathy Tuccaro started running away from home.

She says she was first molested as a young child living in foster care, and continued to experience verbal, physical, and sexual abuse during her childhood, as well as throughout her adulthood life.

She went on to have a daughter and become a nurse, but was haunted by her past. She struggled with self-harm, toxic relationships, and alcoholism.

Three Reasons Equal Pay Day Matters to All Canadians

Wage Gap StatisticAre you seeing red today? If so, that’s a good thing!

It’s Equal Pay Day, and the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition is calling on people to wear red to acknowledge that women are still “in the red” due to the gender wage gap.

Equal Pay Day marks the date that represents how far into this calendar year women must work to earn what men did in the last year. When you account for the gender wage gap, a woman in Ontario would have to work 15.5 months to earn what men earn in 12 months. That brings us to early April.

On International Women's Day, How Are You Taking Bold Action?

Crowd of women waving hands in the air

Be bold for change!

That’s the rallying cry of this year’s International Women’s Day – an annual celebration of women’s achievements and a call to action for gender parity.

What’s inspiring us today is that we’re already seeing bold action on gender equality in Canada:

-Late last year, the government announced that civil rights activist Viola Desmond will be the first woman to appear on Canada’s $10 bill, a symbolic but significant recognition of women’s and African Canadians’ contributions to Canada.

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This message is brought to you by #GirlPowered!

Girl Powered Girl Council choose their favourite girlpowered messagesThe girl council has spoken!

A cross-Canadian group of girls has shortlisted the most powerful messages from the 1,500 submitted to girlpowered.ca. But, given the sheer volume and awesomeness of the submissions, it wasn’t an easy task.

“How am I going to pick?” asked Brenna, 12, as she and her fellow council members began poring over pages of messages, including “Follow your dreams, even the wild ones” and “Be the girl you look up to.”

New Inspiration for a New Year

Darlene smilingPsst! It’s contagious! And we’re not talking about this season’s strain of the flu.

We’re talking about inspiration, which we can all do our part to spread by sharing positive stories, ideas or experiences that might help others in their own lives.

Inspiration is just what we need at this time of year, when we’re envisioning fresh starts, new challenges, and resolutions (that we’ll actually stick to!). So today, we’re sharing two stories that inspired us in the past year and asking you to share what, or who, motivates you!