July 26, 2017 - by Julia Gonsalves - 2 Comments

This story was originally published in the Spring 2016 issue of SHE Magazine. 

“Are you having a boy or a girl?”

I wonder how much longer we’ll ask expectant parents this question. Maybe instead we should start asking ourselves why assigning a gender at birth is so important to us.

More and more young people in Canada are starting to express their gender in unique ways that go beyond the masculine/feminine binary.  As parents, it is critical that we respond with love, curiosity, and an open mind.

July 18, 2017 - by Brittni Jacobson - 2 Comments
 
There’s nothing better than a summer day spent reading in the sun. But the abundance of book releases can make finding a great story tough. Luckily, the Canadian Women’s Foundation staff and supporters have done some reading and are ready to share their recommendations!
 
Each book celebrates strong women whose stories will stick with you long after you read the last page. Let us know what you’ve been reading and what you think of our picks in the comments below!
 
FOUNDATION STAFF’S RECOMMENDATIONS

"When Sadie’s father is arrested for sexual impropriety, a small town reels, the media descends, and her seemingly perfect life unravels. This page-turner confronts many topical issues surrounding sexual assault, illustrating how one case plays out in family, a community, and the justice system."
- Jessica Howard
Senior Writer, Public Engagement
July 11, 2017 - by Ilanna Mandel

The word ‘empowerment’ has been popular for many years.  In Effective Empowerment: Strategies for Accessible Education, I note that empowerment is “…based on the idea that giving people skills, resources, opportunities, and strategies will enable them to be accountable for their own actions, and will contribute to their independence, competence, and satisfaction.”

When it comes to disabled girls ages 8-12, the challenges they face in reaching empowerment are often the same issues that their non-disabled peers face. However, they also face their own specific hurdles.

July 5, 2017 - by Brittni Jacobson
Did you know there are dozens of landmarks across Canada that recognize strong women from our country’s history?
 
Some celebrate the progress we’ve made, while others are a reminder of the work we still have to do.
 
Add some feminism to your summer plans by visiting one of these landmarks in your province or territory – or planning a road trip to see them all!  
 
Spirit of the BeothukBoyd’s Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador
This life-sized bronze statue recognizes the Beothuk woman Shanawdithit, likely the last of her people. She recorded detailed sketches and accounts of Beothuk history, culture, and traditions. Without her work, much of what we know about the Beothuk people would have been lost.
June 28, 2017 - by Beth Malcolm - 1 Comments

This is the sixth post in the Confidence Stories series in partnership with Always®. Confidence Stories feature stories, tips and ideas to support girls, build their confidence, and encourage them to Keep Playing #LikeAGirl.

Most girls start out strong in life: they score higher than boys in reading and writing, they tend to make friends more easily, and they have stronger verbal skills. However, as they approach adolescence, many girls start to struggle

Research shows that only 14% of girls in Grade 10 feel confident, yet confidence is at the core of a number of positive outcomes for girls, including higher grades, better physical health, more career choices, and higher earning potential.

When a girl feels confident, she is also more likely to ask for help, to have the strength to resist peer pressure, to cope better with conflict and other problems, and to not blame herself if she is assaulted.

June 26, 2017 - by Brittni Jacobson

When photographer Kirsten McGoey was searching for a fresh way to practice her art, she didn’t have to look far for inspiration: her middle son sparked her photo series #ABoyCanToo. “He beats to his own drum,” says Kirsten. “While a lover of math and science, he is often drawn to things that are not considered male by society.”    

#ABoyCanToo is a series of lifestyle and studio portraits featuring boys aged 4-16 whose interests and hobbies defy gender norms. "The objective is to support the boys who are making these choices, and who are influencing people to understand that they are acceptable choices for young men to make,” says Kirsten, who launched the project out of her hometown of Whitby, Ontario in 2016.

In the following Q&A, she discusses how the photoshoots empower boys, and how challenging gender stereotypes relates to gender equality. 

June 15, 2017 - by Brittni Jacobson

When a shy girl gradually emerges from her shell and develops the confidence to lead a group activity, Jennifer Hamman knows that the Strong Girls of Inlailawatash program is succeeding.

“Just seeing them take those opportunities to take a little risk, to be a little vulnerable, and to let themselves just be themselves has been a really awesome thing to watch.”

The program, which receives funding from the Canadian Women's Foundation, provides a rare girls-only space for Tsleil-Waututh First Nation girls aged 9-13.

The Tsleil-Waututh community is set on the Burrard Inlet, surrounded by urban North Vancouver. As program coordinator, Hamman organizes the weekly program meetings, which aim to foster healthy relationships and connect the girls to their culture in a positive way. Hamman, who is also the Tsleil-Waututh Community Therapist, talks about how the program helps develop girls’ confidence, connectedness, and resilience.