31 Actions for Gender Justice: Action 5. Support Youth Empowerment

With International Women’s Day (IWD) fast approaching on March 8th, 2021, we’ve put together a list of 31 Actions for Gender Justice to raise awareness, spark conversations and take action that transforms gender and power relations, and the structures, norms, and values that underpin them.

Every day for the month of March we will highlight an action that advances gender equity and justice.

This is by no means an exhaustive list! There’s so much more that we can do to advocate for political, economic and social changes.

March 5th Action 5. Empower Youth

Girls and young women are driving change around the globe and we celebrate their accomplishments. But they still face challenges: gender bias, the wage gap, discrimination, gender-based violence, health and safety risks, exacerbation of gender justice during COVID-19, harassment, among many others.

Harmful gender norms impact youth of all genders in Canada, but women, especially women in marginalized groups –Indigenous, Immigrants, Black, gender diverse- are disproportionally affected.

To advance Gender Justice for women and girls:

  • Advocate for Indigenous girls who experience poverty, vulnerability to racialized male violence and disproportionate institutionalization in prisons, mental health institutions and welfare placements. “The scars of Indian residential schools continue to have a profound impact on Indigenous youth.”[1]
  • Encourage girls and young women to participate in gender equity initiatives and take action.
  • Shed light on their challenges and support initiatives aimed at eliminating barriers to education, health care, employment and justice.
  • Inequalities and gender bias starts in childhood. Promote gender equity and respectful interactions among children and youth.
  • Promote inclusion and diversity at home, at school, in the workplace, online.
  • To best support girls and young women, hear their voices. These are only a few ideas of how you can help change perceptions of gender among youth.
  • Promote young women’s leadership.

Be an advocate. Be a mentor. Empower and inspire. Lead by example.

[1] Justice for Girls. A Space to Thrive. 2018 Retrieved from http://www.justiceforgirls.org/uploads/2/4/5/0/24509463/a_space_to_thrive.pdf

[1] Justice for Girls. A Space to Thrive. 2018 Retrieved from http://www.justiceforgirls.org/uploads/2/4/5/0/24509463/a_space_to_thrive.pdf 

31 Actions for Gender Justice: Action 4. Normalize a Culture of Consent

With International Women’s Day (IWD) fast approaching on March 8th, 2021, we’ve put together a list of 31 Actions for Gender Justice to raise awareness, spark conversations and take action that transforms gender and power relations, and the structures, norms, and values that underpin them.

Every day for the month of March we will highlight an action that advances gender equity and justice.

This is by no means an exhaustive list! There’s so much more that we can do to advocate for political, economic and social changes.

March 4th Action 4. Normalize a Culture of Consent

In Canada, approximately 4.7 million women -or 30% of all women age 15 and older- reported they have been sexually assaulted at least once since the age of 15.[1] Sexual assault is rooted in gender inequality. Prevention education, change of attitudes and behaviours, justice and support for survivors and awareness are key to fight against any form of sexual violence.

Join this effort and promote a safer and better sexual culture by talking about what consent is and what it’s not, supporting prevention programs for teens, sharing information with your networks, advocating for support for survivors and calling out rape culture.

Seek help if you or someone you know have been sexually assaulted. Call/text/email BWSS Crisis Line. You are not alone.

Say NO to the glorification of violence against women, objectification of women, victim-blaming, rape jokes, “locker room talk” and other attitudes and behaviours that degrade women.

Learn and share what consent is:

Given freely and willingly – without pressure, fear, manipulation, intimidation, threats, guilting or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Informed – without being deceived or being told half-truths.

Enthusiastic – doing only what you want and not what you are expected to do.

Specific – saying yes to one thing like kissing or making out doesn’t mean that you are saying ‘yes’ to sex.

Reversible – anyone can change their mind about what they feel like doing, anytime.

Coherent – every participant in sexual activity must be capable of giving consent. Failure to recognize that the other person was too impaired to consent is not “drunk sex.” It’s sexual assault.

Same rules for everyone – including people in marriage and committed relationships.

No consent = Rape. No excuses.

[1] Statistics Canada. Gender-based violence and unwanted sexual behaviour in Canada, 2018: Initial findings from the Survey of Safety in Public and Private Spaces. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-002-x/2019001/article/00017-eng.pdf

[1] Statistics Canada. Gender-based violence and unwanted sexual behaviour in Canada, 2018: Initial findings from the Survey of Safety in Public and Private Spaces. Retrieved from https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-002-x/2019001/article/00017-eng.pdf

31 Actions for Gender Justice: Action 3. Zero Tolerance

With International Women’s Day (IWD) fast approaching on March 8th, 2021, we’ve put together a list of 31 Actions for Gender Justice to raise awareness, spark conversations and take action that transforms gender and power relations, and the structures, norms, and values that underpin them.

Every day for the month of March we will highlight an action that advances gender equity and justice.

This is by no means an exhaustive list! There’s so much more that we can do to advocate for political, economic and social changes.

March 3rd Action 3. Zero Tolerance

Raise your voice to call for zero tolerance for violence against women. Violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights.

Call out inappropriate behavior in a safe manner. Any form of violence –physical and psychological- against women is unacceptable, from inappropriate jokes and street harassment to murder. Speak up and step up.

Say NO to normalizing microaggressions like sexist jokes, the wage gap, bullying, patronizing speech, unconscious bias, gaslighting, slut-shaming, body-shaming, sexual harassment, and the list goes on…

Microaggression or so-called subtle violence isn’t so micro or so subtle. It’s abuse that belittles, shames, and oppresses women. It reinforces violent attitudes, behaviours, and perceptions that contribute to marginalization, overt physical and psychological abuse. And extreme forms of gender-based violence like murder.

The Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability listed 155 cases of gender-based killings of women in 2020 in Canada.

The numbers are deplorable:1 woman killed every 2.3 days in Canada.

According to Status of Women Canada, intimate partner violence is a prevalent form of violence. While intimate partner violence affects people of all genders, women account for the vast majority of cases.

Raise your voice against all forms of violence to help change these attitudes, behaviours, and perceptions.

Together, we can lift women up and save lives.

We are here to support you. If you need help, please contact our Crisis & Intake Line:⁠

Call: 604.687.1867 (Toll-Free 1.855.687.1868)⁠
Text: 604.652.1867 ⁠
Email: intake@bwss.org⁠

31 Actions for Gender Justice: Action 2. Learn about BWSS approach: Decolonial Feminism & Intersectionality

With International Women’s Day (IWD) fast approaching on March 8th, 2021, we’ve put together a list of 31 Actions for Gender Justice to raise awareness, spark conversations and take action that transforms gender and power relations, and the structures, norms, and values that underpin them.

Every day for the month of March we will highlight an action that advances gender equity and justice.  

This is by no means an exhaustive list! There’s so much more that we can do to advocate for political, economic and social changes.

March 2nd Action 2. Learn about BWSS approach: decolonial and intersectional, anti-oppression feminist approach.

What is decolonial feminism? Maria Lugones, Argentinian scholar, introduced the term in “Toward a Decolonial Feminism” (2010) in which she explains that gender is understood based on Eurocentric perspectives forced on people of colour through colonialism and capitalism.

She proposes to question and resist this colonial system by understanding how it continues to oppress women and by finding ways to fight this oppression.

Looking at the struggles of women through a decolonial lens allows us to consider intersectionality and understand the issues of all women –especially women of colour.

What is intersectionality?

The term was first coined by scholar and civil rights activist Kimberlé Crenshaw in her 1989 paper about the oppression of Black women, “Demarginalizing The Intersection Of Race And Sex: A Black Feminist Critique Of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory And Antiracist Politics.”

Intersectionality refers to the unique forms of oppression and discrimination experienced by individuals or groups of people based on overlapping or intersecting social identities -race, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, and other identifying factors.

An intersectional approach recognizes that there are different forms of oppression and discrimination within social identity categories. For example, Crenshaw explains that it’s important to look at the intersection of race and gender, not at race alone, to understand the oppression of black women.

Understanding decolonial feminism and intersectionality is crucial to advance gender justice. Recognizing that different aspects of identity interconnect helps us better understand the issues and the needs of marginalized individuals and groups of people.

Thanks to our decolonial and intersectional approach, we fight to dismantle oppressive structures and acknowledge that not all women face the same challenges. Our approach allows us to understand and meet the needs of women who turn to BWSS for help.

How can you help? Share your stories and/or amplifying the voices of women who share their experiences. Keep the conversation going by listening to women, learning about gender inequity, speaking up against gender bias, and promoting real change in attitudes. Women’s voices are powerful.

31 Actions for Gender Justice

With International Women’s Day (IWD) fast approaching on March 8th, 2021, we’ve put together a list of 31 Actions for Gender Justice to raise awareness, spark conversations and take action that transforms gender and power relations, and the structures, norms and values that underpin them. Every day for the month of March we will highlight an action that advances gender equity and justice.

This is by no means an exhaustive list! There’s so much more that we can do to advocate for political, economic and social changes.

March 1st Action 1. Getting on the same page. What is Gender Justice and why it matters?

The Global Fund for Women defines Gender Justice assystemic redistribution of power, opportunities, and access for people of all genders through the dismantling of harmful structures including patriarchy, homophobia, and transphobia.”

To add to this definition, we’d like to highlight the importance of eliminating gender inequities with a decolonial and intersectional, anti-oppression feminist approach.

Gender Justice is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about equality. More fundamentally, it points towards new ways of liberating our thinking about ourselves and each other.

31 Actions for Gender Justice

Action 2. Learn about BWSS approach: decolonial and intersectional, anti-oppression feminist approach.

Action 3. Zero Tolerance: End Violence against Women

Action 4. Normalize a Culture of Consent 

BC Housing Workshops

Join us for BWSS’s first BC Housing Workshop on Fridays at 2 pm where we will be joined by Alex, BC Housing’s Priority Placement Coordinator.

This 60 to 90-minute workshop will include a presentation and Q+A session for women who want to learn more about BC Housing and the Priority Placement Program which provides priority access for women in BC who have experienced violence or are at risk of violence. Topics covered include: How to apply, eligibility, next steps after completing your application, additional programs, and resources offered by BC Housing, BC Housing Transfer requests, and an overview of BC Housing’s off-registry buildings (non-profit housing and housing co-operatives). The workshop will conclude with an overview of BWSS’s Housing Advocate role and follow-up Q+A to answer any additional questions.

To register or for more information call Salena (BWSS Housing Advocate) at 236-858-9730 or email housingadvocate@bwss.org