Gender Equality Network Canada – Project Wrap Up Video

Gender Equality Network Canada – Project Wrap Up Video


(upbeat music) (singing in foreign language) – The Gender Equality Network Canada was a three-year project to bring together a national
network on gender equality, and develop a national
action plan on the same. GENC brought together 150 women leaders from across the country. They met at five national
meetings in person, and also worked remotely online. We put together this video
to give you an overview of what happened during the project, and to celebrate the work of the 150 women who came together across the
country to make is possible. GENC provided an opportunity to begin to reinvigorate the women’s movement after a 10 year period in which
funding was not available, many organizations had
to shrink their mission, and it was very difficult to move the gender equality mission forward. The GENC project began by
examining where we were at, and taking a little look back
before we looked forward. So we started with a needs assessment or an environmental scan
that looked at progress on gender equality over
the last 10 to 15 years. An early exercise for GENC was the feminist history timeline, which was used to set
a context for the work that was gonna happen through the project. GENC also did an
Indigenous history timeline which provided the colonial context in which any discussion of
gender equality in Canada occurs. Making connections and
learning from each other was key to the GENC experience. GENC leaders share their
knowledge at working tables in round table discussions, from the stage on panels,
and in special presentations. We also added in youth leaders across the country at each location to increase the voices
of youth in the project. – Equity mean, you know,
justice for someone like mean. Equity means me actually being prioritized instead of being tokenized as you know, oh, here’s another Hijabi student, we’ll just take a picture of her, put Dalhousie under there, we’re good, we’re diverse, we’re great, you know. (audience applauding) We don’t need that. – Increasing access and
inclusion was an ongoing theme at GENC meetings, and this piece was led by GENC leaders who work on the issue of access for women with disabilities. Their checklist for
inclusion provided tools for women from all sorts
of GENC organizations, to look at how their standard
practices and policies created barriers to access for women, and to look at how to remove them. – It’s time to center
women with disabilities. It’s time to center ratialized black, Indigenous women, trans women. It’s time for us to start
thinking differently about how we do this, because don’t have it right yet. – Early on it was clear that
to achieve gender equality, we needed to work with
an intersectional lens. To increase the knowledge of GENC leaders about what intersectionality is, we developed two webinars, one in English and one in French, where women could educate
themselves on their own time, or be present in real
time and ask questions. The strength of GENC really was women coming together
from across the country, the connections they made, the information they shared,
the tools they shared, and the learnings they
gained from each other. Through their conversations
and discussions at meetings and between meetings, GENC leaders identified four key priorities that need to be addressed
in order to advance gender equality in Canada. Setting up behind those priorities were principles that should
be contained in any document that intends to advance gender
equality in the country. Their final product is
a discussion document for a pan-Canadian strategy
to advance gender equality, and it’s been delivered to the Department for
Women and Gender Equality. And the final recommendation of GENC is that that document be
brought across the country for broad consultations and discussions. – Let’s remember that this
journey goes far beyond us. It’s about everyone across Canada who deserves gender equality now. We’re working for women and girls who experience abuse,
sexual assault and violence. For women who are raising
their children in poverty. For girls who grow up in the shadow of sexualization and other
negative stereotypes. – The GENC project was a
fascinating three-year journey, and the energy, intelligence,
information that drove it all came from the GENC leaders. The Canadian Women’s
Foundation thanks them for their generous
participation in the project, for all that we learned,
and all that they shared, and we look forward to
achieving gender equality in the not too distant future. – But really it’s gonna be the women, that we stand together to
create a different Canada, not only for Indigenous
peoples, but for all peoples. (audience applauding) Thank you.

Author: Kevin Mason

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