December 11, 2023

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Women Inc. of Northern Alberta is dedicated to stopping gender-based violence and advocating for gender equality as a result of we all know that each one women can expertise violence and inequality.

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As a voice for the 16 Days of Activism in opposition to Gender-Based mostly Violence from November 25 to December 10, 2021, I’m writing to assist urge the group to study and act on stopping and addressing gender-based violence – individually and collectively, thereby looking for illustration of #GirlsToo.

The 16 Days of Activism in opposition to Gender-Based mostly Violence is an annual international name to motion to finish gender-based violence – any type of hurt in opposition to individuals primarily based on their gender identification, how they specific themselves or present stereotypes.

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Whereas gender-based violence impacts anybody, some expertise it extra often and in additional distinct methods than others – significantly women and gender-diverse youth. Notably, the magnitude of their expertise varies relying on how intricately gender identification, gender expression or perceived gender overlap and intertwine with various factors contributing to the sense of security.

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These embrace however usually are not restricted to race, ethnicity, sexuality, age, dwelling circumstances, well being, mobility, accessibilities, exceptionalities, faith, citizenship, historical past and extra.

Women Inc. of Northern Alberta is aware of that there are distinctive layers of present and newly rising gendered obstacles, challenges, and vulnerabilities that women significantly undergo.

We additionally know that every lady experiences these obstacles in another way relying on how and the place you’re located in varied areas – dwelling, college, group, domestic-international, media, on-line and many others.

And these have been exacerbated via violence and inequality heightened by the COVID19 induced changes, flooding, and financial downturn over the previous two years.

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Our #GirlsToo program tackles this complicated subject head-on. Constructing on #MeToo, #GirlsToo is a motion in and of itself. It calls out that #MeToo is not only an 18+ motion. Respect begins younger. Actions begin younger. Adjustments begin younger.

This program gives age-appropriate schooling by way of in-school programming and after-school workshops to equip contributors with expertise and information to acknowledge, stop and deal with gender-based violence of varied kinds and ranges.

Contributors will study consent, wholesome relationships, gendered challenges, and what to do when/in the event that they face gender-based violence. They may learn to be a part of an answer. It additional facilitates alternatives for contributors to study self-defense methods whereas serving to to construct their self-confidence.

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By way of arts-based advocacy and trustworthy dialogue in a protected house, they are going to learn to advocate for a cultural shift in the direction of therapeutic, empowerment, supporting survivors, breaking the silence, and in the end, ending gender-based violence – individually and collectively.

For this 12 months’s 16 Days of Activism in opposition to Gender Based mostly Violence marketing campaign, Women Inc. of Northern Alberta is partaking youth, native eating places, and social media to amplify the #GirlsToo motion.

  • With youth, there will likely be a collection of 4 workshops for ladies ages 10+ on 1) women’ and ladies’s rights in Canada via the Conference on the Elimination of all Types of Discrimination Towards Girls, 2) the function of media in gender-based violence, 3) what an ally appears to be like like by unpacking Islamophobia and racism, and 4) the best way to break the cycle of gender-based violence whereas supporting survivors.
  • With native eating places, #GirlsToo themed napkins and postcards will likely be distributed in order that the group can begin paying extra consideration to what 16 Days of Activism in opposition to Gender-Based mostly Violence is all about and the way one might be an advocate for #GirlsToo motion. Largest thank-you to the collaborating eating places for partnering with us: Avenue Espresso, Boston Pizza (Downtown and Timberlea), Mr. Mikes, Stacs, Surekha’s on the Snye and 57 North Kitchen and Brewery.
  • On social media, we’re calling for nominations for somebody taking actions to create a cultural shift in the direction of supporting survivors and breaking the silence. Prizes to be received.

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As talked about earlier, gender-based violence impacts anybody. Feeling like you’re caught, feeling like you’re silenced, feeling like you’re conditioned to satisfy sure self- and societal-expectations… these emotions could also be skilled equally. It’s the magnitude or the method these emotions skilled which will differ relying on the place and the way one is situated at given intersections.

It’s our hope that #GirlsToo requires actions from everybody to create modifications by studying how inequality and violence are at work in our group and the world, how every individual experiences intersecting obstacles and violence of varied kinds in another way and the way we as human beings can strengthen resiliency to gender-based violence.

Replicate. Act. Help those that come ahead and share their struggles with you. Take heed to totally different voices. Begin questioning what ‘being protected’ and ‘peace’ may seem like. Do what you’ll be able to. Take optimistic dangers. Name out whenever you encounter gender-based violence of any type. And most significantly, voice to interrupt the silence collectively. Be a part of the #GirlsToo dialogue at the moment.

How will you act for the 16 Days of Activism in opposition to Gender-Based mostly Violence this 12 months?

Nanase Tonda, govt director of Women Inc. of Northern Alberta

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