Home/Gender-based violence

The Journey to Voice

2016-05-02T12:15:09+00:00May 2, 2016|Gender-based violence, Sexual abuse, SHE Magazine|

Woman with striped shirtIn a sparsely furnished meeting room in suburban Ottawa, a group of young women sit in a circle, talking quietly. Outside, you can tell spring is on the way.

The women are members of Young Women at Risk, a weekly support group for women who have experienced violence. Each Thursday, they meet in a former classroom of a converted school, now an outreach centre for young mothers. The room contains a few chairs, a children’s playhouse in primary colours, two diaper change tables, and a folding table with an urn of stale coffee. The sound of children on their way to the playground can be heard echoing out in the hallway.

Be the Change You Want to See: A Q&A with Sheherazade Hirji

2017-12-19T17:09:05+00:00April 21, 2016|Empowering girls, Gender-based violence, Women in media, Women’s poverty|

Family with GEN1 symbolThis interview was originally published by International Innovation.

Sheherazade Hirji, President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, wants to put the organisation out of business – envisioning a generation of empowered women, gender equality and an end to sexual violence.

Having dedicated your career to the philanthropic sector, you are committed to helping women and girls in Canada. What led you to your present role at the Foundation?

I actually qualified as a solicitor in England first, so I’m a ‘recovering’ lawyer. I came to Canada in the 1980s and qualified again, got called to the Bar and started to work in the area of philanthropy. I very quickly found that the work I was doing with foundations resonated with my own personal values much more than law.

Michelle’s Story

2016-04-07T12:47:11+00:00April 7, 2016|Gender-based violence, Impact stories, SHE Magazine, Women’s poverty|

Michelle and familyMichelle Lochan had the passion to be an entrepreneur, but raising five children on her own made it tricky. Then she got the right kind of help. As told to Diane Hill.

When you help a woman start her own business, you affect her children too. They want to mirror her independence and they learn to trust their own decisions. Improving her self-sufficiency also means she can leave an abusive husband if necessary, because she has her own income. That is the voice I speak from.

Safe Passage: A Girl’s Journey Through Adolescence

2017-12-19T17:11:09+00:00March 22, 2016|Empowering girls, Gender-based violence, Sexual abuse, SHE Magazine|

Girl looking at cameraIn an office building not far from the bleak industrial wharves in the northern Ontario town of Thunder Bay, social worker Karen Slomke is clicking through a curious set of Powerpoint slides.

Her audience sees photos of zebras being chased by lions, cartoon illustrations of the human brain, and lots of flowcharts with coloured arrows. Though some of her slides are lighthearted, most are deadly serious. This presentation is designed to save lives.

Karen works for Children’s Centre Thunder Bay and her audience is primarily Aboriginal girls in their early teens. All have experienced physical or sexual abuse, or both. Karen recently worked with Sherry, a young teen who has been sexually assaulted four different times by four different adult men. The first assault happened when she was 12.