Alright, Now What? Podcast

Welcome to Alright, Now What?, a podcast from the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Every other Wednesday, our experts and partners put an intersectional feminist lens on one topic or story we’ve all been hearing about … the issues and stories that just seem to keep resurfacing and make you wonder, “What’s this about?”, “Why is this still happening?”, and “How is it possible we haven’t fixed this yet?” We’re going to explore the systemic roots of these things and the strategies for change that will move us closer to the goal of gender justice. Listen wherever you get your podcast content.

Season 4 (2021)

A Feminist Lens on Alt-Right Ideology- Episode 19 (February 9)

We’ve seen breaking news about the rise of alt-right ideology and its connections with misogyny, racism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination and oppression. It’s not new, but in the COVID-19 pandemic context, it’s resurging in contemporary ways. How does this ideology stand at odds with the goal of gender justice and what do we need to do to address it? Luna KC joins us on these important issues. Along with her coauthors at the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW-ICREF), Luna wrote “The Rise of the Alt-Right in Canada: A Feminist Analysis”. She also did research on women and COVID-19 in Canada. Luna is now a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Research Network on Women, Peace, and Security at McGill University. Her work focuses on these very issues and sits at the nexus of women and warfare, gender justice, peace activism, and intersectionality.

The State of Gender Justice - Episode 18 (January 26)

After nearly 2 years of a global pandemic with severely gendered impacts, how are women, girls, and Two Spirit, trans, and non-binary people fairing today? What do the losses in three decades of gender equality gains and alarming trends mean when we’re searching for a better way forward? What is the state of gender justice in Canada at the top of 2022? Paulette Senior, President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, recently wrote about this topic in The Hill Times, saying, “We need gender justice pursued at a level, pace, and sophistication Canada has not yet known.” In this episode, Paulette gives us deeper insight into what’s so concerning about the state of gender justice today and where we need to go.

Is Feminism No Longer the F-Word? - Episode 17 (January 12)

A new survey by Environics Institute for Survey Research shows that 57% of women in Canada identify as feminists, a big increase from the past. The number is especially high for young women aged 18 to 24. In addition to that, 40% of men consider themselves feminists, and 90% of people in Canada believe we need to do more to promote gender equality. Is feminism no longer considered a "bad word"? Is calling yourself a feminist less stigmatized and is feminism actually ... trending? What does this mean for the future of feminist movements and our goals of gender justice? Michelle Musindo, Manager of Community Initiatives at the Canadian Women's Foundation, shares her perspectives and addresses the impacts of young feminists today. She also gives a helpful book recommendation in honour of the passing of bell hooks, the legendary Black feminist scholar.

Femicide is on the Rise - Episode 16 (December 29)

The Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability recently reported that, in 2020 and 2021, the rate of femicide – murders of women because they are women – has been on the rise. In Canada, a woman is killed by her current or former partner an average of every 6 days. That’s a pretty frightening and unacceptable number. And that was the number before the pandemic’s spike in risk of abuse. What is femicide, exactly? What can we do to end this completely preventable form of gender-based violence as we move into a new year? Anuradha Dugal, Vice President of Community Initiatives at the Canadian Women’s Foundation and a representative of the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability, joins us to speak about this issue. Content note: this episode features discussion of femicide and intimate partner abuse. If you need access to support, you can find a list of services that may be useful to you on our website.

A Better Response to Abuse - Laura's Story - Episode 15 (December 15)

As we move into the holiday season, we have seen more news stories about gender-based violence. For every case we do learn about, there are many we don't know about. Those facing violence aren't always safe enough to tell anyone what's happening. Sometimes, they fear a response of judgement, disbelief, or retaliation. And sometimes the response they get is a complicated mixed bag with both positive and negative elements. Addressing gender-based violence and the gender injustice that underlies it means reflecting on these complexities and paying attention to diverse experiences of survivors. Laura, a friend of the Canadian Women's Foundation, shares her personal experiences and insights about the key ingredients of a better response to signs and signals of abuse. Content note: this episode features a personal experience of intimate partner violence. If you need access to support, you can find a list of services that may be useful to you on our website.

The Signal for Help is Only as Good as its Response - Episode 14 (December 1)

What can supporting someone going through abuse actually look like? And what about the times where we might have ... messed up? Our new Signal for Help Responder Campaign gives people tools and training to respond to signs or signals of abuse because a signal is only as good as its response. And we need to shift our culture of stigma about gender-based violence to a culture of support. This honest, insightful conversation with Suzanne Duncan, Vice-President of Philanthropy at the Canadian Women's Foundation, speaks to what support can look like and addresses those times in the past when we actually didn't respond to signals of abuse.

Transgender Day of Remembrance - Episode 13 (November 17)

November 20 is the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, a time to remember and honour the lives of trans and gender-diverse people murdered due to hate, prejudice, and discrimination. It was first held in 1999 to honour the memory of Rita Hester, whose 1998 murder in Boston, Massachusetts remains unsolved. In Canada, violence against diverse Two Spirit, trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people is high and their experiences of gender-based violence is unique. But when we talk about gender-based violence, we rarely focus on their unique experiences, nor have we historically centred their solutions and ideas for change. Fae Johnstone, public speaker, consultant, educator and community organizer, joins us to shine a spotlight on the issues and the changes that need to happen.

The Signal for Help - Bonus Episode 12 (November 10)

This episode will get you up to speed on what's been going on with the Signal for Help, a simple one-handed gesture you can make without leaving a digital trace. It means "I need you to check in with me safely." We launched it in April 2020 in response to an increased risk of gender-based violence in the pandemic. By July 2020, 1 in 3 people in Canada knew about it or saw it being used and it had gone viral all over the world ... including on Tik Tok. Last week, we learned of a missing 16-year-old girl in the United States who used it in distress in a moving car and someone saw her and called 911. She was helped out of a dangerous situation and the person driving the car was arrested. We have gotten a lot of media interest in the Signal for Help and on the broader issue of what it means to support survivors of violence. Suzanne Duncan, Vice-President of Philanthropy at the Canadian Women's Foundation, addresses this huge spike in interest and what we can do to transform our culture of stigma to a culture of support.

The Trouble With Leaning In - Episode 11 (November 3)

Many of us know what it's like to be told to "lean in". And there are lots of articles on how women and equity-seeking people can better ask for what they need and want at work. It's all meant as helpful advice, but especially in a pandemic where we've experienced historic setbacks in gender equity in the labour market, how helpful is it? Does "leaning in" actually work? What are the more useful questions to ask about building gender justice at work, and what are some of the more useful answers? Sagal Dualeh, Director of the Investment Readiness Program at the Canadian Women's Foundation, speaks to this issue broadly, as well as to her specific work changing the landscape of entrepreneurship so more of us can access its opportunities and promises.

The Future for Millennials and Gen Z - Episode 10 (October 20)

In this back-to-school season, we launched the Got Your Back campaign to support girls and gender-diverse young people in their struggles with mental health, healthy relationships, identity, belonging, and confidence in the pandemic. It got us thinking about the future ramifications for diverse girls and young people – both millennials and Gen Z. We’re joined by Anjum Sultana, National Director of Public Policy & Strategic Communications at YWCA Canada, who shares what it would take to prevent a “lockdown generation” and why planning for the long-term is so important … especially since policy solutions too often take a short-term approach.

Trafficking: Learnings From the Grassroots - Episode 9 (October 6)

The issue of trafficking is in Canadian news media all the time. But what is it? Why is the term so confusing? And why is it that matters of policing, prosecution, and prison dominate public policy discussions when learnings from the grassroots tell us a different story of what will effectively address this form of gendered violence? The realities are complicated, the impacts are highly intersectional, and Karen Campbell, Director of Community Initiatives and Policy at the Canadian Women's Foundation, helps us disentangle them.

What #Elxn44 Results Mean for Gender Justice - Episode 8 (September 22)

After a swift campaign period, the federal election has wrapped up and the results are in. What do they actually mean when it comes to gender justice matters? What policy decisions and changes do we need to keep pushing forward with, especially at this time when gender equality gains in Canada are so at risk, especially for marginalized women? Anuradha Dugal, VP of Community Initiatives at the Canadian Women’s Foundation, shares some initial reactions and provides helpful insights.

Gender Justice and #Elxn44 - Episode 7 (September 8)

The September 20th federal election approaches fast and furious. What does it mean to "vote for gender justice" this time around? Ann Decter, Senior Director of Community Initiatives and Policy at the Canadian Women's Foundation, shares key issues for us to think about as we lift our pencils at the polls. She tells us what Up For Debate, an alliance of women’s rights and gender justice advocates, is all about. Plus, she gives us insight on why the votes of women and gender-diverse people matter so much in Canada ... even if your favourite candidate loses.

Yes, the Gender Pay Gap Exists, and it's Complicated - Episode 6 (August 25)

New legislation about gendered pay inequity will go into force on August 31, 2021. But there are still those who say that a gender pay gap doesn't exist in Canada at all. We're joined by Dr. Sarah Kaplan, Director of the Institute for Gender and the Economy and Distinguished Professor of Gender and the Economy and Professor of Strategic Management at Rotman. She addresses what the gender pay gap really is and what needs to happen to end it.

Evicted: How Homelessness Impacts Women - Episode 5 (August 11)

Experiences of homelessness are not a monolith; women and gender-diverse people may have unique experiences and unique challenges when faced with situations of housing precarity. But the lack of recognition, investment in, and tailored responses to these experiences has contributed to the ongoing invisibility of women's homelessness. Following on the heels of the forced encampment evictions at Lamport Stadium in Toronto, our host Emma Partridge sat down with Khulud Baig (Women's National Housing and Homelessness Network) and Kaitlin Schwan (The Shift) to explore the ways we have failed the unhoused community in Canada and what an intersectional, human-centred response to homelessness would involve.

“De-Platforming Misogyny”: How to Address Online Hate? - Episode 4 (July 28)

Technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV) occurs at shockingly high rates and has a devastating impact on those targeted. From the doxxing of public figures to the harassment of ordinary folks on social media, TFGBV can take many forms and abusers have a number of tools at their disposal. We sat down with Rosel Kim and Pam Hrick of the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) to discuss the recommendations for addressing TFGBV that came out of LEAF's Deplatforming Misogyny report.

Paid Sick Leave is a Feminist Issue - Episode 3 (July 14)

We were joined by social justice lawyer and advocate Fay Faraday and Vice President of Community Initiatives at the Foundation Anuradha Dugal to discuss the intersection of paid sick leave and gender. We explore the devaluing of living things within a for-profit, capitalist system and the ideological barriers that promote resistance to paid sick leave and other worker-centered policies.

Male Dominated: Harassment Beyond the Military - Episode 2 (June 30)

We've all seen the news about abuses in the military, but the problem of sexual harassment in Canada goes far beyond any one industry. On today's episode, we're asking the question; why are some industries so much worse for sexual harassment? To explore this with us, we're joined by author and women's rights advocate, Julie S. Lalonde, and Research and Training Director of AfterMeToo, Kate Cornell.

The Inequality of Parenting - Episode 1 (June 16)

On the first episode of this season, we're tackling the question—why do Mothers still take on the bulk of childcare, and what is this doing to their mental health and job prospects? We look beyond stereotypes to the underlying policy and economic reasons for this pattern.

Past Seasons

Join us for the third season of Alright, Now What?, a podcast that’s all about systemic change and the journey towards gender justice. This season we’re partnering with our friends at the Equality Fund and Community Foundations of Canada to bring you four jam-packed episodes with incredible guests who are engaged in fundraising and feminist activism. We’ll be digging deep into feminist philanthropy, and how can we redefine the future of giving.

Redefining Giving

In this first episode, we speak with the Equality Fund and Community Foundations of Canada about what we mean by “feminist philanthropy,” and the exciting conversations to come this season.

Challenging Best practices: Moving Past the “Conversation Industrial Complex”

Feminist philanthropists aren’t afraid to be challenged. This episode we’re joined by Vidya Nair from the Equality Fund and Kerry-Jo Ford Lyn from the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice to discuss how we can undo some of our long-held fundraising best practices in order to move into meaningful action.

Trust, Relationships, and Burn-Out

Building trusting relationships between all philanthropic partners is key to a thriving, equitable sector. This week on the show, we’re joined by Raisa Borshchigova from Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights to talk about how we can redefine giving through collective care, and by listening to and respecting the expertise of activists and front-line workers.

Building Accountable, Equitable Futures

In this final episode of the season, we talk about how to consistently build accountability and equity into our feminist fundraising and investing practices going forward, with guest Nadia Djinnit from the Cooperation Council of Ontario.

BONUS: Federal Budget 2021

In April, the federal government unveiled a federal budget that includes historic investment in childcare, action on gender-based violence, and other issues of relevance to gender equality matters in Canada. This bonus episode discusses some of the major elements of that budget and what the implications might be moving forward into the future.

In times of crisis, inequality grows and vulnerable communities can be left behind. We know that the isolation measures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic increase the risk of gender-based violence, but what can we do to end this violence for good? During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (Nov. 25 to Dec. 10), we’re talking all about violence prevention, intervention, and how we can #ActTogether to create change in this crucial moment for women and girls in Canada.

The Canadian Women’s Foundation and The Body Shop Canada are teaming up during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence to amplify how we can all #ActTogether. In this episode, we speak to Hilary Lloyd at The Body Shop about what the campaign means for her personally, and her work at The Body Shop.

16 Days, 16 Ways to Act Together

When we think about gender-based violence, we tend to think about physical abuse. But there are hidden forms of violence, including manipulation, control, name-calling, gaslighting, and isolation, that often go unaddressed. This week, we’re chatting with Anuradha Dugal and Jacqueline Hall about what emotional abuse looks like in the COVID-19 pandemic, and what we can do about it.

Emotional Abuse in the “Shadow Pandemic”

To end gender-based violence before it starts, we need violence prevention and intervention. And rather than seeing violence as something inevitable, advocates view it as something that can be ended with the right mix of policy, practice, funding, services, supports, and education. We’re closing this season by speaking to Rachael Crowder, the Executive Director of the Prince Edward Island Rape and Sexual Assault Centre, and Lisa Jewell,  the Outreach and Housing Coordinator at Fort Saint John Women’s Resource Society.

Ending Gender-Based Violence: What it Takes

Alright, Now What?, is a new podcast from the Canadian Women’s Foundation. On this show we’re asking: how does a pandemic affect the most marginalized people among us? And how do we get from there, to where we want to be?

On this season, we’ll be talking to our resident experts address the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on diverse women and girls, and which structures are failing women during this emergency. You’ll hear their insights about what’s happening in communities and systemic issues that have come to light this emergency. Then we’ll be looking forward, to uncover how we can use this challenging time not to go “back to normal,” but instead how we can chart the way toward a pandemic recovery that centres gender equality, and how you can take action.

The Future of Work

In our inaugural episode, we dig into why women in the workforce are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic and why it’s so important that “care work” be valued as real work.

The Future of Safety

How are those in violent situations seeking help during a pandemic? And why is it that we’re seeing the numbers of reported incidents actually decrease in some areas? Content note: this episode contains discussions of gender-based violence. If you or someone you know requires support services, consult our directory of services. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

The Future of Normal

For many folks, the “normal” status quo was not that great. We tackle the big question of why a new, post-pandemic normal must be built on gender equality.

The Future of #MeToo

With workplaces shifting to online and remote for the foreseeable future, has workplace sexual harassment improved – or simply changed?

The Future of All of Us

We’ve spent four episodes breaking down just how deeply COVID-19 is impacting women, and particularly low-income, racialized, and gender-diverse folks. But the question remains – what are we doing about it? And how can you help? This is the future of us, and that means all of us. In Canada, there are three key mobilizers of social change – service providers, government, and community activism. This week, we’re digging in to each so you can find your place in the movement.

BONUS: The Future of Recovery

We’re working on bringing you a second season, and we’re so excited about it. But for now, we have some pressing new data we need to share with you.

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