January 18, 2017 - by Shari Graydon

Woman in blazer standing outsideThis post was originally published by Informed Opinions’.

Celebrated American poet and critic, Ezra Pound, in his considered advice to beginning poets offered the following advice: “Pay no attention to the criticism of men who have never themselves written a notable work.”

But he could have been speaking to female opinionators a century later. So many of the trolls who trash women daring to comment in prominent places “have never themselves written a notable work.”

A few years ago, when speaking with members of Women in Capital Markets in Toronto, I was reminded of how much more of an obstacle such criticism seems to be to female commentators, relative to their male counterparts. The women with whom I sat agreed that we tend to take negative feedback much harder, and more to heart.

January 17, 2017 - by Jessica Howard - 2 Comments

Darlene smilingPsst! It’s contagious! And we’re not talking about this season’s strain of the flu.

We’re talking about inspiration, which we can all do our part to spread by sharing positive stories, ideas or experiences that might help others in their own lives.

Inspiration is just what we need at this time of year, when we’re envisioning fresh starts, new challenges, and resolutions (that we’ll actually stick to!). So today, we’re sharing two stories that inspired us in the past year and asking you to share what, or who, motivates you!

January 12, 2017 - by Jessica Howard

Women sitting in cafeDid you come back from the holidays feeling like it wasn’t exactly a holiday?

Are you back at work, staring blankly at a mountain of emails in your inbox, realizing that you never actually had time to put your feet up amid the whirlwind of travel plans, family gatherings, and last-minute-gift dashes?

If your own needs tend to fall off of your to-do list, now is a great time to think about self-care. And it’s not about spending hundreds of dollars at a spa or committing to daily meditation—it’s just about setting aside pockets of time for activities that help you unwind and reset.

January 10, 2017 - by Jill Andrew

Woman looking awayI never forgot when my aunt stood up and berated my mother in front of a table full of family and friends for allowing me to have, “one more piece of meat” during a holiday meal.  Funnily, most kids can’t wait to sit at the ‘adult table.’ It’s a right of passage I suppose. But for me, being a kid with the adults simply meant more eyes, more potential pot shots under the guise of concern, tough love and reminders to sit up straight.  Sure, the latter had health benefits I’d appreciate later in life but the rest? Body shaming.  

Last month, a Mall Santa in the town of Forrest City, North Carolina, resigned after fat-shaming a boy who visited him. “Lay off the hamburgers and French fries,” said Santa to Anthony Mayse, a 9-year-old boy who had merely asked Santa for an iPod Touch and Drone. He left Santa’s lap in tears. 

December 15, 2016 - by Sarah Ruddle - 1 Comments

Girl having fun swinging in the air

This is the fourth post in our  Confidence Stories  series in partnership with Always®. Confidence Stories features stories, tips and ideas for supporting girls and building confidence.

At the Canadian Women’s Foundation, we want every girl to believe in herself and realize she matters. Every day we work to better understand the challenges that girls face and invest in the programs that help girls move into adolescence with confidence.

My work at the Canadian Women’s Foundation gives me a unique advantage as the parent of a 5-year-old girl: I have the ultimate guide to raising girls right at my fingertips! I know that the evidence-based approach to investing in girls’ programs WORKS. I’ve seen the impacts in the research, in the Foundation’s results, and in my daughter. 

December 7, 2016 - by Victoria Fleming

Woman looking at viewerUnderreporting of sexual assault is a problem we hear about frequently in Canada and around the world. Whether that underreporting is a result of police negligence, underfunding of sexual assault centres, police forces and labs, a biased judicial process, or poor sexual education in schools, what’s often missing from the discussion is recognition of how culture influences our understanding of sexual assault.

Culture is significant - it shapes who we are, our morals, ethics, principles, and how we connect to one another. Patriarchy, as a dominant force in Canadian culture, shapes who we become as individuals and who we are as a society. 

November 30, 2016 - by Naomi Fox

Woman looking at cameraWhen someone tells you about their experience of sexual assault, it can be difficult to know how to react. You may struggle to know what to say or worry about saying the wrong thing. You may want to help and be supportive, but not know how.

It’s important to understand that when someone shares their experience with you, the best thing you can do is listen to their feelings, thoughts and needs, and to support them in their healing process, whatever that may be. Everyone who experiences sexual assault will have different ways to handle the situation and to heal.