Paulette Senior is the President and CEO of the Canadian Women's Foundation, and is recognized as one of the most respected and vocal women leaders in the country. Before joining the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Ms. Senior was the CEO of YWCA Canada — the oldest and largest multi-service women’s organization in the country — for 10 years. She has led, managed, and operated shelters, employment programs and housing services, where she supported women, children, and youth in some of Toronto's most economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods. She has worked at Yellow Brick House, YWCA Toronto, Macaulay Child Development Centre, Lawrence Heights Community Health Centre, and Central Neighbourhood House. She has also held numerous volunteer and leadership roles and is currently Chair of Women’s College Hospital, Canada's leading academic ambulatory hospital in women's health.
Is gender equality sliding backwards?
This is a consistent question that I’m hearing from women and girls across Canada. And the concern is valid, particularly as we mark International Women's Day.
When we look around the world, it’s clear that hard-won progress can quickly be lost. Women are still blamed for being sexually assaulted, too often our careers are stalled because of a lack of affordable childcare, and world leaders are casually espousing sexist and misogynistic beliefs without repercussion.
For most of my adult life, every February I have celebrated and commemorated African (Black) History month with family and friends at community and organizational events across the country. It’s been a precious time to learn of the contributions of African Canadians in the past up to the present, reflect and appreciate their legacy, and instill a strong sense of pride in the minds and hearts of young people, African Canadian youth in particular, most of whom have been unaware of the positive impact of their ancestors and present day heroes on the larger Canadian society.