March 14, 2017 - by Diane Hill - 1 Comments

Woman looking at skyDoes the idea of becoming a leader make you anxious? Are you already so over-extended that the thought of ‘leaning in’ makes you ready to fall over? Do you think becoming a leader means being aggressive—and that’s just not you? Many women seem to resist taking on leadership. Maybe the problem isn’t us, but our concept of leadership itself.

IN THE NORTHERN ALBERTA TOWN of Fort Mackay, a group of Aboriginal and Métis girls sit quietly in a school classroom. Their eyes are closed.

It is Day One of the Friendly PEERsuasian program, where these adolescent girls will learn healthy ways to cope with stress and peer pressure. One of the main goals of the girls' program, which runs in ten schools across the region, is to help the girls avoid the deadly trap of substance abuse that has claimed so many young people in their communities. If all goes well, they will also learn to become healthy role models—PEERsuaders— for younger girls.

March 8, 2017 - by Jessica Howard

Crowd of women waving hands in the air

Be bold for change!

That’s the rallying cry of this year’s International Women’s Day – an annual celebration of women’s achievements and a call to action for gender parity.

What’s inspiring us today is that we’re already seeing bold action on gender equality in Canada:

-Late last year, the government announced that civil rights activist Viola Desmond will be the first woman to appear on Canada’s $10 bill, a symbolic but significant recognition of women’s and African Canadians’ contributions to Canada.

March 8, 2017 - by Paulette Senior

Crowd of women with hands raised

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.

March 6, 2017 - by Diane Hill

Two young women looking at cameraAfter a long break, I’ve started working out again. Every morning I sweat along with the cheerful woman on my exercise DVD as she calls out the standard encouragements: “You’re doing great!” and “We’re almost there!”

But she also says something I find profound: “Challenge to change!” In other words, if my workout isn’t making me uncomfortable it probably won’t give me the results I want. The idea motivates me when I’ve had enough, allowing me to do 10 (or two) more jumping jacks.

March 1, 2017 - by Diane Hill

Woman smilingYes or no? Should you or shouldn’t you? Should you apply for that promotion? Should you have children, or more children, or no children? Go back to school? Buy that house? Get married? Run for office?

Big life choices like these aren’t easy. Since they usually require weighing our own needs against those of others, they can be especially tricky for women. Many of us have trouble even noticing our needs. Most of the time our first instinct is to put others first, even if it means acting against our own best interests.

February 23, 2017 - by Mike Reynolds

Parents walking with child

This article was originally published on Puzzling Posts.

We went on a family vacation late last year. It was a wonderful family experience where the girls got to play in the ocean, watch monkeys swing through trees, and learn that there are more places on earth than Ottawa.

And yes, we pulled our oldest daughter from school for the week to make this happen. Away from math classes, away from science projects, and away from whatever style of dodgeball teachers are able to get 6-year-olds to participate in.

February 21, 2017 - by Stacey Rodas

Girl smilingIt’s an unfortunate fact: Every single day, girls in Canada are exposed to thousands of media messages telling them how to look, think, and feel.

The impact of this on girls’ well-being is serious: We know that through constant exposure to sexualized imagery, women and girls learn that their primary value comes from their physical appearance.

We also know that when girls are socialized to obsessively focus on their appearance, they pay a steep price.

All this made us wonder: What would happen if girls were in the position to create the messages they see?