Changemaker April 2024

Dear friends and supporters,

Why do I count myself in for gender equality?

I’ve been thinking about it since we launched the new national Count Me In campaign in March, and the reason goes back to my childhood.

I was raised by young parents who experienced many harms. It was hard for them to stay well and positive, and that has had ripple effects in my own life. I also grew up in rural communities that continue to face many of the challenges and barriers that the Canadian Women’s Foundation works to address – poverty, gender-based violence, lack of access to services, supports, and healthy role models.

I saw firsthand how experiences of gender equality vary widely depending on social circumstances. I began to understand that the right interventions and services at the right time can change lives, families, and communities. I wanted to help create that change.

Those early experiences led me toward a career in non-profit organizations, and the work I do now at the Foundation. Every day, I feel lucky to be with all of you, a diverse community of changemakers. I know that our voices and actions matter.

I invite you to reflect on your journey. Why do YOU count yourself in for gender equality?

You are all essential to achieving the vision of a gender-equal Canada where every woman, girl, and gender-diverse person has the power, safety, support, and rights to thrive, today and tomorrow.

In this issue, you’ll hear from other community members of the Canadian Women’s Foundation and learn about more ways to count yourself in for gender equality.

With gratitude,

Suzanne Duncan
Acting President and CEO
Canadian Women’s Foundation

Image of woman's face with the words Count Me In over the image

Thank You for Counting Yourself In for Gender Equality

We’re so grateful you’re with us.

If you’re reading this, you are counted among the 67,000-plus people who are part of a powerful movement for gender equality and justice. That’s enough people to populate a city in Canada. Or fill three massive sports arenas. Together, we are an incredible force for change.

But we need to keep up the momentum to ensure no woman, girl, Two Spirit, trans, or nonbinary person feels out of options, out of sight, out of time, or out of mind.

We ask you to help us invite others to count themselves in for gender equality: friends, family members, community groups, professional networks. So many people want change where they live and throughout Canada. They’re knowledgeable, active, and generous but they’re not sure where to start.

What Type of Changemaker Are You?

Take our quiz to find out what approach to gender equality resonates most with you:

Challengers: You have a vocal, truth-to-power stance

Creators: You flex creative muscles to inspire change and break barriers

Collaborators: You embrace the power of the collective and are energized by it

Connectors: You’re a networker who brings unusual suspects together for changemaking

Find out more about your changemaker personality and traits.

Count Yourself In for Mothers and Caregivers

When you support the Foundation you’re enabling programs and services throughout Canada that help diverse mothers, caregivers, women, and gender-diverse people access programs that support them to move out of violence, out of poverty, and into confidence and leadership.

Vinaya recently shared her story about how the Dream Cuisines program, delivered by our Grantee Partner Flavours of Hope in Vancouver, BC, helped her launch her food business. The program is designed to be flexible for participants who are balancing caregiving, so that it’s not a barrier to participation or success.

Vinaya’s Story
A few years ago, I was new to Canada with a newborn baby. I was passionate about food and wanted to share my unique creations with the world, but I didn’t have a clear path.

I had so many questions. How could I access a commercial kitchen? What licenses would I need to get? What packaging would work? The barriers to business success are real for women like me.

I overcame them thanks to the amazing team at the Dream Cuisines Food Business Program at Flavours of Hope.

Dream Cuisines gave me and other newcomer women a runway to take off and fly, empowering us with business skills, confidence, and community.

Vinaya, a participant in the Dream Cuisines Food Business Program, working in the kitchen.We got access to kitchens and opportunities to sell our products, as well as help with issues like pricing and marketing. As we progressed, we got so much encouragement.

My support system is so strong now. I know my food creations connect with people here. I feel like I belong.

On top of that, I’m running a business that puts me in charge of my schedule and makes it easier to balance childcare. I’m working to scale my business in new ways. My days are long but I love interacting with customers and seeing them come back again.

Vinaya launched Elaichi Patisserie after participating in the Dream Cuisines Food Business Program, which received funding from the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Honour a Mother or Caregiver

Mother's Day tribute card image featuring the words: You Make My Life Brighter

With Mother’s Day approaching, there’s a special way to honour a caregiver in your life.

As of April 30, you can make a tribute gift and send a special e-card in recognition of a loved one.

Your gift will support programs, advocacy actions, and policy recommendations to make things better for mothers and caregivers.

You Made International Women’s Day a Fantastic Success

Your support and participation made our International Women’s Day celebrations sing. We are so grateful to every person, organization, and partner who took action.

More than 1,500 people registered for Equity at Work: Cultivating Career Growth and Inclusivity, an event we hosted in partnership with The Globe and Mail.

We also partnered with the Canadian Journalism Foundation to host Reporting with Care: Ethical Journalism in the Shadow of Intimate Partner Violence, moderated by Anna Maria Tremonti.

A huge thank you to Giant Tiger for raising $45,000 for the Foundation through sales of their International Women’s Day T-shirts and sweatshirts, featuring a custom design by Ottawa-based floral muralist Emilie Darlington.

We’re excited for next year’s campaign, which will feature a new Canadian artist to help drive change and raise funds for women, girls, and gender-diverse people in celebration of International Women’s Day.
– Alison Scarlett, Head of Public Relations and Communications, Giant Tiger

An image of three women sitting at an event with an image of a floral design on a screen behind them

Image: The Foundation’s Anuradha Dugal (from left), Gabrielle Hargrove, Senior Vice-President, Chief Human Resources Officer at Giant Tiger, and Artist Emilie Darlington, at the company’s International Women’s Day Celebration.

We also want to thank Nokia’s StrongHer Canada employee network for raising over $11,000 for the Foundation at their International Women’s Day event. The StrongHer network aims to foster an environment where people of all genders have equal opportunities throughout the company.

This collaboration is a testament to Nokia’s belief in the power of community support, feminist action, and the pursuit of gender justice as pathways to a more equitable and just world.

Image shows groups of women staff members at Nokia making heart symbols with their hands for International Women's Day

Feminist Creator Prize Winners Announced

The Feminist Creator Prize, the only award of its kind in Canada, acknowledges, encourages, and supports diverse feminist creators who bolster feminist voices and challenge pervasive gendered digital hate and abuse. Presented in honour of award-winning journalist, activist, and feminist Michele Landsberg, each winner receives a prize of $5,000.

Congratulations to the winners, who were announced on International Women’s Day:

Madelyn Chung, Feminist Creator Prize Winner

Madelyn Chung


Hillary LeBlanc, Feminist Creator Prize Winner

Hillary LeBlanc


Coalition of Muslim Women Kitchener-Waterloo, Feminist Creator Prize Winner

Coalition of Muslim Women Kitchener-Waterloo

Why do we need a Feminist Creator Prize?
Online abuse and harassment against women, girls, and Two Spirit, trans, and nonbinary people is a pressing and complex problem. Now is the time to challenge digital hate by bolstering and amplifying the diverse feminist voices who pave the way for safety, justice, and equality online.

Listen to our in-depth podcast series on digital safety featuring experts and feminist creators, and learn more about gendered digital hate and harassment in Canada.

Get Informed: Listen to our Alright, Now What? Podcast

Catch up on our recent conversations with these experts: