(Toronto) This past Monday I attended the press conference as the Minister of Status of Women Maryam Monsef revealed Canada’s “Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence.” The new strategy focuses on boys and men being part of the discussion and the solution to building safer communities for us all. It’s an idea that’s catching on fast.
Last night I spoke in Calgary and meet some truly inspirational men who are a part of WiseGuyz. WiseGuyz engages junior high boys in a weekly program that has four modules: human rights, sexual health, gender, and positive relationships. Very similar to ManUp in Ottawa. I know how important it is to have young men involved with preventing gender based violence, especially when it allows them to grow and talk openly about issues in their lives. I wish we had this when I was in high school.
“WiseGuyz not only has an impact on the boys themselves, but also their peers and the culture of the school itself, making it a place where students have empathy and stand up for each other.”
Prevention is a part of Canada’s new strategy and critical to ending gender-based violence (GBV). The Government of Canada will:
- enhance funding to implement and test ways to prevent GBV, including child maltreatment and teen dating violence;
- share practical knowledge on promising and best practices to prevent GBV with policy makers and service providers;
- engage youth, including men and boys, on GBV-related themes and the important role that they play in violence prevention through awareness initiatives;
- support programs and services that help meet the needs of urban Indigenous Peoples through the Urban Programming for Indigenous Peoples; and
- continue to support a range of prevention activities for diverse populations, including Indigenous families.
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