Not only because Watson, as the U.N. Women’s Global Goodwill Ambassador, called for an end to gender inequality, but also because she implored men to become an integral part of the solution. “How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited, or feel welcome to participate?” she said.
While she admitted that the term ‘feminism’ has experienced a backlash, the sentiment behind the word – true equality for both genders – is the driving force behind the HeForShe campaign. “If we do nothing, it will take 75 years before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work; 15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children; and at current rates, it won’t be until 2086 before all rural African girls can have a secondary education,” she explained.
What Gender Inequality Looks Like in North America
Even in North America, where the feminist movement of the ‘60s and ‘70s made great strides for women’s rights, the gender divide remains. In Canada, for example, women working full time earn about 80% of what men make for the same work.
Gender-based violence also affects Canadian women. On any given day, more than 3,300 women (along with their children) are forced to sleep in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence. And on average, every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her partner.
Cuts to women’s services and organizations have reduced services for women in need. Funding for Status of Women Canada was cut in 2006, resulting in the closure of 12 of 16 offices, and some three dozen other major national and local organizations working on improving women’s lives have been forced to shut down due to lack of funds.
Fortunately, there are still thousands of charities across Canada working to support women with much needed programs and services. Many of them rely on donations for their ability to continue operations. If you’re interested in supporting the equality movement, and women’s charities in particular, you can search Chimp for a charity in your area or, take a look at these charities:
If you’d like to support the HeForShe campaign in Canada, this is the place to do it. The campaign aims to mobilize one billion men and boys globally as agents of change in ending the inequalities faced by women and girls around the world. A donation to UN Women Canada supports women’s programs like HeForShe.
The Young Women’s Christian Association has been operating across Canada since 1870, and works to foster equal opportunities and a better future for women by way of short-term housing options, employment and health programs, and services for single mothers.
This charity was launched in 1991 as a mechanism for women to help other women and change the systems that created inequality through charitable giving. Since then it has invested over $40 million in charitable support to over 1,200 community programs and to every woman’s shelter across Canada.
Start Your Own Fundraising Group for Gender Equality
With Chimp, you can raise money for any charity in Canada and as many charities as you like. Talk to us — we can help you get started!