The MATCH International Women’s Fund kicked off Canada’s first ever Gender Equality Week with our event “Gender Equality in a Millennial World”.
On September 24, over 150 feminists packed the Rideau Club in Ottawa to discuss gender equality and millennials, global women’s movements and organizations, and Canada’s role in achieving gender equality in our lifetime.
“I don’t think there’s ever been more feminists packed into a space”, laughs The MATCH Fund CEO Jess Tomlin.
The evening featured keynote remarks from The Hon. Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, fresh findings from Abacus Data on gender equality and Canadian millennials, an unveiling of The MATCH Fund’s new campaign “No Quick Fix”, and a diverse panel discussion.
To start off the night, Hon. Maryam Monsef delivered an inspiring speech on how everyone benefits from gender equality, how instrumental millennials are in achieving this, and how it should be a top priority for Canada’s federal government. “We realize – after decades of feminists saying so – that gender equality isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do”, Monsef highlighted.
“This first-ever Gender Equality Week invites us to look at progress in advancing gender equality while looking at the work still required to make sure that all can reach their full potential.”
The provocative visuals play on the idea that there is no quick fix for global women’s issues such as gender equality, child marriage, and homophobia. Transforming the lives of women and girls around the world requires long-term progressive solutions through funding grassroots women’s rights organizations – not temporary band-aid solutions.
Finally, panelists Giséle Baraka Bashige, Kerry-Jo Ford Lyn, Julie Lalonde, Wariri Muhungi, David Coletto, and moderator Joanna Kerr took the stage to discuss the challenges and opportunities of gender equality and millennials.
Topics included: struggles unique to the millennial generation, the resilience of feminist movements in the digital age, social media and emotional wellness, and activist burnout. Watch the full panel here.
“This generation is the most gender fluid and the most sex-positive generation, and that says a lot about how we’re pushing binaries.” – Kerry-Jo Ford Lyn
Thank you to everyone who made this event a resounding success. To see feminists of all ages, backgrounds, and industries unite together to celebrate such a pivotal week for Canada is a strong indicator that the future truly is feminist.
The MATCH Fund team celebrating their hard work with a proud group photo.