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From November 25, the International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women and Girls, to December 6, our National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, YWCA Canada's Rose Campaign draws attention to violence against all women and girls and the need for action. The campaign name originates from a rose button created after 14 young women were murdered on December 6, 1989 in Montréal at L’École Polytechnique.

The weeknight streets are full, coffee shops are buzzing, and the radio stations are full of festive tunes. It’s a time of year YWCA Cambridge staff love: from their holiday themed window display to cookie decorating workshops, there’s no shortage of joy around here.

As the final days before the Equal Are We conference arrives we thought you might want to hear from the speakers themselves about why they are involved in this initiative. Each speaker has a story and a message to share with our audience and the community.

Just under a year ago, after lighting City Hall in Cambridge red to support the end to violence against women, Mayor Doug Craig sat with Kim Decker and Megan Lambe of the YWCA Cambridge to figure out how to change his community for the better. To educate them on things he admitted he didn’t know enough about and to push the conversation about gender equity into the forefront. How? A conference called Equal Are We.

What will you be doing on Friday, April 17, 2015? It seems like an ordinary day, among many ordinary days.  However it is a special day for all Canadians, as we celebrate the equality rights that were enshrined in our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on this date in 1985.

I am once again here to discuss another social media trend. You may have ‘spotted’ it in your social media surfing travels. What was once called ‘Overheard’ (a series of Facebook pages created for people on any given campus to post interesting and/or ridiculous conversations they’d heard at their universities) has been replaced. Now there is ‘Spotted’: a collection of pages from different universities and colleges where students can post humorous observations of their classmates, anonymously.

Until five years ago, I never gave fitness or nutrition a second thought. I skipped breakfast, I went to work and had a brownie and a latte for lunch. By the time dinner rolled around, I was so hungry that I would make an entire box of pasta and my partner and I would eat all of it. I would park myself on the couch afterward and bore myself to sleep with television.

I had a few moments to catch up with Mya Kidson recently, and she’s someone we think you should know all about! A Roots of Empathy student and an active member in YWCA Cambridge Girls’ Centre programs, Mya is an outstanding leader, but not a “typical leader”… and that’s worth celebrating. 

Dear Always:
We were one of the 30 million plus viewers who saw your Like a Girl Campaign video, released a few weeks ago. We loved your message: it is one of empowerment, and the social stigma it challenges is important, timely and absolutely necessary. However, when paired with a bit of critical thinking, your message came apart for us. But let’s talk about it.

Each year on March 8, SAAC proudly joins in the celebration of International Women's Day: a day to champion the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing attention on areas which require further action. Each year since 1911, the United Nations declares an annual theme for International Women’s Day: this year, the theme is Inspiring Change. The question as I see it for this year is twofold: what areas require further action, and what can inspire this change?

An idealist is someone who says, 'prostitution objectifies women. It can involve exploitation and coercion of vulnerable girls and women. It is risky and can lead to extreme violence. So we must ban it'. A pragmatist is someone who says, 'prostitution objectifies women. It can involve exploitation and coercion of vulnerable girls and women. It is risky and can lead to extreme violence. So we must do what's possible to prevent exploitation and coercion, to reduce the risks, and to keep women safe from violence'.

Well, wasn’t that a party? It was a lot of fun watching Canadian hockey players win gold twice, giving our athletes a total of 25 medals. Not quite as many as the Own the Podium organization and the Canadian Olympic Committee had hoped, but still pretty good for a smallish country, right?

One of the best parts of the Christmas season is all the wrapping up (no pun intended) of all the best of 2013.  The past two weeks, we've seen some pretty great compilations, but here are the ones that we think best capture the wins, losses and everything in between for women in 2013 (in no particular order, of course, because we just can't choose a favorite):

Dear Event Planners – We are lots of women. We think it’s time we introduced ourselves. You’ve been sending us invitations to your fundraisers and tradeshows for some time now, but we think you must be mistaking us for someone else.

Media has become a treacherous terrain for young girls. From objectification to victim blaming, its no surprise mental health and suicide rates in teenage girls are on the rise.  On average, teenage girls are exposed to over 10,000 ads per week. Exposure to the kind of grossly photo shopped images severely impacts a girl's ability to concentrate and feel self-worth: 77% of high school girls report they are unhappy with their bodies.

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YWCA Cambridge (Head Office)

55 Dickson Street
Cambridge, ON
N1R 7A5

Monday-Saturday: 9 AM - 4 PM
(519) 267-6444

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20 Dickson Street (Unit 101)
Cambridge, Ontario
N1R 1T4

(519) 622-9960

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As a member agency of YWCA Canada, YWCA Cambridge is part of a national movement known as the country’s oldest and largest women's multi-service organization, the largest national provider of shelter, literacy, life skills, employment and counselling programs, and is the second largest provider of childcare services in Canada.

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