Canadian Government kick-starts push to bring men and boys into fight for gender equality

Trumpeting the need for men and boys to enlist in the fight for gender equality, the federal government is awarding $562,000 to four organizations in a bid to lay the foundation for its promised national strategy.

Women and Gender Equality Minister Maryam Monsef is set to announce the funding Friday in Calgary, where she will also hail the release of a report prepared by her department to summarize months of cross-country consultations about how men and boys can “unlearn” what the government deems “outdated gender stereotypes” that harm everyone.

The report calls for programs that use role models to encourage men and boys to support gender equality, champion private companies that support these ideas, and create “safe spaces” in places like schools where men and boys can discuss healthy masculinity and ideas about what it means to be a man.

Groups receiving money include the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, which will get $212,000 to promote sports figures as gender equality role models. Catalyst Canada will receive $100,000 for programs designed to encourage men to “interrupt sexism in the workplace,” and a group called FOXY will get $125,000 for programs aimed at Indigenous youth in the Northwest Territories.

Finally, Next Gen Men, an organization designed to promote “positive masculinity,” will get $125,000 to build networks of “pro-feminist male leaders” to engage with feminist and women’s groups on gender equality.