Walk Leader: Girls from the Women’s Centre’s Girls Programs
Text by: Alexe Bernier
Photographs by: Alexe Bernier
How does “Adultism” impact girls? What about sexism, or racism?
Held as a part of the Jane’s Walk weekend, the Girls Walking Tour is an opportunity for girls to think critically about the world around them. Girls have lots to say about the things that happen around them – and lots of ideas for how adults in their lives can support them – and they were excited to have some listening ears.
Girls focused their thoughts to include highlights for five walking tour stops. At the “flyover fun zone”, one of the girls from our program for girls in grades 7-9 spoke about healthy relationships and the importance of consent in all areas of life. Another program member stopped at Langevin School to speak with the crowd about sexism in video games.
The girls from our program for girls in grades 5 and 6 spoke at the next three stops, and had some thoughts about racism experienced by racialized folks in the medical system. They had the group stop in front of Bridgeland Medical Centre to drive home the message that we’re all the same on the inside and shouldn’t be treated differently because of the colour of our skin. At St. Angela School, one of the girls voiced her opinions about the way that gendered stereotypes present themselves as “pink and blue things”, in particular the clothing and toy sections in stores. The last stop of our tour was at Luke’s Drug Mart. One girl spoke about the “pink tax” – the phenomenon in which women’s products are generally more expensive than men’s products; another drew attention to the fact that condoms can easily be found for free, but women and girls are left paying for pads and tampons.
In a society where the thoughts and opinions of girls are rarely taken seriously, it was truly incredible to see a large group of engaged, supportive adults who wanted to hear how they could make the lives of girls a little bit easier. We’re already looking forward to next year!