About Women's March Canada

Our organization

Mission Statement

Inspiring, uniting and leading the charge for the advancement of women across Canada.

Vision Statement

Making the equality of women in Canada the new norm.

For more information about Women's March Canada’s work, please review our Annual ReportStrategic Plan and Audited Financial Statements.

H.E.R.S.

The work that we do, our vision and values can be explained in a unifying framework called H.E.R.S., which spells out the women’s rights priorities of Health, Economic Security, Representation, and Safety:

  • Health — Healthcare is the foundation of women’s well-being and economic stability. Women’s March Canada advocates for access to affordable and inclusive women’s healthcare regardless of nationality, age, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
  • Economic Security — Women are powerful drivers of economic growth, and their economic empowerment benefits all nations. Women’s March Canada supports the dismantling of economic barriers that obstruct women’s full and equal access to local, national, and global economic systems.
  • Representation — Women are under-represented globally, adversely affecting our collective health, safety, and economic security. Women’s March Canada seeks fair and just representation of women locally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Safety — Every woman has the need and right to feel physically secure, and security for women should be assured through sound legal practices. Women’s March Canada stands behind the principle that women are not to be held accountable for actions that are outside their control — particularly regarding all forms of assault — and that fair legal action must be applied to prevent these crimes.

Guiding Principles

Women’s rights are human rights, regardless of a woman’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual identity, gender expression, economic status, age or disability. We practice empathy with the intent to learn about the intersecting identities of each other. We will suspend our first judgement and do our best to lead without ego. We follow the principles of Kingian nonviolence, which are defined as follows:

  • Principle 1: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. It is a positive force confronting the forces of injustice and utilizes the righteous indignation and spiritual, emotional, and intellectual capabilities of people as the vital force for change and reconciliation.
  • Principle 2: The Beloved Community is the framework for the future. The nonviolent concept is an overall effort to achieve a reconciled world by raising the level of relationships among people to a height where justice prevails and persons attain their full human potential.
  • Principle 3: Attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil. The nonviolent approach helps one analyze the fundamental conditions, policies, and practices of the conflict rather than reacting to one’s opponents or their personalities.
  • Principle 4: Accept suffering without retaliation for the sake of the cause to achieve our goal. Self-chosen suffering is redemptive and helps the movement grow in a spiritual as well as a humanitarian dimension. The moral authority of voluntary suffering for a goal communicates the concern to one’s own friends and community as well as to the opponent.
  • Principle 5: Avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as external physical violence. The nonviolent attitude permeates all aspects of the campaign. It provides a mirror type reflection of the reality of the condition to one’s opponent and the community at large. Specific activities must be designed to maintain a high level of spirit and morale during a nonviolent campaign.

Unity Principles

The Women's March on Washington convened a broad and diverse group of leaders to produce an intersectional platform known as the Unity Principles. Representing a new understanding of the connected nature of our struggles and a vision of our collective liberation, the Unity Principles continue to be a guiding light for our movement.

Please note, our board of directors, our chapter leaders, along with dozens of additional leaders from marginalized and impacted communities, will be updating the following Unity Principles as we release our Strategic Plan in 2019. If you'd like to help update these Unity Principles, from a Canadian and Intersectional viewpoint, please comment below. 

We believe that Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights. We must create a community in which women — including Black women, Indigenous women, poor women, immigrant women, disabled women, lesbian, queer, and trans women, and women of every religious, non-religious, and atheist background — are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.

Ending Violence

Women deserve to live full and healthy lives, free of all forms of violence against our bodies. We believe in accountability and justice in cases of police brutality and in ending racial profiling and targeting of communities of colour. It is our moral imperative to dismantle the gender and racial inequities within the criminal justice system and to address the systemic violence women experience in the form of rape, domestic abuse, and trafficking.

Missing and murdered Indigenous women is an issue affecting Indigenous people in Canada, including First Nations, Inuit, Métis and Native American communities. It has been described as a Canadian national crisis.

Women of Jewish and Muslim faiths deserve to practice their religion free to practice how and wherever they choose. The growing sentiments of Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism around the world are facing an increase in the harassment, intimidation, and violence that Muslim and Jewish women are facing on a daily basis.

Reproductive Rights

Abortion in Canada is legal at all stages of pregnancy and is governed by the Canada Health Act. While some non-legal obstacles exist, Canada is one of only a few nations with no legal restrictions on abortion.

Women's March Canada believes in reproductive freedom. We do not accept any cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive health care services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care, and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education. This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location, or education.

LGBTQ2S+ Rights

We firmly declare that LGBTQ2S+ Rights are Human Rights and that it is our obligation to uplift, expand, and protect the rights of our gay, lesbian, bi, queer, two-spirited, trans, or gender non-conforming brothers, sisters, and siblings. We must have the power to control our bodies and be free from gender norms, expectations, and stereotypes.

Workers’ Rights

We believe in an economy powered by transparency, accountability, security, and equity. All women should be paid equitably, with access to affordable childcare, sick days, healthcare, paid family leaves, and healthy work environments. All workers — including domestic and farm workers, undocumented workers, and migrant workers - must be included in our labour protections, must have the right to organize and fight for a living minimum wage. We stand in full solidarity with the sex workers’ rights movement. We recognize that exploitation for sex and labour in all forms is a violation of human rights.

Civil Rights

We believe civil rights are our birthright, including voting rights, freedom to worship without fear of intimidation or harassment, freedom of speech, and protections for all people regardless of race, gender, age, or disability.

Disability Rights

We believe that all women’s issues are issues faced by women with disabilities and Deaf women. We seek to break barriers to access, inclusion, independence, and the full enjoyment of human rights at home and around the world. We strive to be fully included in and contribute to all aspects of life, economy, and culture.

Immigrant Rights

We believe in immigrant and refugee rights regardless of status or country of origin. We believe migration is a human right and that no human being is illegal.

Environmental Justice

We believe that every person and every community has the right to clean water, clean air, and access to and enjoyment of public lands. We believe that our environment and our climate must be protected and that our land and natural resources cannot be exploited for corporate gain or greed — especially at the risk of public safety and health.

Please note, our board of directors, our chapter leaders, along with dozens of additional leaders from marginalized and impacted communities, will be updating the following Unity Principles as we release our Strategic Plan in 2019. If you'd like to help update these Unity Principles, from a Canadian and Intersectional viewpoint, please comment below. 

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