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5 ways the YWCA Metro Vancouver is shifting a culture of sexualization


Turn on the television, flip through a magazine, browse social media or walk through a mall and you’ll see the hypersexualized landscape that youth are growing up in.

From fashion advertising that uses images of half-clothed, semi-conscious looking young women, to the onslaught of self-sexualizing social media content, the YWCA Metro Vancouver is dedicated to shifting this culture of sexualization to one that represents women as the equally valued contributors to society they should be.

The YWCA in Vancouver has a long history of advocating for women’s rights. In our 119-year history, some of the social issues we have taken on include: housing, employment, immigrant settlement service and mentorship – to name just a few. Throughout the years, the YWCA Metro Vancouver has remained steadfast in its mission to end women’s inequality by addressing the root causes. One of our current areas of advocacy is around the sexualization of women and girls.

Here are five things that we are doing to shift the culture of sexualization:

  1. YWCA after-school youth education programs teach young people about healthy relationships and positive body image and encourage them to think critically about the media.
  2. At the annual YWCA Youth-led Conference, we focus on media literacy as a tool to combat the negative effects of sexualization and empower students to take action.
  3. We also create opportunities for mentorship and networking in which girls and young women can connect to positive female role models.
  4. Our Strong Girls, Strong World program empowers youth to advocate for social change and speak out against sexism and sexualization.
  5. The new Culture Shift project will address the sexualization of young girls and hyper-masculinization of young boys with a multisectoral approach. 

Interested in getting involved or donating to one of these awesome programs? Contact Lori Boland at lboland@ywcavan.org / 604 895 5819

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