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TDSB Gender Equity Guide

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TDSB Gender Equity Guide

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This curriculum resource guide was compiled by past and present staff members of the Equity Studies
Department, the Human Rights Office, and Library and Learning Resources of the Toronto District School
Board. As educators, we have an important responsibility to provide and ensure a safe, positive, and
inclusive learning environment that is respectful of all students from diverse communities, backgrounds,
and abilities.

Special thanks to all our contributors, reviewers, and community organizations who contributed to this
Gender Equity Resource Guide:

Effi Kapoulis                                    TDSB Equity Department
Wayne Lee (Project Leader)                       Yaw Obeng, Supervising Principal
Carolyn Proulx                                   Carmela Manuelle, Program Assistant
Scott Richards
Heather Strupat                                  David Ast, Instructional Leader
                                                 Wayne Lee, Instructional Leader
                                                 Moira Wong, Instructional Leader

                                                 Patricia Hayes, Human Rights Officer

Aboriginal Canada                                Another Story Bookstore
Canadian Broadcasting Canada                     City of Toronto
Green Dragon Press                               Library and Archives Canada
MediaWatch                                       Ontario Women’s Directorate
Statistics Canada                                Status of Women Canada
TDSB Drama and Dance Department                  TDSB English/Literacy Department
TDSB French Department                           TDSB Student and Community Equity
White Ribbon Campaign

Gender Equity Resource Guide
©2006 Toronto District School Board
Reproduction of this document for use by schools within the Toronto District School Board is
For anyone other than Toronto District School Board staff, no part of this publication may be
reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any other means,
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission
of the Toronto District School Board. This permission must be requested and obtained in writing
        Toronto District School Board            Tel:   416-397-2595
        Library and Learning Resources           Fax:   416-395-8357
        3 Tippet Road                            Email: curriculumdocs@tdsb.on.ca
        Toronto, ON M3H 2V1
Every reasonable precaution has been taken to trace the owners of copyrighted material and to
make due acknowledgement. Any omission will gladly be rectified in future printings.
This document has been reviewed for equity.
Table of Contents

Purpose of the Gender Equity Resource Guide                                             1

What is Gender Equity Education?                                                        1

Facts and Statistics                                                                    2

Sex and Gender                                                                          6

What is Gender?                                                                         7

Controversial and Sensitive Issues in TDSB Classrooms –
Frequently Asked Questions                                                              9

The Toronto District School Board’s Equity Foundation Statement                        10

The Toronto District School Board’s Commitments to Equity Policy Implementation        11

Inclusive Curriculum                                                                   13

Importance of Equity Education                                                         14

A Note to Educators: How to Use the Resources in This Guide                            15

Suggested Curricular Activities for Classes and Schools                                16

Instructional Strategies to Promote Gender Equity in the Classroom                     17

Instructional Strategies to Promote Gender Equity throughout the School                18

Instructional Strategies to Promote Gender Equity in Health and Physical Education     20

Instructional Strategies to Promote Gender Equity in Drama and Dance                   21

Gender Issues in the Media                                                             23

The “Boy Code” and Literacy                                                            26

Sample Lesson Plans                                                                    29

The “Persons Case”                                                                     46

Great Canadians                                                                        49

Memorable Canadian Men and Women                                                       51

Days of Significance                                                                   55

Women’s History Month                                                                  57

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women                       61
The White Ribbon Campaign                                               63

What Every Man Can Do to Help End Men’s Violence Against Women          66

Breaking Men’s Silence to End Men’s Violence                            69

International Women’s Day                                               70

Awards                                                                  72

Community Resource Organizations                                        73

Performances                                                            75

Print Resources                                                         76

TDSB Professional Library Services                                      79

French Resources                                                        82

Video/DVD Resources                                                     83

Professional Resources for Teachers                                     85

Websites                                                                87

Appendix A: Glossary                                                    89

Appendix B: Instructional Strategies for Gender Equity Teaching         91

Appendix C: How to Handle Harassment in the Hallways in Three Minutes   92

Appendix D: Challenging Sexist Jokes and Sexist Language                93

Appendix E: How Schools Shortchange Girls                               94

Appendix F: Equity Department and System Contacts                       95

Appendix G: Equitable Schools Website                                   96

Appendix H: Fran Endicott Equity Centre                                 97
Purpose of the Gender Equity Resource Guide
This resource guide offers instructional strategies, curriculum connections, programs, presenters/
speakers, performances, community organization contact information, titles of print and video resources,
and websites to educators, administrators, and school communities in the Toronto District School Board

This guide assists both elementary and secondary panel teachers to integrate gender equity into
curriculum planning, programming, and implementation. The Equity Department encourages all educators
to use the Gender Equity Resource Guide throughout the school year to promote and ensure an inclusive
curriculum in their planning and programming.

What is Gender Equity Education?
The TDSB is committed to supporting all students. Studies show that families begin to treat their children
differently, based on gender, almost from the moment of birth. Educators are influential through their
approach toward raising students’ awareness of gender stereotypes and barriers at a very early stage in
children’s education. Together, educators and students can move from awareness to understanding, and
from understanding to eliminating gender barriers wherever they may be found. This area of equity can
be used to enrich classroom programs in many ways and ultimately achieve the goal of eliminating
gender-based barriers.

Gender equity education involves the inclusion of the experiences, perceptions, and perspectives of girls
and women, as well as those of boys and men, in all aspects of education. It will initially focus on girls in
order to redress historical inequities. Inclusive strategies promote the participation of girls and support
boys who are excluded by more traditional teaching styles and curriculum content.

All students have the right to a learning environment that is gender equitable. All education programs and
career decisions should be based on a student’s interest and ability, regardless of gender. Gender equity
incorporates a consideration of social class, culture, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and age.
Gender equity requires sensitivity, determination, commitment, and vigilance over time. The foundation of
gender equity is co-operation and collaboration among students, educators, education organizations,
families, and members of communities.

Why does the Board have equity policies?
In its Equity Foundation Statement, passed in June 1999, the TDSB recognizes that the education system
often has not properly served many groups and communities in our society. These groups include racial,
cultural, and religious minorities; women; the disabled; poor and working-class families; as well as lesbian
and gay parents and their children. The Equity Foundation Statement commits the TDSB to trying to do a
better job in the future.

What is the goal of these policies?
Equity policies seek to ensure that all these groups find a welcoming and safe environment in our
schools, are treated with respect, and don’t have to fear harassment or discrimination.

What needs to be done to ensure this?
In order to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect, the TDSB does not permit harassment
or discrimination. No one should be teased or bullied, or fear violence or unfair treatment, when they
come to school. Everyone should expect to find themselves valued and treated with respect in their
classrooms and learning materials.

How can this be achieved?
People will only be treated with respect if the stereotypes, myths, and negative ideas about them are
dispelled. People will only be treated with respect when students, teachers, and administrators have first-
hand information and understanding of the experiences of groups that have been misrepresented in the
past. All this requires education.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board             -1-                     Gender Equity Resource Guide
Facts and Statistics
Here are some important facts about violence against women:

   •   In Canada, in 1998, 82.6 percent of victims in reported cases of sexual assault were women;
       98 percent of the accused were men. (Juristat: Canadian Crime Statistics, 1998, vol. 19, no. 9)

   •   In 70 percent of the reported cases of sexual assault, the victim knew the accused; 62 percent of
       the victims were under the age of 18. (Juristat: Canadian Crime Statistics, 1998, vol. 19, no. 9)

   •   Women accounted for 88 percent of all reported spousal (domestic) violence victims in 1997.
       (Family Violence in Canada: Statistical Profile, 1999, Statistics Canada)

   •   Some 20 percent of women who leave an abusive partner experience continued (and often more
       severe) violence during or after the separation. (Canadian Social Trends, Statistics Canada,
       Autumn 1997)

   •   Children witnessed violence against their mothers in almost 40 percent of violent marriages.
       (Violence Against Women Survey 1993, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics)

   •   In 1997–1998, 15 257 women and 13 455 dependent children were admitted to shelters in
       Ontario. A person might be admitted more than once during the year. (Juristat: Canada's Shelters
       for Abused Women, Vol. 19, no. 6)

   •   Four out of every five Canadian victims of spousal homicide in 1998 were female. (Juristat:
       Homicide in Canada, 1998, vol. 19, no. 10)

   •   Six in ten Canadian incidents of spousal homicide involved a history of domestic violence, of
       which police were aware. (Juristat: Homicide in Canada, 1998, vol. 19, no. 10)

   •   Young women under 25 are at greatest risk of spousal homicide. (Family Violence in Canada:
       Statistical Profile, 1999, Statistics Canada)

Around the World

   •   As serious as the problem is in Canada, many young people in Canada were born in countries, or
       have parents from countries, where the problem is even graver. Youth from war zones (e.g.,
       Bosnia, Somalia, Afghanistan, the Sudan) have not only experienced the horrors of war, but may
       also have directly or indirectly experienced sexual assault or the threat of sexual assault as a tool
       of warfare and official terror. Girls and young women from some Christian and Muslim countries
       in Africa have been subjected to female genital mutilation in which the clitoris and sometimes the
       labia are cut off. (Some women and men in these countries are working hard to end this
       traditional practice, which can have dire health and emotional consequences.)

   •   In many Asian countries (such as China, Korea, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka),
       girls and women face particularly appalling forms of violence. Wife abuse in some parts of these
       countries is so widespread, it is considered normal. Because of a preference for boys, there is
       selective abortion of female fetuses. In villages and poorer communities in parts of South Asia,
       there is trafficking of girls into prostitution. In Pakistan and Jordan, among other countries, young
       women (and sometimes young men) are murdered by their families in so-called "honour killings"
       for marrying against the wishes of their parents.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board           -2-                     Gender Equity Resource Guide
   •   Tens of thousands of young women from Russia, Eastern Europe, and North Africa are
       "trafficked" to serve as prostitutes in Western Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America.
       In some states in the United States, there is still no penalty when a man rapes his wife. None of
       these facts should make us feel smug here in Canada. Even if aspects of the problem are not as
       severe as in some countries, we too have a severe problem that we must solve. Hollywood has
       images of creepy strangers lurking in alleys, but most violence against women is committed by a
       boyfriend, husband, another family member, or a friend. It occurs in women’s own homes or on

   •   We used to think that whatever happened in our homes was a private affair. We’ve all heard
       phrases, such as “a man’s home is his castle,” that reinforce the idea that a man is the head of a
       family, the one who should be in control. Such attitudes have encouraged some men to assert
       themselves through violence. A combination of these attitudes, fear, and lack of alternatives has
       encouraged some women to remain in abusive relationships. Luckily, because of hard work by
       women in recent years, we now realize it is everyone’s business if a woman or a child—or, for
       that matter, a man—is being abused in the privacy of a home.

Violence against Men

   •   Violence against men is also a huge problem, but most such violence is committed by other men.
       It occurs in the forms of violence by boys and male teens against their peers, sexual assault
       against boys (usually by men who see themselves as heterosexual), violence against gay men by
       heterosexual men (“gay bashing”), and physical assault by parents (often fathers) against sons.

   •   There also can be violence by women against their spouses, but surveys by Statistics Canada tell
       us that spousal violence by a woman against a man is less likely to cause injury than the other
       way around (18 percent versus 44 percent). Even though some men, like women, do experience
       violence from their spouses, they are much less likely to live in fear of violence at the hands of
       their spouses. They are also much less likely to experience sexual assault. And many cases of
       physical violence by a woman against a spouse are in self-defence or the result of many years of
       physical or emotional abuse.

   •   The White Ribbon Campaign is opposed to all forms of violence in relationships, as well as other
       forms of violence. But the campaign focuses its efforts on ending violence against women. This is
       similar to a campaign that focuses on cancer: it does not mean a lack of support for causes such
       as diabetes or heart disease; it simply means the campaign chooses what its focus should be.
       How does violence against women affect young people? Statistics Canada tells us that in
       40 percent of cases involving violence against women, children are witnesses.

   •   Research shows that witnessing violence against someone you love has the same emotional
       impact as directly experiencing it yourself. Witnessing violence against a mother is a form of
       violence against children. Alarming numbers of children experience sexual assault. Among
       reported incidents, 61 percent of those who are sexual assaulted are under 18 years old. In this
       age group, eight of ten cases of assault are of females. We know that perpetrators of child sexual
       assault are often well known by their victims. Of the girls and boys who experience sexual
       assault, 79 percent of girls and 83 percent of boys experience it at the hands of someone they
       know (family members, friends, or acquaintances).

   •   Childhood sexual assault involves unwanted touching or sexual acts usually performed by a
       family member, relative, or adult caregiver, most commonly a male. An alarming number of boys
       and girls experience physical assault. According to Health Canada (National Clearinghouse on
       Family Violence), 34 percent of investigated cases were substantiated. Often, the assault is by
       the father who is beating the child’s mother, or by the mother herself. Meanwhile, most girls have
       some experience of sexual harassment in school, on the streets, or in after-school jobs. Sexual
       harassment refers to any unwanted touching, comments, put-downs, or sexual advances.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board          -3-                     Gender Equity Resource Guide
Women and Work

   •   Canadian women working full-time, full-year, earned $33 494 in 1997, compared with $45 841 for
       men. (Survey of Consumer Finances, Income Trends in Canada, 1980–1997)

   •   In 1998, less than 10 percent of directors at Canada’s top 200 industrial and service companies
       and top 100 financial institutions were women. (Women Board Directors in Top Canadian
       Companies: The 1998 Corporate Women Directors International Report)

   •   Women are severely under-represented in non-traditional apprenticeships that lead to well-paying
       jobs. They make up only 1.6 percent of the automotive workforce in this province. Only
       10 percent of registered apprentices in Ontario are female, and they are concentrated in lower-
       paying occupations, such as hairstyling, child and youth work, horticulture, and cooking. (Ontario
       Ministry of Education, 1999)

Women and Education

   •   In 1998, 58 percent of university graduates were women. (Statistics Canada)

   •   In 1998, Ontario women comprised 30 percent of full-time students in math and physical
       sciences, and just 23 percent of full-time engineering and applied-science students. (Ministry of
       Training, Colleges and Universities, 1999)

   •   Women are creating jobs. Between 1989 and 1997, women accounted for 82 percent of the
       growth in self-employment with paid help. (Ontario’s Success Story)

Women and Entrepreneurship

   •   A 1995 Canadian Federation of Independent Business Study reported a 97.8 percent increase in
       the number of women owning and operating their own businesses from the early 1980s to the
       early 90s.

   •   As the twenty-first century gets underway, it is expected that about half of Canada’s new
       companies will be started by women.

   •   Between 1991 and 1994, Canadian firms run by women created new jobs at four times the rate of
       the national average (Myths and Realities: The Economic Power of Women-Led Firms in Canada,
       Institute for Small Business, Bank of Montreal)

   •   Women are creating not just jobs, but entire companies, at double the rate of the national
       average. (Myths and Realities: The Economic Power of Women-Led Firms in Canada, Institute
       for Small Business, Bank of Montreal)

   •   Between 1985 and 1990, the number of self-employed women increased by 25 percent
       (compared with a 15 percent increase for self-employed men). During the next five years, that
       number rose again by just over 25 percent (compared with an increase of less than 10 percent for
       men in the same category).

   •   About half of women who run their own businesses hold a post-secondary certificate or diploma
       or a university degree.

   •   According to the 1995 Labour Force Annual Averages from Statistics Canada, about one-third of
       women making the move from employment to self-employment were between the ages of 35 and
       44. About one-fifth were between the ages of 25 and 34, and another fifth, were between the
       ages of 45 and 54.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board          -4-                     Gender Equity Resource Guide
   •   Most women entrepreneurs started their businesses with less than $10 000. Nearly half started
       with less than $5000.

   •   Women seeking financing were refused 20 percent more often than men, and they were regularly
       charged a higher rate of interest. (Women Entrepreneurs: Geared Towards Success, Business
       Development Bank, 1997)

   •   Women-only lending circles in 50 countries have a repayment rate of 98 percent. (Women
       Entrepreneurs: Geared Towards Success, Business Development Bank, 1997)

   •   In 1995, one-third of women becoming self-employed were between the ages of 35 and 44, one-
       fifth were aged 25 to 34, and one-fifth were aged 45 to 54 (Labour Force Annual Averages, 1995,
       Statistics Canada)

© 2006 Toronto District School Board         -5-                   Gender Equity Resource Guide
Sex and Gender
Research by sociologists, psychologists, biologists, anthropologists, educators, and feminists has shown
that sex roles are culturally induced and not biological. Skolnick, Langbort, and Day (1982) state: “While
sex is a biological gene, gender is a social, cultural, and psychological creation.” Rather than teaching
boy and girl behaviours to prepare children to become good “moms” and “dads,” educators must teach
children the importance of human behaviours. People are individual blends of capabilities. Rigid
stereotypes for girls and boys limit their development, growth, and self-concept.

Robertson (1991) states that there is no difference between positive and negative stereotypes. Any
stereotype is a generalization that puts people in boxes. Guttentag and Bray (1976) studied children from
ages 4 to 13 in three school systems that were selected to include a range of different socio-economic
and ethnic groups. Their data indicated that the most powerful predictors of attitudinal change in students
were the enthusiasm and convictions of the individual teacher.

Mass media, peers, and schools were more powerful in their influence on sex-role stereotypes than were
families. The results from their study indicate that an intervention program can be geared successfully to
any age. The biological sex of the teacher and the gendered behaviours displayed within the classroom
also affect students’ understanding of gender roles. Bailey (1992) concluded that the teacher behaviours
which were viewed as being “most influential” included reinforcement of distinct male and female roles,
treatment of play behaviours, interaction time with each sex, and gender-specific language.

(Source: An excerpt from Count Me In: Gender Equity in the Primary Classroom by Judy Kwasnica
Mullen, Toronto: Green Dragon Press, 1994.)

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            -6-                    Gender Equity Resource Guide
What is Gender?
Sex is biologically determined. One is born a male or female. Gender is a social construction. There is
nothing “innate” or “natural” about femininity or masculinity; there is no one way to be feminine or
masculine. Gender roles are “performed” in a multitude of ways, depending on the intersections of era,
class, culture, religion, and upbringing. Gender roles are also always in flux, depending on circumstance.
For example, a man might act very differently with his male peers than he does with female peers. There
are multiple “masculinities” and “femininities.”

Gender is an artificial category with real social effects. Gender operates as a form of social control, as a
way of determining who has power to do what. “Boys don’t do ballet” is a warning to a male child not to
violate the codes for proper, “masculine” behaviour. To do so is to risk being considered “un-masculine”
or “effeminate.” The social consequences for being branded “effeminate” often include such real effects
as psychological and/or physical violence.

Just as women have historically been subordinate to men in Western societies, with limited access to
social and institutional power, so too has the category “female” been subordinate to “male” in Western
(both Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian) thought. Generally, girls have more social sanction to engage
in “masculine” behaviours than do boys in “feminine” behaviours because maleness is socially more
acceptable than is femaleness. For example, generally speaking, North American women of European
ancestry can now dress like men, engage in historically “masculine” sports, and affect “masculine”
behaviours with limited social censure. Men are still discouraged from crying or showing affection to other
men in public, entering historically “female” occupations such as nursing and teaching young children
(which are seen as low-status), staying at home with their children, or engaging in other historically
“feminine” activities.

Various studies have focused on how viable pre- and primary school children’s perceptions of gender-
appropriate behaviours already are; the early prevalence of sex-role stereotyping; the rigid ways that very
young children imagine gender; the gendered ways young boys and girls interact with objects and on the
early association of maleness with power and prestige

Gender is a primary regulator of classroom social interactions. Children actively take up what they have
learned about gender roles from parents/guardians/caregivers, television, religion, etc., and use this often
contradictory information to control each other’s behaviours. They dictate what is more or less
“acceptable” and “unacceptable “ through a host of practices, including name calling and ostracizing
certain children from their social groups. In this way, children are involved in constructing gender roles.

Some ways of being feminine or masculine have more prestige than others. The dominant, or
“hegemonic,” form of masculinity is a strong force in maintaining rigid gender roles. Western hegemonic
masculinity is associated with physical rigour, adventurousness, emotional neutrality, certainty, control,
assertiveness, self-reliance, individuality, competitiveness, instrumental skills, public knowledge,
discipline, reason, objectivity, and rationality. It distances itself from physical weakness, expressive skills,
private knowledge, creativity, emotion, dependency, subjectivity, irrationality, co-operation, and
empathetic, compassionate, nurturant and certain affiliative behaviours.

Young men must perform energetic work to live by the macho “boy code,” frequently to the detriment of
their emotional and physical well-being.

Hegemonic masculinity is extremely resonant with many young males, largely because it is perpetuated
in many ways and places, including the popular media. So is the hyper-sexualization and objectification of
women, often within the same music video, ad, film, TV show, computer game, comic book, and/or
magazine. However, the popular media is also a site of struggle. Sometimes pop-culture figures
challenge the codes of gendered behaviour (e.g., Mick Jagger, Marilyn Manson).

© 2006 Toronto District School Board              -7-                      Gender Equity Resource Guide
Popular culture figures and advertisers continually offer new-or they recycle traditional-“constructions” of
masculinity and femininity. Advertisers play on anxieties about what it means to be feminine or masculine,
and try to manufacture our desire to “do” gender roles in particular ways. Buying their particular products
is meant both to transform or reconstruct us and to confirm that we are now “properly” or “more” feminine
or masculine. But, because gender categories themselves are never stable, it’s never possible to reach
the ultimate state of “femininity” or “masculinity.”

Gender and Academic Achievement: Some Factors

The “most reliable predictors” of academic success, for both boys and girls, are family income and
parental level of education. The most at-risk students, as a category, are those from low-income families.
These students are disproportionately represented in lower-track courses and programs.

Despite the fact that female students, as a group, outperform male students on literacy tests, and are now
more likely to attend and graduate from college/university than are males, generally speaking, men
continue to earn more for the same/similar work in almost all occupations. Men continue to be promoted
to higher levels than women are. Women and people of colour continue to be under-represented in high-
prestige positions and careers (e.g., CEOs, government leaders, scientists, computer analysts,
mathematicians, aerospace engineers). In addition, women continue to experience significant
discrimination and harassment in the workplace when taking on high-paying, blue collar jobs such as tool
and die maker.

Female enrolment in Canadian university computer science programs has dropped from 28 percent to 24
percent since 1997. In 1998, only 12 percent of Canadian Science and Technology graduates were
female. Girls continue to be under-enrolled in university-level science, technology, and computer science

Some students resist what they consider to be the “dominant culture” (white and/or middle-class)
behaviours required for academic success (e.g., being punctual and allying themselves with teachers).
Some students who don’t read, who skip and drop out, might be signalling both their disaffection with and
resistance to an educational system that they feel marginalizes them and challenges their identity.
Conversely, those who practise behaviours of achievement are often subject to their peers’ criticism.
Simply to strive for good grades can be perceived as compromising one’s racial and/or class solidarity.

Boys who do poorly at academics tend to “buy out” and find other ways of demonstrating masculinity.
This may be through sports or computer and technological expertise. However, they might also turn to
physical aggression and demonstrations of hegemonic masculinity (e.g., the disproportionate connection
between young men’s lower-level academic/literacy skills and their designation as “behavioural”

“Bad boys” are often given positive peer reinforcement for their behaviour.

Young girls who perform a traditional “passive” or “obedient” femininity tend to be awarded better grades
in school. This raises concern that behaviour is being conflated with academic achievement.

Male students are called on more frequently to answer their teachers’ questions (although they are less
likely than girls to answer correctly), and they more frequently initiate conversations with their teachers.
Some research indicates that, generally, they get both more negative and positive attention from

(Source: Access Success! A Boys and Literacy Achievement Initiative for Grades 6-10, Toronto District
School Board, 2004.)

© 2006 Toronto District School Board             -8-                     Gender Equity Resource Guide
Controversial and Sensitive Issues
in TDSB Classrooms – Frequently Asked Questions
What are controversial issues?
Essentially, controversy reflects a conflict of values, a struggle among people about what they know or
how they act. When such conflict is not resolved, it can be divisive and destructive as people lose trust
and respect for one another and are unable to work well together.

What are sensitive issues?
The teaching of “sensitive” topics must be considered in relation to the potential sensitivity of individual
students. Individuals are bound to have different emotional understandings of concepts which may not be
controversial in themselves, but which may trigger unpleasant emotions.

Should schools send notes or permission slips home before starting any classroom work about
curricular issues that may involve discussions about discrimination and harassment?
The TDSB’s policy document Equity Foundation Statement and Commitments to Equity Policy
Implementation states that each school has a responsibility to education that reflects the diversity of its
students and their life experiences. Singling out one group or topic area as too controversial and
depending upon parental discretion, shifts this responsibility from the school to the parents/guardians/
families and fosters a poisoned environment contrary to the TDSB’s Human Rights Policy and
Procedures. Sending a school newsletter home at the beginning of each term is a best practice for
keeping parents/guardians/families informed of all upcoming equity topics in the classroom, without
having to single out one topic over the other.

Should schools send notes or permission slips home before starting any classroom work on
issues of disability?
No. If a school treats the topic of ability/disability differently from the range of other curriculum topics, this
could be construed as discriminatory practice. Equity for persons with disabilities education is mandated
in all our schools through the Equity Foundation Statement and Commitments to Equity Policy
Implementation and the Human Rights Policy and Procedures.

Can teachers seek accommodation from teaching materials that may contradict their religious
No. The TDSB is part of the secular public education system. Teachers are equally responsible for
delivering curriculum created by the provincial Ministry of Education and for supporting the TDSB policies,
which more accurately reflect the educational needs of our student population. The delivery of curriculum
related to human rights issues must be consistent with the Ontario Human Rights Code and the TDSB’s
Human Rights Policy and Procedures, and the Equity Foundation Statement and the Commitments to
Equity Policy Implementation. Failure to do so is contrary to the obligations outlined for teachers on
page 4 of the TDSB Human Rights Policy and Procedures.

Teachers refusing to create an inclusive classroom that is safe and supportive for all students would
create a poisoned learning environment.

Can schools/teachers choose not to address controversial issues for fear of negative
parent/guardian/family response?
No. Teachers are obligated to address all equity issues (issues regarding historically disadvantaged
groups). Any omissions that maintain a non-inclusive curriculum and pedagogy are considered to foster a
poisoned environment under Section 4.2 of the Board’s Human Rights Policy and Procedures.

The TDSB’s Commitments to Equity Policy Implementation emphasizes the importance of this type of
work even further under Section 2.4, “Curriculum: ensuring that each commitment to equity permeates
the curriculum in all subject areas.”

© 2006 Toronto District School Board               -9-                      Gender Equity Resource Guide
The Toronto District School Board’s
Equity Foundation Statement

 The Toronto District School Board           The Board will therefore ensure that:
 values the contribution of all
 members of our diverse community            The curriculum of our schools accurately reflects and uses
 of students, staff, parents, and            the variety of knowledge of all peoples as the basis for
 community groups to our mission             instruction; that it actively provides opportunities for all
 and goals. We believe that equity of        students to understand the factors that cause inequity in
 opportunity, and equity of access to        society and to understand the similarities, differences, and
 our programs, services, and                 the connections among different forms of discrimination; and
 resources, are critical to the              that it helps students to acquire the skills and knowledge that
 achievement of successful                   enable them to challenge unjust practices, and to build
 outcomes for all those whom we              positive human relationships among their fellow students,
 serve, and for those who serve our          and among all members of the society.
 school system.
                                             All our students are provided with equitable opportunities to
 The Board recognizes, however,              be successful in our system; that institutional barriers to such
 that certain groups in our society          success are identified and removed; and that all learners are
 are treated inequitably because of          provided with supports and rewards to develop their abilities
 individual and systemic biases              and achieve their aspirations.
 related to race, colour, culture,
 ethnicity, linguistic origin, disability,   Our hiring and promotion practices are bias-free, and
 socio-economic class, age,                  promote equitable representation of our diversity at all levels
 ancestry, nationality, place of origin,     of the school system; that all our employees have equitable
 religion, faith, sex, gender, sexual        opportunities for advancement; that their skills and
 orientation, family status, and             knowledge are valued and used appropriately; and that they
 marital status. Similar biases have         have equitable access to available support for their
 also impacted on Canada’s                   professional development needs.
 Aboriginal population. We also
 acknowledge that such biases exist          The contributions of our diverse community of parents and
 within our school system.                   community groups to our schools are valued and
                                             encouraged; and that they are provided with equitable
 The Board further recognizes that           opportunities for working with staff and with each other for the
 such inequitable treatment leads to         benefit of all students.
 educational, social, and career
 outcomes that do not accurately             Students, employees, parents, and community partners are
 reflect the abilities, experiences,         provided with effective procedures for resolving concerns and
 and contributions of our students,          complaints which may arise from their experiences of unfair
 our employees, and our parent and           or inequitable treatment within the school system.
 community partners. This
 inequitable treatment limits their          Financial and human resources are provided to support the
 future success and prevents them            work of staff, students, parents and community groups, and
 from making a full contribution to          for staff development, in promoting equity and inclusion in the
 society.                                    school system.

 The Board is therefore committed to         Procedures are in place at all levels of the system for
 ensuring that fairness, equity, and         implementing, reviewing, and developing policies, programs,
 inclusion are essential principles of       operations, and practices which promote equity in the
 our school system and are                   system, for assessing their effectiveness, and for making
 integrated into all our policies,           changes where necessary.
 programs, operations, and

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The Toronto District School Board’s
Commitments to Equity Policy Implementation
Section 2: Antisexism and Gender Equity

The Toronto District School Board mandates that all persons in schools, workplaces, and meeting places
associated with the Board abide by its Commitments to Equity Policy Implementation. This applies to all
persons on Board premises, persons working on Board business (either on or off Board premises), and
persons involved with Board-sponsored programs at other premises. This includes students, trustees,
parents, volunteers, visitors, permit holders, contractors, and corporate partners.

2.1. Board Policies, Guidelines, and Practices

The Toronto District School Board has approved an Equity Policy Statement which requires that anti-
sexism and gender equity ideals be reflected in all aspects of organizational structures, policies,
guidelines, procedures, classroom practices, day-to-day operations, and communication practices. The
Toronto District School Board policies, guidelines, and practices shall ensure that the needs and safety of
all students, employees, trustees, parents, volunteers, visitors, permit-holders, contractors, and partners
are addressed. These shall reflect the diverse viewpoints, needs, and aspirations of community members,
particularly women whose voices traditionally and systemically have been marginalized and excluded.
This includes Aboriginal, racial, ethnocultural, faith, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, disabled, working
class, low-income, poor, and other historically disadvantaged groups of women.

The Board shall provide an appropriate mechanism to ensure accountability for achieving these goals by:

    •   2.1.1. articulating clearly the Board’s commitment to the principles of anti-sexism and gender
        equity in all Board policies, guidelines, day-to-day operations, protocol, and practices;

    •   2.1.2. identifying and eliminating sexism, gender bias, and barriers in Board policies, guidelines,
        day-to-day operations, protocol, and practices;

    •   2.1.3. identifying the many diverse sectors within women’s communities and other historically
        disadvantaged groups within the jurisdiction of the Board and involving these communities in
        partnership activities;

    •   2.1.4. assessing the effectiveness of community consultation and partnership involvement;

    •   2.1.5. establishing accountability processes to document progress and ensure continuous
        implementation of the Anti-Sexism and Gender Equity Commitments to Equity Policy;

    •   2.1.6. allocating resources to provide compensatory education and ensure policy implementation.

2.4. Curriculum

Curriculum is defined as the total learning environment, including physical environment, learning
materials, pedagogical practices, assessment instruments, and co-curricular and extra-curricular

A curriculum that strives for gender equity provides a balance of feminist perspectives. The Toronto
District School Board acknowledges that inequities have existed in the curriculum; therefore, the Board is
committed to enabling all girls and women to see themselves reflected in the curriculum. The Board is
further committed to providing each student with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviours needed
to live in a complex and diverse world by:

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    •   2.4.1. ensuring that principles and practices of anti-sexism and gender equity permeate the
        curriculum in all subject areas;

    •   2.4.2. examining and challenging curriculum that traditionally has been male-dominated or
        ignores the experiences of women of diverse backgrounds in order to ensure inclusivity;

    •   2.4.3. developing a process to determine whether discriminatory gender biases and violence
        against women are present in learning materials, programs, or practices;

    •   2.4.4. ensuring the review and/or modification of materials that promote stereotyping; the review
        and modification of programs that promote stereotyping, discrimination or sexism; and the
        removal of materials or programs that promote hatred and/or violence against women;

    •   2.4.5. providing adequate resources and training to assist all staff in becoming agents of change;
        to use materials effectively to promote critical-thinking skills; and to challenge sexism and gender

    •   2.4.6. ensuring that classrooms, resource centres, school libraries, audiovisual collections,
        computer software, and Internet sites contain materials and resources that accurately reflect a
        diversity of women and other historically disadvantaged groups;

    •   2.4.7. developing guidelines to ensure that displays and visual representation in all schools and
        workplaces of the Toronto District School Board reflect gender diversity and include the
        contributions of women;

    •   2.4.8. supporting student leadership programs in anti-sexism education and equity;

    •   2.4.9. developing and providing programs to address and support the gender-related needs of
        female and male students in all curriculum areas, including early intervention programs to
        encourage female and male students into non-traditional gender roles and work;

            o ensuring that the contributions to Canadian and world history and historiography
                from diverse groups of women are included accurately in all aspects of the curriculum;

            o ensuring that curriculum materials and learning resources are allocated to
                challenge sexism, violence against women, and hate groups and hate propaganda based
                on gender and/or any other social identity;

            o developing programs to encourage, promote, and support the needs of female
                students in the fields of mathematics, science, technology, and athletics.

2.10. Harassment

Sexual and gender harassment, whether intended or not, is demeaning treatment and violent behaviour.
Sexual and gender harassment are forms of discrimination that are prohibited under the Ontario Human
Rights Code. (Please refer to the Board’s Human Rights Policy for the policy and procedures with regard
to sexual and gender harassment.)

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Inclusive Curriculum
Inclusive curriculum is an approach to learning and teaching that recognizes and values the rich diversity
of our school population. Both in its content and methodology, inclusive curriculum seeks to recognize
and to affirm the life experiences of all students, regardless of gender, place of origin, religion, ethnicity
and race, cultural and linguistic background, social and economic status, sexual orientation, age, and

The goal of an inclusive curriculum is to create a learning environment that reflects, affirms, and validates
the diversity and complexity of human experiences. To make our existing curriculum more inclusive, the
following is a list of questions that we may want to reflect on continually as we develop and refine our
curriculum and our class program and practices.

    •   Whose voices are present? Whose voices are absent?

    •   What and whose knowledge is recognized? How is it recognized?

    •   Do resources acknowledge all people and perspectives?

    •   What assessment and evaluation tools will be most equitable?

    •   How can we create a classroom and a school climate that supports and welcomes the diversity of
        all students, staff, and community members?

    •   How can the knowledge and experience of families and the general community be valued and
        reflected in our curriculum?

    •   Is a variety of methods used to ensure that all students are engaged in learning?

Inclusive curriculum seeks to encourage both the educators and students to learn to see in multiple ways
that they may use this knowledge to create a more just and equitable society.

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Importance of Equity Education
Challenging Stereotypes
Stereotypes occur as a result of attributing the supposed characteristic of a whole group to all its
individual members. Stereotyping assumes and emphasizes the uniformity within a group and the
exaggerated differences between groups. A stereotype may also ascribe characteristics to the group that
are more positive or negative than other groups, or that are patently untrue.

Challenging stereotypes is the process of encouraging people to question their assumptions about
attributes of groups or individuals perceived to be part of a group. Equity education encourages learning
environments in which students are provided with various opportunities to challenge common stereotypes
through planned activities and spontaneous interventions where appropriate.

Promoting Critical Thinking
Critical thinking in any subject implies moving beyond neutrality, exploring behind the surface meanings,
and not simply accepting things at face value. It means analyzing, weighing, and balancing alternatives,
looking at things from different angles. In science, critical thinking leads to the development of more
inclusive models to explain unique phenomena that do not fit into the predominant view.

Used in connection with equity education, the concept of critical thinking means the ability to recognize
and analyze prejudice, bias, and stereotypes. It involves looking at the gaps in material for those
perspectives, voices, and experiences that are not represented. Critical thinking in this sense is tied to the
concept of fairness and justice. It means using the kind of social and historical thinking that allows
students to explore the past and present from more than one perspective, and to recognize the
opportunities that exist for positive change.

Exploring a Variety of Skills and Careers
Students need to be provided with a wide range of alternatives for later life experiences. Many students
will enter the workforce for a large portion of their adult life. Today’s society is changing rapidly. Students
need to be prepared for a diverse and dynamic world. Occupational roles are not constant and no longer
prepare one for a single future path. Today’s students need to possess every skill possible to ensure that
they can become effective problem solvers, capable workers, and confident, aware citizens in tomorrow’s
world. Teachers need to encourage realistically high aspirations in students of all abilities, aptitudes, and
backgrounds, providing an education that keeps open, for each individual, the widest possible range of
career opportunities. Students should acquire a realistic understanding of barriers and biases they may
encounter in their lives. This can be done by ensuring that students see people in real workplaces and
talk to guests from the working world and community outside of the school.

Preventing Violence and Harassment
Many opportunities exist for integrating learning about non-violence into the curriculum. Non-violent role
models from history, literature, and the community should be studied. Students must have opportunities
to think critically about current events, their own experiences, the depiction of violence in human history,
the media, news coverage, and literature, and the causes of violent behaviour. Learning activities in the
program areas are to be designed in order to enable students to develop skills for peaceful and
co-operative problem solving, to recognize the impact of positive and negative power relationships, and to
be able to contribute to social change through democratic action.

Developing a Global Perspective
Including global perspectives involves using an integrated approach to social and political issues. Peace,
citizenship, human rights, and social justice concerns, along with environmental issues, form its
foundation. In an increasingly interdependent world, students are expected to become caring, committed,
and responsible global citizens. Exploring the relation between personal and community empowerment at
local levels and the larger global context is part of a global perspective. Global education strategies
encourage an active partnership between teachers and students moving from awareness and analysis of
issues to action.

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A Note to Educators:
How to Use the Resources in This Guide
The resources included in this guide can be used to develop a school equity curriculum to build on a
clearly articulated Equity School Improvement Plan. A school’s Equity School Improvement Plan identifies
the strengths and weaknesses of its current practices, and articulates a collective vision of equity goals. It
clearly identifies the allocation of resources to prioritized actions that will benefit the school communities.
Where and how do we start in the determination of these activities? We start in the classroom and then
expand our learning community to multiple classrooms to effect change in school environments in
partnership with community organizations.

One model for the development of meaningful Equity/Human Rights curricular activities for students is the
four stages of the James Banks Model. Below is a summary of Banks’ model.

    Model                    The Roles of the Student and Teacher                           The School’s
                                                                                          to Its Community
 Stage 1         Contributions                                                         Not engaged
                 Adding diverse heroes and heroines to the curriculum, selected
                 using criteria similar to those used to select mainstream heroes
                 and heroines for the curriculum.
                 Role of Student: Passive recipient of information
                 Role of Teacher: Provider of all information; structures
                 materials, resources, time allocation
 Stage 2         Additive                                                              Some acquaintance
                 Adding a variety of content, concepts, themes, and                    with school
                 perspectives to the curriculum without changing its basic             communities as
                 structure.                                                            sources of information
                 Role of Student: Passive recipient of information
                 Role of Teacher: Provider of all information; structures
                 materials, resources, time allocation
 Stage 3         Transformation                                                        Growing partnership
                 Changing the actual structure of the curriculum to help students
                 to view concepts, issues, events, and themes from the
                 perspectives of diverse groups.
                 Role of Student: Active learner
                 Role of Teacher: Facilitator of learning opportunities for
                 students to explore multiple perspectives
 Stage 4         Social Action                                                         Engaged partnership
                 Allowing students to make decisions on important social issues
                 and take actions to help solve them.
                 Role of Student: Active learner
                 Role of Teacher: Facilitator of learning opportunities for
                 students to explore multiple perspectives

From Stages 1 to 4, activities progress from classroom-based activities, with the teacher as facilitator and
students as learners, to activities that involve multiple classes, and ultimately to school-wide activities that
promote change with the input and active assistance of community organizations.
For more information on the Banks Model and its implementation in the development of inclusive school
environments, please refer to Equitable Schools: It’s in Our Hands (Toronto District School Board, 2005)
and Tools for Equity (Toronto District School Board, 2006).

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Suggested Curricular Activities for
Classes and Schools
The following activities can be incorporated into the development of a school’s implementation of a Banks
Model of equity transformative education that uses gender equity as the content vehicle.

•   Gender Equity Display: In a prominent place in the school, such as a hallway or library, prepare a
    table or bulletin board to acknowledge the contributions of Canadian and international men and
    women. Arrange pictures, posters, photographs, magazines, newsletters, books, videos, artifacts, or
    students’ projects to highlight their lives, history, culture, and achievements. Encourage teachers to
    decorate the walls outside their classrooms with students’ work reflecting their learning about gender
    equity education.

•   A Gender Equity Education Moment: Every morning, on the announcements throughout the school
    year, ask students to organize and provide information related to past and present contributions of
    men and women. The information could take the form of a short biography of a significant male or
    female (see National Library of Canada at <www.collectionscanada.ca/8/2/r2-201-e.html>); a poem or
    an excerpt from a novel; or a brief description of an important moment in history that reflects the
    struggles and victories of men and women in Canada.

•   Community Visitors: Invite people from diverse communities to talk to students about their
    experiences. You may find suitable speakers through parents/guardians/caregivers, local businesses,
    or community organizations. The TDSB Equity Department can also provide assistance.

•   Images in the Media: How are men and women people portrayed in the media, particularly in movies
    and on television? Are stereotypes being perpetuated about males and females? How are some men
    and women misrepresented in the media? How have these stereotypes, omissions, or
    misrepresentations affected the way youth and adults think about their community? Discuss issues of
    stereotyping and sexism in the media with staff and students.

•   Researching Significant Canadians: Have students research significant Canadians. Encourage
    them to consider people from all walks of life (education, entertainment, history, politics, professions,
    science, or sports) in choosing a subject. Ask students to share their information through written
    reports, dramatic role-playing, or portraits.

•   Storytellers and Artists: Arrange for storytellers or artists to visit the school and make presentations
    about their experiences. For storytelling, encourage staff and students to share their own stories with

•   Where in the World?: Organize students to research a specific individual or event from another
    country. Encourage them to learn and discuss the impact that this particular individual or event had in

•   Work and Careers: Organize students to conduct research on sexist barriers in Canadian history,
    and on how and when these barriers were finally overcome. For example: Who was the first
    actor/actress, artist, athlete, doctor, judge, politician, or union organizer in Canada to overcome sexist
    discrimination? What struggles did he or she face? When were rights established in the workplace?
    Which companies or organizations provide equal rights? What sexist barriers do men and women still
    face in Canada today?

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Instructional Strategies to Promote
Gender Equity in the Classroom
•   Set clear limits. Make it a firm rule that no aspect of a child’s identity (gender, gender identity, race,
    ethnicity, ability, religion, age, socio-economic class, sexual orientation, family structure, etc.) is ever
    an acceptable reason for privilege, exclusion, or put-down. Enable children to develop ease with and
    respect for physical differences. Encourage children to respect and care for their bodies.

•   Teach that to be male includes feeling fear, compassion, gentleness, and vulnerability. Teach that
    being female includes intelligence, activity, ordinariness, and being successful.

•   Use inclusionary, non-discriminatory language. Your example is a powerful one, which can change
    the way others think. Encourage your students to use inclusionary language in their speech and

•   Divide your time equally in allowing both girls and boys to speak and share ideas. Insist that all
    children take equal responsibility in carrying out the necessary jobs for the classroom. All children tidy
    up their workspaces.

•   Compliment both boys and girls on their appearance and their achievements.

•   Encourage group work, co-operative learning, mixed-group peer-discovery activities, independent
    work, and buddy reading. This will build confidence and reduce the fear of taking risks.

•   Avoid phrases such as “Nice girls don’t” and “big boys shouldn’t.”

•   Explore concepts of stereotyping and prejudice so that students can learn to challenge them when
    they happen.

•   Discuss with students what they watch on TV, what books they read, and what toys they play with,
    and teach them how to be critical about stereotypical or bias perspectives.

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Instructional Strategies to Promote Gender Equity
throughout the School
Guidance counsellors can effectively respond to the needs of both males and females by implementing
specific strategies for inclusive classroom practices, discussions, counselling services, and career
activities. Below are some suggestions.

General Strategies

   •   Treat and respect each student as an individual and encourage students to be respectful of the
       opposite sex.

   •   Make it clear from the onset that both males and females have equal ability and potential in all
       areas of learning.

   •   Teach conflict-resolution skills as an alternative to male–female power struggles.

   •   Interact with females and males similarly with regard to standards, rules, and behaviour.

   •   Assign duties without regard to sex (e.g., fixing computers, decorating bulletin boards, feeding

   •   Recommend all activities and options to both males and females (e.g., invention club, knitting
       club, book club).

   •   Encourage males and females to participate in a variety of roles within extracurricular activities
       (e.g., prime minister, secretary, treasurer, class representative).

   •   Avoid “male versus female” competition structures in games, activities, and dialogue.

   •   Avoid generalizations that refer to gender stereotyping (e.g., “that is so typical of a boy” or “you
       are acting like a girl”).

   •   Avoid general comparison of students based on sex (e.g., “the girls always submit their
       permission forms on time”).

   •   Do not allow sex-related jokes or comments about abilities or roles (e.g., telling a male that he
       throws the ball like a girl).


   •   Use differentiated learning strategies to engage all students (e.g., co-operative learning activities,
       group work, lecture, learning stations, hands-on activities).

   •   Establish non-competitive, co-operative learning environments that allow all students to
       experience success.

   •   Value, promote, and facilitate interaction between girls and boys through groupings, projects, and

   •   Help female and male students develop those interpersonal skills and values needed to work and
       live co-operatively.

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   •   Emphasize the importance of respecting all points of view and comment.

   •   Teach students the skills of participation.

   •   Give equal attention to and call on both males and females equally.

   •   Ask difficult and thought provoking questions to both male and female students.

   •   Intervene immediately when gender-related comments and jokes are made.

   •   Monitor male and female roles and participation in various activities.

   •   Teach effective communication skills (e.g., attentive listening skills, speaking clearly, facing

   •   Use examples in discussions that show both males and females showing a variety of feelings and

   •   Encourage the sharing of knowledge, information, and resources so that males and females
       assist each other.

   •   Consider male-only or female-only groups for specific topic discussions and activities (e.g.,
       sexual harassment, hands-on math/science equipment, equipment in technology).

   •   After single-sex groupings, regroup to discuss with students the conditions necessary for
       successful mixed groups, monitor the mixed groups, and reintroduce single-sex sessions from
       time to time, if necessary.

   •   Refuse to accept one person or one male- or female-only group dominating discussions.

   •   Teach students to compliment each other and express appreciation for work done and how to
       accept both.

   •   Share responsibilities equitably among students in the class/discussion, valuing the contribution
       of each student.

   •   Be aware of sex stereotypes, role expectations, and biases that exist (e.g., “boys don’t cry” or
       “girls hate math”).

   •   Present information on sex-role stereotypes, why it occurs, and how it is maintained.

   •   Allow students to reflect and examine their own attitudes and behaviour toward the other sex.

   •   Discuss school and current events that relate to gender equity, and ways in which prejudice can
       limit access to opportunities for groups of people.

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Instructional Strategies to Promote Gender Equity
in Health and Physical Education

1. Create teams of equal strength (based on ability, not sex). Do this before class and after you have
   had a day or two of diagnostic play where you can assess each student’s strengths.

2. Change teams daily, if possible, so that students are with different groups and no one feels like they
   are letting the team down.

3. Choose some units that are not dominated by either females or males (e.g., badminton and yoga/

4. Study female and male sport role models.

5. Ask for female and male volunteers for demonstrations of various skills.

6. Have posters and information available on female and male athletes in a variety of sports.

7. Use famous Canadian athletes as examples, or professional athletes in both female and male sports
   (e.g., Hayley Wickenheiser, Michelle Wie, Anika Sorenstan, Tiger Woods, Steve Nash).


1. Pick two captains and have students pick teams.

2. Separate the class into two and have boys play against boys and girls against girls.

3. Play only sports that require physical strength and height (e.g., basketball and volleyball).

4. Always pick the same students to demonstrate skills.

5. Always vote on what units students want (especially if there is an uneven number of boys and girls).

6. Study illnesses that relate to one’s sex. Discuss prostate cancer equally as breast cancer.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            - 20 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Instructional Strategies to Promote Gender Equity
in Drama and Dance
Exploration of Oppression in Role

Drama is a very powerful medium for building empathy. When students step into the shoes of another
person, in another time and place, they gain a new and deeper understanding of the people, the times,
and the conflict being explored. Although the drama is clearly fictional, the thinking and feeling responses
to the dramatic context can be personal and real. When we use drama/dance techniques to explore
issues of discrimination, oppression, and injustice, strong emotions, ideas, and opinions inevitably
emerge. Teachers must give careful consideration to how the drama/dance strategies are structured and
ensure that opportunities for critical reflection and analysis are woven into the lesson.

The following considerations inform our planning of all anti-oppression drama/dance explorations:

Investigating Power

    •   The objective is to build understanding and insight into the nature of power, responsibility related
        to power and the abuse of power. The drama exploration needs to be supported with explicit
        teaching about power. (See Challenging Class Bias, Grades 7–12, TDSB, 2005 for lessons
        related to power and identity.)

    •   Generally speaking, students are not given opportunities to speak, write, or enact the role of the
        oppressor. On occasion, and with a very clear teaching purpose, the teacher or a student may
        adopt the role of the oppressor to challenge or extend students’ thinking and analysis, followed by
        discussion and debriefing.

Giving Voice: Whose voices are heard and not heard?

    •   Voice is given to individuals/groups who experience or have experienced oppression.

    •   Ensure that multiple voices, perspectives, and points of view are explored. Also ensure that
        problem-solving approaches are not simplistic or two-dimensional. Students need to learn that
        many problems are complex and that there are many possible solutions and outcomes to a given

    •   Wherever possible, support fictional accounts with non-fictional, primary sources. Encourage
        and/or assign research related to the form of oppression that is being examined.

Respect for Diversity

    •   It is critically important to ensure that students at no time feel that their historical or ethno-cultural
        heritage or any aspect of their social identity (i.e. class, gender, sexual orientation, disability,
        race/ethnicity) is trivialized, stereotyped, misrepresented, or appropriated.

    •   Give consideration to issues of inclusion and exclusion. Will this exploration in any way cause
        students in your classroom to feel excluded?

    •   Ensure that students understand that the stories explored in these lessons do not represent the
        experiences of all those oppressed. Rather, they provide a window into what one individual or
        particular group’s experience may have been. Also, lead students to understand that resistance
        to oppression takes many forms, both overt and covert.

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Gender Issues in the Media
Although the media are a pervasive and profoundly influential socializing force, parents/guardians/
caregivers and teachers can make a difference. Young children are especially vulnerable to the teachings
of media because they do not have the critical capacity necessary to distinguish between fantasy and
reality, to identify persuasive intent, or to understand irony and disregard stereotypes. The cumulative and
unconscious impact of these media messages can contribute to limiting the development of a child’s

Much of children’s knowledge and the experience of the world is indirect, having come to them through
the media. Media are not transparent technologies; they do not offer a window on the world. In mediating
events and issues, television, film, video games, and other media are involved in selecting, constructing,
and representing reality. In so doing, the media tend to emphasize and reinforce the values and images
of those who create the messages and own the means of dissemination. In addition, these values and
images are often influenced by commercial considerations. As a result, the viewpoints and experiences of
other people are often left out or shown in negative ways.

Male and Female Images

As one dramatic example, the image and representation of women and girls in the media has long been a
subject of concern. Research shows that there are many fewer females than males in almost all forms of
mainstream media, and those who do appear are often portrayed in very stereotypical ways. Constantly,
polarized gender messages in media have fundamentally anti-social effects.

In everything—from advertising, television programming, newspaper, and magazines to comic books,
popular music, film, and video games—women and girls are more likely to be shown in the home,
performing domestic chores such as laundry or cooking; as sex objects who exist primarily to service
men; or as victims who cannot protect themselves and are the natural recipients of beatings, harassment,
sexual assault, and murder.

Men and boys are also stereotyped by the media. From GI Joe to Rambo, masculinity is often associated
with machismo, independence, competition, emotional detachment, aggression, and violence. Despite the
fact that men have considerably more economic and political power in society than women, these
trends—although different from those which affect women and girls—are very damaging to boys.

Research tells us that the more television children watch, the more likely they are to hold sexist notions
about traditional male and female roles, and the more likely the boys are to demonstrate aggressive
behaviour. In fact, images aimed at children are particularly polarized in the way they portray girls and
boys. In advertising, for instance, girls are shown as being endlessly preoccupied by their appearance
and fascinated primarily by dolls and jewellery, while boys are encouraged to play sports and become
engrossed by war play and technology.

Furthermore, children are increasingly being exposed to messages about gender that are really intended
for adult eyes only. These images also help shape the notions little girls and boys have about who they
should be and what they can achieve.

Anti-Social Messages

In the context of some of society’s problems, the constant reinforcement of polarized gender messages
has fundamentally anti-social effects. Research tells us that the more television children watch, the more
likely they are to demonstrate aggressive behaviour. Furthermore, the linking of sex and violence—
increasingly evident in everything from mainstream advertising to “slasher” movies—is particularly
troublesome in the context of a society struggling to overcome real-life violence against women.

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The Role of Media Education

Media education can play a crucial role in counteracting the impact of these messages. Helping children
to understand that media construct (not reflect) reality; that they communicate implicit and explicit values;
and that they can influence the way we feel and think about ourselves and the world—all are vitally
important lessons in helping achieve a society in which women and girls are seen and treated as equal to
men and boys.

The good news is that teachers (and parents, guardians, caregivers, and other family members) can have
a much greater impact on a child’s development than the media to which the child is exposed. Ultimately,
the most lasting influence comes from real-life modelling of alternative ways of being male or female, or of
resolving conflict; and time spent engaging children in imaginative play and in activities which teach pro-
(as opposed to anti-) social values.

Suggested Media Education Activities

Using TV or video clips and magazine or newspaper pictures, chart similarities and differences in
appearance and body size for the good and bad characters. Look again at the clips and make note of the
type of camera shots used for the good and bad characters. Compare the characters with yourself and
peers and family members.

Working women
List the jobs that TV mothers have, such as teacher or doctor. Do we ever see them working at their jobs?
Does your mother have a job? If she works outside the home do you ever visit her there?

I’d Rather Be Me
Form two groups—one of boys, the other of girls. From various media, have the boys list female traits and
interests that are most commonly featured, while the girls do the same for male characteristics and
concerns. Form new mixed groupings and discuss how boys and girls feel about the stereotypes that
represent their sex. What is artificial about these stereotypes? An appropriate video resource available
from TVO is Behind the Scenes.

Examine the media to determine how certain occupations are portrayed, and then interview people in
those occupations to ascertain how realistic these portrayals are. Count the number of women or men
portrayed in jobs. List the types of jobs for women and men portrayed. How do these findings compare
with the jobs held by the parents/guardians/family members of students?

Posed Versus Natural
Select pictures from newspapers and magazines that show the difference between posed and natural
photographs of girls and boys, and men and women. Describe what is emphasized in each.

“What’s wrong with this picture?”
This is the name of a video that is available from MediaWatch, which has accompanying educational
materials. It can be used to discuss gender issues and concepts such as non-verbal messages. Does
body language differ by sex? Make your own collection of pictures or TV clips for each sex and explain
the message perceived.

A Real Princess
Introduce stereotyping by brainstorming words to describe a princess. Read The Paper Bag Princess by
Robert Munsch. Discuss and compare with the image we have of Princess Anne or Princess Diana.

Twisted Tales
Rewrite fairly tales from the point of view of the opposite sex.

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Visual Novels
View literature-based films. Compare the films with the books for the handling of sex roles. Does one
media form rely more on stereotypes? Why? Provide examples.

Video Games
Design a video game for girls and boys that is not stereotypical or violent.

(Source: Adapted from MediaWatch, <www.mediawatch.ca>.)

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The “Boy Code” and Literacy
Boys’ low achievement in literacy is a symptom of a much larger systemic social problem. The social
construction of traditional masculinity exerts powerful pressure on a boy’s development. This pressure
most often takes the form of rigid and proscribed gender roles and expectations that limit a boy’s
behaviours into a “positively masculine” versus “shamefully feminine” tug-of-war. These limitations have a
real impact on the day-to-day lives of many boys and can affect their performance and interaction in the
classroom. Boys from minority social or cultural backgrounds may even experience a harder time
overcoming these limitations because of the powerlessness, prejudice, or bias they may already
experience in the wider society. However, with proper encouragement and a supportive network of adults
and peers, many boys can form a distinct identity that rejects the assumptions and confines of traditional
masculinity, especially as they pertain to literacy.

What the “Boy Code” tells boys

•   Stand on your own two feet. Always be independent, and never ask for help.

•   Separate from your mother and everything female (including reading “girl books”) as quickly as
    possible, or you will be a “sissy” or “wuss.”

•   Never show feelings, except anger. Writing about your own or anyone else’s feelings, or sharing your
    own feelings about what you have read, is not a “guy thing.”

•   Stay on top and in the spotlight.

•   Use macho behaviour, cruelty, bravado, and banter. This is preferable to admitting that you “don’t get
    something” or to asking for help in reading or writing.

•   Sex is conquest.

•   Bullying and teasing is just “normal” boy behaviour.

•   Never give in.

•   Never really listen.

•   Don’t show fear.

•   Don’t “rat” or let anyone else know when another boy does something harmful.

•   Win at any cost. Violence, force, strength, and competition are the true measure of a man.

Finding ways to support boys and girls to challenge these rigid sex assumptions opens up the full range
of opportunities for them to engage in the classroom without social restrictions. Helping boys improve in
literacy means not only creating more inviting environments to learn in, but also challenging sexism and
heterosexism within the curriculum and the school system.

General Recommendations for Teachers

Gender is an equity issue. Students need to examine how their understandings of gender are constructed
by family, society, religion, culture, peers, and the mass media, and with what effects. They need to
spend time, over the course of their elementary and secondary schooling, as they examine texts and
social interactions, analyzing and addressing how gender operates to circumscribe and control behaviour.

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For Improving the Academic Achievement of All Students

Addressing gender as it intersects with academic achievement requires attending to both affective and
academic considerations for all students. Suggestions for generally improving the academic achievement
of all students include the following:

•   Use instructional strategies that aim to address the needs of the 50 percent of students who will
    initially go directly into the workplace after secondary school graduation. This includes providing more
    direct instruction in reading and writing strategies, and giving significantly more opportunities to
    practise a new skill or strategy.

•   Become sensitive to how middle-class bias operates. Most teachers are unaware of class as a factor
    in distancing/alienating students from learning. This requires making available texts and resources
    that represent our diverse population and encouraging students to write and talk from their own
    experiences and knowledge bases.

•   Ensure that students have multiple ways of showing what they know and can do. This means
    acquiring and using an extensive repertoire of instructional strategies that tap into and nurture the
    learning styles and needs of our diverse population.

•   In language arts and humanities courses, use strategies and materials that are recommended for
    engaging boys, but that might also suit the learning styles of diverse students (Pirie).

•   In mathematics, sciences, and technology, employ strategies and use content recommended for
    engaging girls.

•   Carefully consider the degree to which co-op programs perpetuate gendered working divisions. This
    includes actively encouraging and helping students find non-gendered placements.

For Addressing Gender, Literacy, and the “Boy Code”

•   Become familiar with diverse cultural literacy styles and support them in the classroom. A fascinating
    place to begin is by reading “Hello, Grandfather: Lessons from Alaska” in Lisa Delpit’s Other People’s
    Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom.

•   Initially, select boy-friendly subject matter for reading and writing, and then move toward texts that
    challenge rather than reinforce traditional gender assumptions.

•   Provide opportunities for hands-on learning and problem solving. Boys often respond better to
    concrete, step-by-step instructions.

•   Current language arts and English course guidelines include expectations to read multimedia texts,
    assess electronic sites for accuracy, and construct multimedia texts. All students should be offered
    numerous opportunities to use communication technologies to show what they know and can do.
    Male students perceive computer use as a “masculine” activity, and this could confirm their own ways
    of seeing themselves as literate subjects. At the same time, female students need to be able to see
    themselves as competent users of computers and communication technologies.

•   Offer students a range of choices that value different learning styles and encourage creativity when
    responding to reading or rehearsing for writing. According to Bruce Pirie, in his Teenage Boys and
    High School English, poetry, improvisation, role plays, puppetry, music, dance, visual arts, etc., allow
    boys to explore emotional content in a way that initially deflects such content, thus rendering it
    “acceptable.” Boys are sometimes resistant to these activities, so significant discussion, as well as
    modelled and shared practice, will need to take place.

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•   Respect the learning pace of every boy. There is no point in asking a boy to write an essay if he has
    still not mastered a sentence. Shaming boys for not performing at the same levels as their peers will
    only serve to reinforce the “Boy Code” and alienate them from the work that already makes them feel

•   Focus on increasing low-achieving students’ subject-specific vocabulary, and teach them strategies
    for analysis, inference, and interpretation.

•   Make deliberate efforts to call attention to and reduce the use of “he/man” language in speaking and

•   Read critically, with a focus on gender roles in fiction, to not only open up texts, but also to help
    students understand how gender operates and with what consequences (e.g., Shakespeare’s
    Macbeth can be a study of what it means to be a man or woman: Lady Macbeth often manipulates
    Macbeth by attacking his “manhood”; Macduff both fights fiercely and weeps at his son’s death).

•   Examine how narrative plots themselves are gendered, to help students imagine different ways of
    being. Traditionally, stories about heroines or female protagonists ended in marriage, if they followed
    social conventions, or in their marginalization or death if they violated them. The setting for female
    characters was often a confined place, such as the home. In contrast, “masculine” plots featured the
    far-ranging journey of a hero who had to test himself, often physically, by fighting a monster. The
    male heroic journey is still very resonant in popular culture texts. But when boys are writing their own
    stories, it is often difficult for them to find any other resolution to conflict than through physical

•   Provide peer support or discussion groups (including same-sex and interest groupings), in which boys
    can talk about their emotions in a safe, respectful, facilitated setting. Allow time for personal or quiet

•   Schools need to foster environments to support both students and parents/guardians/caregivers in
    breaking down gender stereotypes. Creating gay/straight alliances, boys’ reading clubs, young
    women’s groups, and student violence-prevention initiatives are just a few ways to help encourage

•   Both the school and community can work together to create a network of positive male and female
    mentors/role models (in literacy and other areas) who are both culturally and socially diverse enough
    to mirror the diversity of the student population. Students also benefit from interacting with positive
    adult role models who depart from the norm. This system of mentoring and community interaction
    may require some training for teachers in how to better understand the needs of the local school
    community, as well as the pitfalls of traditional masculinity.

•   Use resources such as Rainbows and Triangles, which offer a host of activities to help students and
    teachers understand and challenge sex-role stereotyping in K–6.

(Source: Access Success! A Boys and Literacy Achievement Initiative for Grades 6–10, Toronto District
School Board, 2004.)

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Sample Lesson Plans
The following lesson plans have been taken from the equity document Tools for Equity: A Curriculum
Resource of Best Practices for Building Inclusive Schools.

Sample Lesson 1: Investigating Gender

Time: 150 minutes

Lois Gould’s 1972 short story, X: A Fabulous Child’s Story, powerfully demonstrates the many ways our
society engages in gender stereotyping from the very first day we are born. As this story is read, students
will be able to clearly see the impact of gender stereotypes on all of us, and typical reactions when
someone does not conform to these stereotypes.

Students will engage in a pre-reading activity “hook” around their understanding of gender issues and
their impact. Students will then read the short story, answering questions to ensure meaning-making.
Finally, students will participate in small-group dramatizations of specific scenes from the story in order to
encourage a deeper understanding of our society’s various responses to issues of gender.

Resources and Materials
• Copy of X: A Fabulous Child’s Story for each student
• Copies of the skit instructions for each member of the small groups
• An overhead version of the “Instructions and Points to Consider for Skits” sheet from the TDSB
   document A Teaching Resource for Dealing with Controversial and Sensitive Issues in Toronto
   District School Board Classrooms

Teaching/Learning Strategies

1. Have the students create a chart with the following two questions according to their sex: “What do I
    like about being male/ female? What don’t I like about being male/female?” Students list as many
    things as they can think of individually first, then work with a partner of the same sex.

2. Share information with the class and highlight which responses were based on gender (nurture,
   environment) and which were based on sex (nature, biology).

3. Have students write the definitions of sex and gender in their notes.

4. Ask students where these characteristics come from. This should lead to discussion on socialization
   agents such as media, family, peers, school, and religion. Questions to consider might include:
   • What do you think is the difference between biological sex and gender?
   • Do we learn to be “masculine” or “feminine” or are we born this way?
   • Think about a time when you were told or got the impression that you shouldn’t do something that
      you wanted to do because of your biological sex. You could also think about a time when you
      were strongly encouraged to do something that you didn’t really want to do, because of your
      biological sex.
   • What would your reaction be if a new student walked into your classroom and you couldn’t tell if
      this student was female or male? Explain why you would have this reaction.

5. Based on the above questions, make a prediction about what you think the story X: A Fabulous
   Child’s Story might be about. Explain your thinking.

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During Reading
Have students engage in a variety of reading strategies as they work through the story.
   • Making predictions: “I think what will happen next is… because….”
   • Making connections: “This reminds me of… I can relate to… This is different from… This part
       made me think about… I would feel… if….”
   • Asking questions: “Why does the writer include this information? What does the writer mean
       by…? Why did this character…?”
   • Making inferences: “This/these character/s would feel… because….”

After Reading
Have students dramatize specific scenes in small groups.
    • Create mixed-gender small groups based on the suggested number of people needed for each
    • Give each student in each of the small groups a copy of the group’s scene as outlined in the
       “Group Scenes — X: A Fabulous Child’s Story” sheet.
    • Read aloud or create an overhead of the instructions below.
    • Give students time to create brainstorm and create their scene.
    • Each group will perform its dramatization for the class in the order of the scene (scene 1 goes
       first, then scene 2, etc.).

Instructions for dramatizations of scenes in X: A Fabulous Child’s Story
     • You will work in small groups to produce a 5- to 7-minute script that dramatizes your scene.
     • Each person in your group must have a fairly equal number of lines.
     • Consider the props you could use to help make your scene more realistic.
     • In your small groups, begin by brainstorming all of the possible thoughts, feelings, reactions, and
         ideas for actions people might have in your group’s scene. The point of this activity is to
         effectively show the class how and why people react in situations where gender stereotypes and
         roles are being challenged in some way. Also think about why they would have these different
         kinds of reactions.
     • In your script, ensure that different characters are expressing different kinds of reactions, ideas,
         and/or ideas for action.

Post dramatization: Connecting themes
In their journals or on a clean sheet of paper, have students respond to the following questions relating to
gender stereotyping and its impacts:
     • What did you find surprising about the story?
     • Was there anything in the story that reminded you of a time in your own life when you were
          treated a certain way because you were a male or female? Explain.
     • Have these gender stereotypes changed since 1972 when this story was written? Explain.
     • Based on what you have learned through the story and the skits, will you treat boys or girls
          differently in the future? Explain. What will you say to other people when they are referring to
          males or females in stereotypical ways?

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                              Group Scenes—X: A Fabulous Child’s Story

Group 1           (4 people)
Scene 1
Your group will bring to life a discussion between the scientists who are working on Project Baby X. Stage
your script at the point where these scientists discuss with each other why they became interested in
doing such an experiment in the first place, and what they hoped to discover about people.

Group 2          (4/5 people)
Scene 2
Your group will bring to life, a discussion right outside the Jones’s house of the people who came to see
the baby on the first day home from the hospital. Stage your script immediately after these friends and
relatives have been told that the baby is an “X.” Consider all the different reactions they might have had.

Group 3          (3 people)
Scene 3
Your group will bring to life a discussion between Ms. and Mr. Jones and X the night before Mr. Jones
takes X to a park to play with other children and their parents for the first time. Think about what Ms. and
Mr. Jones might have said to X and how X would respond. Remember that X would only have been about
three years old here.

Group 4          (4 people)
Scene 4
Your group will bring to life a discussion between the principal and three teachers at X’s school a day or
two after the Joneses have been in to explain X’s situation and ask about special accommodations. The
three teachers could be X’s homeroom teacher, X’s gym teacher, and the school guidance counsellor.
Consider all the different possible reactions the principal and these teachers might have to X coming to
their school.

Group 5          (4/5 people)
Scene 5
Your group will bring to life a discussion between a group of friends on the playground at the end of the
first day of school just after they have all met X for the first time. Consider all the different kinds of
responses these children may have had toward X.

Group 6          (3 people)
Scene 6
Your group will bring to life, a discussion between Mr. and Ms. Jones and X on the night of X’s first day of
school. Think about what Mr. and Ms. Jones would ask X, what X would tell them about, and their
reaction to hearing about X’s experiences with the other children.

Group 7          (4/5 people)
Scene 7
Your group will bring to life a meeting of the Parent’s Committee during the time when they begin to
notice changes in their own and other children’s behaviour. Try to incorporate all the different reactions
parents could have and why. Also think about all the different possible responses or actions these parents
might discuss and want to act on.

Group 8          (3/5 people)
Scene 8
Your group will bring to life a discussion among several children after X’s psychiatric examination. Think
about what their reactions would be to the outcome of the examination and what they thought of their
parents demanding that X have this examination.

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                                        X: A Fabulous Child's Story
                                           by Lois Gould © 1972

Once upon a time, a baby named X was born. This baby was named X so that nobody could tell whether
it was a boy or a girl. Its parents could tell, of course, but they couldn't tell anybody else. They couldn't
even tell Baby X, at first.

You see, it was all part of a very important Secret Scientific Xperiment, known officially as Project Baby X.
The smartest scientists had set up this Xperiment at a cost of Xactly 23 billion dollars and 72 cents, which
might seem like a lot for just one baby, even a very important Xperimental baby. But when you remember
the prices of things like strained carrots and stuffed bunnies, and popcorn for the movies and booster
shots for camp, let alone 28 shiny quarters from the tooth fairy, you begin to see how it adds up.

Also, long before Baby X was born, all those scientists had to be paid to work out the details of the
Xperiment, and to write the Official Instruction Manual for Baby X’s parents and, most important of all, to
find the right set of parents to bring up Baby X. These parents had to be selected very carefully.
Thousands of volunteers had to take thousands of tests and answer thousands of tricky questions.
Almost everybody failed because, it turned out, almost everybody really wanted either a baby boy or a
baby girl, and not Baby X at all. Also, almost everybody was afraid that a Baby X would be a lot more
trouble than a boy or a girl. (They were probably right, the scientists admitted, but Baby X needed parents
who wouldn’t mind the Xtra trouble.)

There were families with grandparents named Milton and Agatha, who didn’t see why a baby couldn’t be
named Milton or Agatha instead of X, even if it was an X. There were families with aunts who insisted on
knitting tiny dresses and uncles who insisted on sending tiny baseball mitts. Worst of all, there were
families that already had other children who couldn’t be trusted to keep the secret. Certainly not if they
knew the secret was worth 23 billion dollars and 72 cents—and all you had to do was take one little peek
at Baby X in the bathtub to know if it was a boy or a girl.

But, finally, the scientists found the Joneses, who really wanted to raise an X more than any other kind of
baby—no matter how much trouble it would be. Ms. and Mr. Jones had to promise they would take equal
turns caring for X, and feeding it, and singing it lullabies. And they had to promise never to hire any baby-
sitters. The government scientists knew perfectly well that a baby-sitter would probably peek at X in the
bathtub, too.

The day the Joneses brought their baby home, lots of friends and relatives came over to see it. None of
them knew about the secret Xperiment, though. So the first thing they asked was what kind of a baby X
was. When the Joneses smiled and said, “It’s an X!” nobody knew what to say. They couldn’t say, “Look
at her cute little dimples!” And they couldn’t say, “Look at his husky little biceps!” And they couldn’t even
say just plain “kitchy-coo.” In fact, they all thought the Joneses were playing some kind of rude joke.

But, of course, the Joneses were not joking. “It’s an X” was absolutely all they would say. And that made
the friends and relatives very angry. The relatives all felt embarrassed about having an X in the family.
“People will think there’s something wrong with it!” some of them whispered. “There is something wrong
with it!” others whispered back.

“Nonsense!” the Joneses told them all cheerfully. “What could possibly be wrong with this perfectly
adorable X?”

Nobody could answer that, except Baby X, who had just finished its bottle. Baby X’s answer was a loud,
satisfied burp.

Clearly, nothing at all was wrong. Nevertheless, none of the relatives felt comfortable about buying a
present for a Baby X. The cousins who sent the baby a tiny football helmet would not come and visit any
more. And the neighbors who sent a pink-flowered romper suit pulled their shades down when the
Joneses passed their house.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board             - 32 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
The Official Instruction Manual had warned the new parents that this would happen, so they didn’t fret
about it. Besides, they were too busy with Baby X and the hundreds of different Xercises for treating it

Ms. And Mr. Jones had to be Xtra careful about how they played with little X. They knew that if they kept
bouncing it up in the air and saying how strong and active it was, they’d be treating it more like a boy than
an X. But if all they did was cuddle it and kiss it and tell it how sweet and dainty it was, they’d be treating it
more like a girl than an X.

On page 1,654 of the Official Instruction Manual, the scientists prescribed: “plenty of bouncing and plenty
of cuddling, both. X ought to be strong and sweet and active. Forget about dainty altogether.”

Meanwhile, the Joneses were worrying about other problems. Toys, for instance. And clothes. On his first
shopping trip, Mr. Jones told the store clerk, “I need some clothes and toys for my new baby.” The clerk
smiles and said, “Well, now, is it a boy or a girl?” “It’s an X,” Mr. Jones said, smiling back. But the clerk
got all red in the face and said huffily, “In that case, I’m afraid I can’t help you, sir.” So Mr. Jones
wandered helplessly up and down the aisles trying to find what X needed. But everything in the store was
piled up in sections marked “Boys” or “Girls.” There were “Boys’ Pajamas” and “Girls’ Underwear” and
“Boys’ Fire Engines” and “Girls’ Housekeeping Sets.” Mr. Jones consulted page 2,326 of the Official
Instruction Manual. “Buy plenty of everything!” it said firmly.

So they bought plenty of sturdy blue pajamas in the Boys’ Department and cheerful flowered underwear
in the Girls’ Department. And they bought all kinds of toys. A boy doll that made pee-pee and cried,
“Pa-Pa.” And a girl doll that talked in three languages and said, “I am the Pres-I-dent of Gen-er-al
Mo-tors.” They also bought a storybook about a brave princess who rescued a handsome prince from his
ivory tower, and another one about a sister and brother who grew up to be a baseball star and a ballet
star, and you had to guess which was which.

The head scientists of Project Baby X checked all their purchases and told them to keep up the good
work. They also reminded the Joneses to see page 4,629 of the Manual, where it said, “Never make Baby
X feel embarrassed or ashamed about what it wants to play with. And if X gets dirty climbing rocks, never
say ‘Nice little Xes don’t get dirty climbing rocks.’”

Likewise, it said, “If X falls down and cries, never say ‘Brave little Xes don’t cry.’ Because, of course, nice
little Xes do get dirty, and brave little Xes do cry. No matter how dirty X gets, or how hard it cries, don’t
worry. It’s all part of the Xperiment.”

Whenever the Joneses pushed Baby X’s stroller in the park, smiling strangers would come over and coo:
“Is that a boy or a girl?” The Joneses would smile back and say, “It’s an X.” The strangers would stop
smiling then, and often snarl something nasty—as if the Joneses had snarled at them.

By the time X grew big enough to play with other children, the Joneses’ troubles had grown bigger, too.
Once a little girl grabbed X’s shovel in the sandbox, and zonked X on the head with it. “Now, now, Tracy,”
the little girl’s mother began to scold, “little girls mustn’t hit little –“ and she turned to ask X, “Are you a
little boy or a little girl, dear?”

Mr. Jones, who was sitting near the sandbox, held his breath and crossed his fingers.

X smiled politely at the lady, even though X's head had never been zonked so hard in its life. “I’m a little
X,” X replied.

“You’re a what?” the lady exclaimed angrily. “You’re a little b-r-a-t, you mean!”

“But little girls mustn’t hit little Xes, either!” said X, retrieving the shovel with another polite smile. “What
good does hitting do, anyway?”

X’s father, who was still holding his breathe, finally let it out, uncrossed his fingers, and grinned back at X.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board                - 33 -                   Gender Equity Resource Guide
And at their next secret Project Baby X meeting, the scientist grinned, too. Baby X was doing fine.

But then it was time for X to start school. The Joneses were really worried about this, because school was
even more full of rules fro boys and girls, and there were no rules for Xes. The teacher would tell boys to
form one line, and girls to form another line. There would be boys’ games and girls’ games, and boys’
secrets and girls’ secrets. The school library would have a list of recommended books for girls, and a
different list of recommended books for boys. There would even be a bathroom marked BOYS and
another one marked GIRLS. Pretty soon boys and girls would hardly talk to each other. What would
happen to poor little X?

The Joneses spent weeks consulting their Instruction Manual (there were 2491⁄2 pages of advice under
“First Day of School”), and attending urgent special conferences with the smart scientists of Project
Baby X.

The scientists had to make sure that X’s mother had taught X how to throw and catch a ball properly, and
that X's father had been sure to teach X what to serve at a doll’s tea party. X gad to know how to shoot
marbles and how to jump rope and, most of all, what to say when the Other Children asked whether X
was a Boy or a Girl.

Finally, X was ready. The Joneses helped X button on a nice new pair of red-and-white checked overalls,
and sharpened six pencils for X’s nice new pencil box, and marked X’s name clearly on all the books in its
nice new book bag. X brushed its teeth and combed its hair, which just about covered its ears, and
remembered to put a napkin in its lunch box.

The Joneses had asked X’s teacher if the class could line up alphabetically, instead of forming separate
lines for boys and girls. And they had asked if X could use the principal’s bathroom, because it wasn’t
marked anything except BATHROOM. X’s teacher promised to take care of all those problems. But
nobody could help X with the biggest problem of all—Other Children.

Nobody in X’s class had ever known an X before. What would they think? How would X make friends?

You couldn’t tell what X was by studying its clothes—overalls don’t even button right-to-left, like girls’
clothes, or left-to-right, like boys’ clothes. And you couldn’t guess whether X had a girl’s short haircut or a
boy’s long haircut. And it was very hard to tell by the games X liked to play. Either X played ball very well
for a girl, or else X played house very well for a boy.

Some of the children tried to find out by asking X tricky questions, like “Who’s your favorite sports star?”
That was easy. X had two favorite sports stars: a girl jockey named Robyn Smith and a boy archery
champion named Robin Hood. Then they asked, “What’s your favorite TV program?” And that was even
easier. X's favorite TV program was “Lassie,” which stars a girl dog played by a boy dog.

When X said that its favorite toy was a doll, everyone decided that X must be a girl. But then X said the
doll was really a robot, and that X had computerized it and that it was programmed to bake fudge
brownies and the clean up in the kitchen. After X told them that, the other children gave up guessing what
X was. All they knew was they’d sure like to see X’s doll.

After school, X wanted to play with the other children. “How about shooting some baskets in the gym?”
X asked the girls. But all they did was make faces and giggle behind X’s back.

“How about weaving some baskets in the arts and crafts room?” X asked the boys. But they all made
faces and giggled behind X’s back, too.

That night, Ms. And Mr. Jones asked X how things had gone at school. X told them sadly that the lessons
were okay, but otherwise school was a terrible place for an X. It seemed as if Other Children would never
want an X for a friend.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board              - 34 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Once more, the Joneses reached for their Instruction Manual. Under “Other Children,” they found the
following message: “What did you Xpect? Other Children have to obey all the silly boy-girl rules, because
their parents taught them to. Lucky X—you don't have to stick to the rules at all! All you have to do is be
yourself. P.S. We’re not saying it'll be easy.”

X liked being itself. But X cried a lot that night, partly because it felt afraid. So X’s father held X tight, and
cuddled it, and couldn’t help crying a little, too. And X’s mother cheered them both up by reading an
Xciting story about an enchanted prince called Sleeping Handsome, who woke up when Princess
Charming kissed him.

The next morning, they all felt much better, and little X went back to school with a brave smile and a clean
pair of red-and-white checked overalls.

There was a seven-letter-word spelling bee in class that day. And a seven-lap boys’ relay race in the
gym. And a seven-layer-cake baking contest in the girls’ kitchen corner. X won the spelling bee. X also
won the relay race. And X almost won the baking contest, except it forgot to light the oven. Which only
proves that nobody’s perfect.

One of the Other Children noticed something else, too. He said: “Winning or losing doesn’t seem to count
to X. X seems to have fun being good at boys’ skills and girls’ skills.”

“Come to think of it,” said another one of the Other Children, “maybe X is having twice as much fun as we

So after school that day, the girl who beat X at the baking contest gave X a big slice of her prizewinning
cake. And the boy X beat in the relay race asked X to race him home.

From then on, some really funny things began to happen. Susie, who sat next to X in class, suddenly
refused to wear pink dresses to school any more. She insisted on wearing red-and-white checked
overalls-just like X’s. Overalls, she told her parents, were much better for climbing monkey bars.

Then Jim, the class football nut, started wheeling his little sister’s doll carriage around the football field.
He’d put on his entire football uniform, except for the helmet. Then he’d put the helmet in the carriage,
lovingly tucked under an old set of shoulder pads. Then he'd start jogging around the field, pushing the
carriage and singing “Rockabye Baby” to his football helmet. He told his family that X did the same thing,
so it must be okay. After all, X was now the team’s star quarterback.

Susie’s parents were horrified by her behavior, and Jim’s parents were worried sick about his. But the
worst came when the twins, Joe and Peggy, decided to share everything with each other. Peggy used
Joe’s hockey skates, and his microscope, and took half his newspaper route. Joe used Peggy’s
needlepoint and her cookbooks, and took two of her three baby-sitting jobs. Peggy started to run the lawn
mower, and Joe started running the vacuum cleaner.

Their parents weren’t one bit pleased with Peggy’s wonderful biology experiments, or with Joe’s terrific
needlepoint pillows. They didn’t care that Peggy mowed the lawn better, and that Joe vacuumed the
carpet better. In fact, they were furious. It’s all that little X’s fault, they agreed. Just because X doesn’t
know what it is, or what it’s supposed to be, it wants to get everybody else mixed up, too!

Peggy and Joe were forbidden to play with X any more. So was Susie, and then Jim, and then all the
Other Children. But it was too late; the Other Children stayed mixed up and happy and free, and refused
to go back to the way they’d been before X.

Finally, Joe and Peggy’s parents decided to call an emergency meeting of the school’s Parent’s
Association, to discuss “The X Problem.” They sent a report to the principal stating that X was a
“disruptive influence.” They demanded immediate action. The Joneses, they said, should be forced to tell
whether X was a boy or a girl. And then X should be forced to behave like whichever it was. If the
Joneses refused to tell, the Parents' Association said, then X must take an Xamination. The school

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psychiatrist must Xamine it physically and mentally, and issue a full report. If X’s test showed it was a boy,
it would have to obey all the boys’ rules. If it proved to be a girl, X would have to obey all the girls’ rules.

And if X turned out to be some kind of mixed-up misfit, then X should be Xpelled from the school.

The principal was very upset. Disruptive influence? Mixed-up misfit? But X was an Xcellent student. All
the teachers said it was a delight to have X in their classes. X was president of the student council. X had
won first prize in the talent show, and second prize in the art show, and honorable mention in the science
fair, and six athletic events on field day, including the potato race.

Nevertheless, insisted the Parents’ Association, X is a Problem Child. X is the Biggest Problem Child we
have ever seen!

So the principal reluctantly notified X’s parents that numerous complaints about X’s behavior had come to
the school’s attention. And that after the psychiatrist’s Xamination, the school would decide what to do
about X.

The Joneses reported this at once to the scientists, who referred them to page 85,759 of the Instruction
Manual. “Sooner or later,” it said, “X will have to be Xamined by a psychiatrist. This may be the only way
any of us will know for sure whether X is mixed up—or whether everyone else is.”

The night before X was to be Xamined, the Joneses tried not to let X see how worried they were. “What
if-?” Mr. Jones would say. And Ms. Jones would reply, “No use worrying.” Then a few minutes later, Ms.
Jones would say, “What if-?” and Mr. Jones would reply, “No use worrying.”

X just smiled at them both, and hugged them hard and didn’t say much of anything. X was thinking, What
if-? And then X thought: No use worrying.

At Xactly 9 o'clock the next day, X reported to the school psychiatrist’s office. The principal, along with a
committee from the Parents’ Association, X’s teacher, X’s classmates, and Ms. and Mr. Jones, waited in
the hall outside. Nobody knew the details of the tests X was to be given, but everybody knew they'd be
very hard, and that they’d reveal Xactly what everyone wanted to know about X, but were afraid to ask.

It was terribly quiet in the hall. Almost spooky. Once in a while, they would hear a strange noise inside the
room. There were buzzes. And a beep or two. And several bells. An occasional light would flash under
the door. The Joneses thought it was a white light, but the principal thought it was blue. Two or three
children swore it was either yellow or green. And the Parents’ Committee missed it completely.

Through it all, you could hear the psychiatrist’s low voice, asking hundreds of questions, and X’s higher
voice, answering hundreds of answers.

The whole thing took so long that everyone knew it must be the most complete Xamination anyone had
ever had to take. Poor X, the Joneses thought. Serves X right, the Parents’ Committee thought. I wouldn’t
like to be in X’s overalls right now, the children thought.

At last, the door opened. Everyone crowded around to hear the results. X didn’t look any different; in fact,
X was smiling. But the psychiatrist looked terrible. He looked as if he was crying! “What happened?”
everyone began shouting. Had X done something disgraceful? “I wouldn’t be a bit surprised!” muttered
Peggy and Joe’s parents. “Did X flunk the whole test?” cried Susie's parents. “Or just the most important
part?” yelled Jim’s parents.

“Oh, dear,” sighed Mr. Jones.

“Oh, dear,” sighed Ms. Jones.

“Sssh,” ssshed the principal. “The psychiatrist is trying to speak.”

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Wiping his eyes and clearing his throat, the psychiatrist began, in a hoarse whisper. “In my opinion,” he
whispered—you could tell he must be very upset—“in my opinion, young X here-“

“Yes? Yes?” shouted a parent impatiently.

“Sssh!” ssshed the principal.

“Young Sssh here, I mean young X,” said the doctor, frowning, “is just about-“

“Just about what? Let’s have it!” shouted another parent.

“...just about the least mixed-up child I’ve ever Xamined!” said the psychiatrist.

“Yay for X!” yelled one of the children. And then the others began yelling, too. Clapping and cheering and
jumping up and down.

“SSSH!” Ssshed the principal, but nobody did.

The Parents’ Committee was angry and bewildered. How could X have passed the whole Xamination?
Didn’t X have an identity problem? Wasn’t X mixed up at all? Wasn’t X any kind of a misfit? How could it
not be, when it didn’t even know what it was? And why was the psychiatrist crying?

Actually, he had stopped crying and was smiling politely through his tears. “Don’t you see?” he said. “I’m
crying because it’s wonderful! X has absolutely no identity problem! X isn’t one bit mixed up! As for being
a misfit—ridiculous! X knows perfectly well what it is! Don’t you, X?” The doctor winked. X winked back.

“But what is X?” shrieked Peggy and Joe’s parents. “We still want to know what it is!”

“Ah, yes,” said the doctor, winking again. “Well, don’t worry. You’ll all know one of these days. And you
won’t need me to tell you.”

“What? What does he mean?” some of the parents grumbled suspiciously.

Susie and Peggy and Joe all answered at once. “He means that by the time X’s sex matters, it won’t be a
secret any more!”

With that, the doctor began to push through the crowd toward X’s parents. “How do you do,” he said,
somewhat stiffly. And then he reached out to hug them both. “If I ever have an X of my own,” he
whispered, “I sure hope you’ll lend me your instruction manual.”

Needless to say, the Joneses were very happy. The Project Baby X scientists were rather pleased, too.
So were Susie, Jim, Peggy, Joe and all the Other Children. The Parents’ Association wasn’t, but they had
promised to accept the psychiatrist’s report, and not make any more trouble. They even invited Ms. and
Mr. Jones to become honorary members, which they did.

Later that day, all X’s friends put on their red-and-white checked overalls and went over to see X. They
found X in the back yard, playing with a very tiny baby that none of them had ever seen before. The baby
was wearing very tiny red-and-white checked overalls.

“How do you like our new baby?” X asked the Other Children proudly.

“It's got cute dimples,” said Jim.

“It's got husky biceps, too,” said Susie.

“What kind of baby is it?” asked Joe and Peggy.

X frowned at them. “Can't you tell?” Then X broke into a big, mischievous grin. “It's a Y!”

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Sample Lesson 2: Man in the Box, Woman in the Box

Time: 75 minutes

This activity demonstrates the broad range of gender-based stereotypes that exist in our society, and the
homophobia that often results when someone doesn’t or refuses to conform to these stereotypes.

Students will generate lists of common societal stereotypes for what it means to be a “real” girl/woman
and a “real” boy/man. Students will then discuss the names people are called when they don’t or can’t
conform to these stereotypes. Powerful connections can then be made between gender stereotypes and

Resources and Materials
   • Two pieces of flip-chart paper (or chalkboard)
   • Markers
   • Definition of stereotype: An idea about a group of people that may sometimes be true about
      individuals in that group, but is then generalized to all members of that group. Stereotypes are
      often negative (e.g., “Teenagers are all troublemakers”).
   • Definition of homophobia: The fear or hatred and/or discrimination against people who are, or are
      perceived to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT).

Teaching Learning Strategies
1. Elicit an understanding of the term stereotype from the class.

2. On the board, or on two separate pieces of flip-chart paper, write the headings:

        A “real” girl or woman:                  A “real” boy or man:
        - acts like…                             - acts like…
        - is interested in…                      - is interested in…
        - likes…                                 - likes…

3. Divide students into small same-sex groups. Direct each group to brainstorm as many ideas as
   possible for each heading.

4. As a whole class, record the responses generated in the small groups under each of the appropriate

5. Draw a box around each list of stereotypes. Explain to students that one is the box in which society
   places women/girls and the other is the box in which the society places men/ boys. These are called
   gender stereotypes. Ask students to identify the names they will be called if they do not seem to
   conform to the stereotypes in the box. Ask students to be specific and honest about the names.
   Record these names outside the appropriate boxes.

6. Elicit feedback from students about what they notice about the names.

Suggestions for things to point out:

    •   Many of the names outside the boxes, especially for boys, are homophobic in nature; therefore,
        homophobia can serve to keep all of us in boxes, not just students who may be LGBT.
    •   None of us fits perfectly inside these boxes, and most of us move between these boxes,
        depending on a variety of factors.
    •   The stereotypes inside the boxes are not inherently male nor female. They are just a list of
        interests, likes, dislikes, and behaviours.
    •   There are times when we may feel comfortable inside these boxes and times when we will not. It
        is a courageous act to step outside these boxes.

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Questions to ask students (for oral discussion and/or written response):

    •   Who or what in our society tries to maintain these boxes?
    •   Why do you think some people believe it is important to push people inside these boxes?
    •   Have you ever tried to push someone back inside the box? Why?
    •   What are the consequences of forcing people to remain in these boxes (for example, boys not
        being able to express emotions of hurt in public, girls feeling that they should deny their athletic

7. Ask students what gender stereotypes exist within the subject area you are teaching. For example:
   Math – Boys will be better at math than girls; English – Boys who read are losers; Family Studies –
   Boys who like to cook are gay; Tech courses – Girls who are good at tech are tomboys; etc.

8. Once you have generated the gender stereotypes that exist in your subject area, think about how you
   may go about challenging these stereotypes or investigating the truth behind the stereotype.
   Examples of activities you may undertake with students include the following:

    •   English – Generate a list of words or phrases that either are exclusive or put women down. For
        example, look for words like mankind, policeman, mailman, or phrases like “rule of thumb.”
    •   Math – Do a statistical survey to see if males are truly better at math. You will surely see that girls
        also do well.
    •   Science – Research female inventors and scientists in Canadian history and create a poster or

9. Now that you have data about the gender bias in your subject area, think about ways to promote
   gender equity within your discipline.

    •   In English, you could create a bookmark with examples of exclusive or inclusive language and
        urge students to look for these words in their books.
    •   In science, the poster or booklet you created could become a resource available to all teachers
        teaching science so that students would learn about the contributions of women.
    •   In tech courses, a presentation about women in traditionally male-dominated fields of mechanics,
        construction, masonry, etc., could raise awareness about the expertise that women also have in
        these areas.

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Sample Lesson 3: School Use of Space Survey—The Pink and Blue Map

Time: 3 x 75 minutes or a half-day session

This activity helps students and staff gain a better understanding of the gendered use of space in a
school environment and to make plans for next steps where issues of unfairness in use of space and
participation in school activities become apparent.

Students and staff work in small groups over the course of a full morning or afternoon or over several
class periods during the week. Each group completes its section of the sheet, charting female and male
students’ use of space and participation in specific school activities. Students and staff then share their
results and design a pink and blue map of their school areas to be displayed in a prominent place for all
to see. Discussion takes place about the results of their findings, what if any changes should be made at
their school, and the steps needed to be taken to bring about these changes.

   • Copy of “Elementary School Use-of-Space Survey” chart or “Secondary School Use-of-Space
       Survey” chart for each small group
   • Pens
   • Pink and blue paints, markers, crayons, pastels
   • Large map (blueprint) of school on white paper

Teaching/Learning Strategies

1. Divide students into small, mixed-gender groups.

2. Each group is given specific categories in their chart to complete and report on.

3. Students need to meet first in their small group to determine when they will be able to complete their
   specific chart areas. For example, if students need to report on after- school gym use, they will need
   to decide, within the teacher allotted time frame for completion, when they can meet to do this.

4. When each group has completed their chart area, all groups meet together to share and compare
   their findings.

5. Show a large map of the school (blueprint), using pink to show female-dominant areas and blue for
   male-dominant areas. (Note: In elementary schools there may be different maps denoting
   playgrounds and indoor areas. In secondary schools, the map may also include both indoor and
   outdoor areas.)

6. The teacher/staff responsible will lead students in a discussion of their findings, with the specific goal
   of creating an action plan around agreed-upon changes.

Suggested questions for discussion:

    •   Are there any areas or activities that are used mainly by female students?

    •   Why do you think mainly female students use this area of the school?

    •   Are there any areas or activities that are used mainly by male students?

    •   Why do you think mainly male students use this area of the school?

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   •   Are there areas or activities that are shared more or less equally by both male and female

   •   What conclusions can you make from looking at the results? Why?

   •   If we wanted to have equal use of all schools spaces, what changes could be made in the use of
       outside/inside space and activities?

   •   What will you need to do to bring about these changes? For example, what could the student
       council, athletic council, yearbook committee, newspaper club, and/or social justice group do to
       promote greater gender balance in the school. Actions might include giving equal time in the
       school newspaper and on the announcements about both male and female sports; doing a survey
       of what both boys and girls like to read and creating a section in the library that includes current
       favourites for both boys and girls; or, asking boys and girls what activities they like to play and
       ensuring that playground and gymnasium time is divided equally among activities that will be
       enjoyed by all.

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             Elementary School Use-of-Space Survey

       Playground Areas                Number of Girls             Number of Boys
 Field (Soccer, Football)

 Climbing Equipment


 Basketball Court

 Chasing Games

 Standing and Talking

 Student Government




 Gym Before School

 Gym at Lunchtime

 Gym After School

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             Secondary School Use-of-Space Survey

       Type of Space/                  Number of Female Students         Number of Male Students
 Outdoor space:

 Outdoor space:

 Outdoor space:

 Outdoor space:

 Student Government






 Gym before School

 Gym at Lunchtime

 Gym after School

 Computer lab

© 2006 Toronto District School Board          - 43 -               Gender Equity Resource Guide
Sample Lesson 4: Celebrating Women Throughout the Year

Time: Throughout the year

Throughout the year, there are a number of opportunities for schools and the community to partner
around women’s issues, struggles, achievements, and celebrations. Organizing with students for any of
the events listed below is a powerful way to inform and involve young people in the life of their

Students will work with members of the school staff, parents/guardians/caregivers, and community
members to plan and organize around specific women’s events or celebrations.

A Sample of Women’s Events and Celebrations Throughout the Year

September/early October: Take Back the Night
Take Back the Night (TBTN) is an annual community event where women and children march to protest
violence against women and children. The march is for women and children only, to highlight the fact that
women and children are often only safe on the streets in numbers. Take Back the Night marches are
organized all over the world. In Toronto, TBTN usually takes place toward the end of September or early
October and is organized by the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape.
Elementary Teachers of Toronto, Status of Women Committee. <www.ett.on.ca>.
Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape. <www.trccmwar.ca>.

October: Women’s History Month and Persons Day
The lives, achievements, and contributions of women have often been ignored or left out of traditional
accounts of Canadian history. Women’s History Month, celebrated in the month of October each year in
Canada since 1992, provides the opportunity to focus on Canadian women both past and present. The
month of October was selected because of the anniversary of the Persons Case decision in 1929. In that
case, the Supreme Court of Canada had ruled that women were not legally persons, and therefore were
not eligible for Senate appointment. On October 18, 1929, this decision was overturned by the Privy
Council, which declared Canadian women persons and eligible to seek Senate appointment.

December 6: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
December 6 marks the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. On this tragic date in 1989, 14 women
were killed at the l’École Polytechnique for no other reason than that they were women. This day was
declared the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women by the Canadian
government in 1991 to remember what happened to these women, as well as to acknowledge the
everyday violence that women in our society continue to deal with, and to encourage action against it.

March: International Women’s Day, March 8
International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated around the world on March 8 and is also commemorated
at the United Nations. On this day, and often in the week leading up to IWD, women’s groups organize
many different events in the community to raise awareness of women’s issues, and to celebrate women’s
continuing struggles worldwide for justice, equality, and peace.

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Suggestions for Organizing Around These Events

Your school may choose to organize around one or a number of these events throughout the year.
Consider the following:

       •   Put together an organizing committee to oversee the planning. Consider including: students,
           teachers, administration, parent/guardian/caregiver representatives.
       •   Contact community-based organizations to find out what they may be doing around the same
           event and discuss where you might coordinate activities together.
       •   Try to get as many staff and students in your school to buy in to the event(s) that you want to
           organize. Consider introducing your ideas at a staff meeting, to the Student Government,
           through morning announcements, at an information assembly, or in a report to the Parent’s

Activity Suggestions

   •   Organize school participation in a community event that is already taking place. For example:
       organize a group of students to march at the Take Back the Night March or in the International
       Women’s Day March; organize groups of students to help sell pins at different subway locations
       to raise money for the December 6 Fund.
   •   Make posters/collages/murals to display in your school that promote a specific event; design
       banners and signs that students can carry if they are participating in a march; create a photo or
       artwork display in a public space at your school that celebrates women’s struggles,
       achievements, and celebrations, and invite community members in to tour the display.
   •   Organize an evening of readings in which students and community members share their poetry,
       spoken-word pieces, short stories, etc., on women’s issues.
   •   Organize a fundraising event for a local women’s organization.
   •   Using the findings from your School-Use-of-Space Survey, organize a panel discussion,
       workshop, or assembly to share what was discovered, and create action plans to address issues
       that arose. Consider inviting METRAC to participate, since they work on “use of space” audits.
   •   Hold an assembly with male speakers from the community who share how they are acting as
       allies to end violence against women. Try to ensure that these speakers are diverse in race,
       class, sexual orientation, and religious background.
   •   Organize a school community fair where local women’s organizations that work to promote
       women’s equality and rights are invited to share information, their work, any current campaigns,
       and ways that students can get involved with their organization.
   •   Organize a school conference with a variety of workshops that address women’s issues. Ensure
       that issues specific to your student body are included.

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The “Persons Case”
”We want women leaders today as never before. Leaders
who are not afraid to be called names and who are
willing to go out and fight. I think women can save
civilization. Women are persons.”
– Emily Murphy, 1931
The courageous women who challenged the existing
status of women in the early twentieth century are now
part of the historic landscape of Canada. Five women
created legal history in women’s rights by contesting the
notion that legal definitions of persons excluded females.
If women were not legally persons, then they had no

The women who pursued the petition were journalists,
magistrates, or politicians. Their legal quest reached the
highest level of appeals, the British Privy Council, which
ultimately pronounced women to be persons. It is a
notable victory for equal rights.
The determination and dedication of these remarkable women is honoured by The Governor General’s
Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case. In 1979, on the 50th anniversary of the decree that
women were persons, the Canadian government struck the first medal. It is the only tribute to those who
work to promote gender equality and the full participation of women in the economic fabric of the country.

Reform movements attract support

The early 1900s were turbulent and rapidly changing times in the Canadian West. In Alberta, the
population began to shift from a strictly rural to an increasing urban one. Men outnumbered women three
to two. These situations combined to create what some perceived as significant social problems of
alcohol abuse and prostitution.

Women began to organize and support those organizations dedicated to “cleaning up society.” At the
same time, women began to seek a larger role in politics. In 1916, the Alberta legislature passed
legislation granting women the right to vote.

The British North America Act of 1867 set out the powers and responsibilities of the provinces and of the
federal government. This federal act used the word persons when it referred to more than one person and
the word he when it referred to one person. Therefore, many argued, the Act was really saying that only a
man could be a person, thus preventing women from participating fully in politics or affairs of state.

This situation was of concern to Canada’s Emily Murphy, the first woman magistrate in the British Empire.
Judge Murphy was the magistrate of a newly created Women’s Court operating in Edmonton. On her first
day, a defendant’s lawyer challenged a ruling by Murphy because she was not a person and therefore not
qualified to perform the duties of a magistrate.

Magistrate Alice Jamieson of Calgary found herself similarly challenged. In 1917, one of her rulings was
appealed to the Alberta Supreme Court, which deemed that there was no legal disqualification for holding
public office in the government based on sex.

At the same time, women’s groups began pressuring the federal government to appoint a woman to the
Senate. Despite the support of Prime Ministers Arthur Meighen and William Lyon Mackenzie King, no
appointments materialized. Governments used the persons argument as the excuse used to keep women
out of important positions such as membership in the Senate. If only a man could be a person, then when
the Act also said only “qualified persons” could be appointed to the Senate of Canada, then only men
could be appointed to the Senate.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            - 46 -                Gender Equity Resource Guide
The five who became famous

In 1927, Emily Murphy and four other prominent Canadian women—Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby,
Louise McKinney, and Henrietta Muir Edwards—asked the Supreme Court of Canada to answer the
question, “Does the word person in Section 24 of the B.N.A. Act include female persons?” After five
weeks of debate and argument, the Supreme Court of Canada decided that the word person did not
include women.

The five women, nicknamed “The Famous Five,” were shocked by the Supreme Court decision, but did
not give up the fight. Instead, they refused to accept the decision and took the Persons Case to the Privy
Council in England, which in those days was Canada's highest court.

The Privy Council decides

On October 18, 1929, Lord Sankey, Lord Chancellor of the Privy Council, announced the decision of the
five Lords. The decision stated that “the exclusion of women from all public offices is a relic of days more
barbarous than ours. And to those who would ask why the word person should include females, the
obvious answer is, why should it not?”

The Famous Five achieved not only the right for women to serve in the Senate, but they and their many
contributions paved the way for women to participate in other aspects of public life and the assertion of
women's rights is now honoured by the Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons

The Famous Five

                    Nellie McClung

                    “Never retract, never explain, never apologize—get things done and let them howl.”

                    Novelist, legislator, prohibitionist, and suffragette, Nellie (Mooney) McClung’s
                    influence was felt across the prairies. The Chatsworth, Ontario-born school teacher
                    helped Manitoba women win the right to vote and continued the battle in Alberta after
                    arriving in Edmonton in 1914. She was elected to the Alberta Legislature as an
                    opposition Liberal in 1921, was the first woman on the CBC Board of Governors, a
                    representative to the League of Nations, a Sunday school teacher, and a mother of

                    Louise McKinney

                    “The purpose of a woman’s life is just the same as the purpose of a man’s life: that
                    she may make the best possible contribution to her generation.”

                    Louise (Crummy) McKinney raged against the evils of alcohol and the “disabilities laid
                    on women” and played a leading role in bringing Alberta women the right to vote in
                    1916. She was the first woman sworn in to the Alberta Legislature and the first in any
                    legislature in the British Empire. As an MLA, elected in 1917 to represent Claresholm,
                    she worked to initiate social-assistance measures for widows and immigrants and,
                    along with Emily Murphy, helped establish the Dower Act, allowing women property
                    rights in marriage.

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                  Emily Murphy

                  “Whenever I don't know whether to fight or not, I fight.”

                  Born in Cookstown, Ontario, Emily (Ferguson) Murphy was already an accomplished
                  author by the time she arrived in Edmonton in 1907. A mother of two, she
                  spearheaded campaigns for women’s property rights, and in 1916, she was the first
                  woman in the British Empire to be appointed as a police magistrate. During this time,
                  a lawyer repeatedly challenged her rulings, claiming that she was not legally a
                  “person.” In 1927, she led the legal challenge now known as the Persons Case.

                  Irene Parlby

                  “Evolution cannot be brought about by the use of dynamite.”

                  Born in London, England, Irene (Marryat) Parlby came to Alberta in 1896, married a
                  rancher, and settled in the Lacombe area. She was elected to the Alberta Legislature
                  in 1921 under the United Farmers of Alberta banner and helped push through 18 bills
                  to improve the plight of women and children. She was named to cabinet as a minister
                  without portfolio in 1921, only the second woman cabinet minister in the British
                  Empire. She was president of the United Farm Women of Alberta and a staunch
                  advocate for rural Alberta women.

                  Henrietta Muir Edwards

                  “We sought to establish the individuality of women... It was an uphill fight.”

                  Henrietta (Muir) Edwards was active in prison reform, organized the forerunner to the
                  YWCA in Montreal in 1875 to provide vocational training for impoverished working
                  women, and published and financed the first Canadian magazine for working women.
                  A student of law, she helped establish the National Council of Women in 1890 and
                  served for decades as its convenor of laws. She wrote several books on the legal
                  status of women, and compiled a list of provincial laws affecting women and children
                  across Canada at the request of the federal government.

(Source: Library and Archives Canada, 2006. <www.collectionscanada.ca/famous5/index-e.html>.)

© 2006 Toronto District School Board           - 48 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Great Canadians
The following list is a small sample of the incredible men
and women in Canada. Their significant accomplish-
ments in education, entertainment, history, politics,
professions, science, or sports have contributed to the growth of a nation.

Below is some biographical information on significant Canadians in different aspects of society and
throughout history. For more information, please visit the Canadian Broadcasting Canada’s Greatest
Canadian website, <www.cbc.ca/greatest>.

 Margaret Atwood                                           Fredrick Banting
 Recognized by Britain’s Sunday Times as “the              Discovered insulin and brought new hope to
 outstanding novelist of our age.” She is a                diabetics around the world. He received Canada’s
 respected poet, essayist, and critic, deeply              first ever Nobel Prize in Medicine.
 committed to cultural and human rights activism.

 Roberta Bondar                                            Alexander Graham Bell
 Became one of Canada’s first astronauts and was           Transmitted the first words via telegraph on
 the first neurologist in space. She celebrated her        March 10, 1876. He patented the invention,
 appreciation for this planet with beautiful               demonstrated the telephone in Philadelphia in
 photographs of Canada’s national parks.                   1976, and formed the Bell Telephone Company in

 Emily Carr                                                Don Cherry
 Captured humanity’s beauty and wonders on                 Announced many hockey games in his 24 years
 canvas and in print. She battled depression,              with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. He has been
 illness, poverty, and neglect to become one of            described as being outspoken, outrageous, and, at
 Canada’s most celebrated painters.                        times, outlandish in his role as a hockey analyst.

 Anne Cools                                                Tommy Douglas
 Founded Women in Transition, one of the first             Advocated for social causes on behalf of
 battered women shelters in Canada. She became             Canadians. He was known as Canada’s “father” of
 the first Black person ever appointed to the              Medicare and was active in politics for more than
 Canadian Senate in 1984.                                  30 years.

 Agnes Macphail                                            Terry Fox
 Was the first woman ever to sit in Canada’s               Began his Marathon of Hope on April 12, 1980. His
 House of Commons. She focused on the needs of             journey included the Atlantic provinces, Quebec,
 poor farmers, the plight of striking miners, and the      and Ontario, running 5376 kilometres and raising
 dire state of Canadian prisons.                           $24.17 million by February 1981.

 Nellie McClung                                            Wayne Gretzky
 Led the Women’s Christian Temperance Union                Achieved the greatest scorer in NHL history,
 into a battle for votes for women, winning in 1916.       breaking over five dozen records and scoring
 She entered the Alberta legislature and was an            nearly 3000 points. He won four Stanley Cups and
 influential fighter for social change in Canada.          held 61 NHL records.

 Lucy Maud Montgomery                                      Sir John A. Macdonald
 Created a small red-headed orphan, Anne of                Recognized as the founding father of Canada. He
 Green Gables, who charmed her way into the                united the French and the English, as well as
 hearts of the world. Her work paved the way for           facilitated the construction of the Canadian Pacific
 Prince Edward Island’s tourist trade.                     Railway.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board              - 49 -                   Gender Equity Resource Guide
 Emily Murphy                                            Lester B. Pearson
 Was the first women magistrate in the British           Introduced the Canadian Pension Plan, national
 Empire and was challenged for not officially being      Medicare, the Bilingualism and Biculturalism
 a person in the eyes of the law. She carried the        Commission, a national labour code, and the Maple
 Persons Case to Britain’s Privy Council and won.        Leaf Flag, and received the Nobel Peace Prize in

 Laura Secord                                            David Suzuki
 Made the long trip on foot to warn the British of a     Hosted CBC’s The Nature of Things, authored
 planned American attack. She earned her place in        more than 30 books, and has been called a
 history as a heroine of the War of 1812.                “gladiatorial geneticist” who mixes education with

 Shania Twain                                            Pierre Trudeau
 Started her humble singing career in hotel bars in      Unified Canada by promoting bilingualism,
 Timmins. She has spawned a number of country-           stamping out separatism, and creating a Canadian
 pop hits and became the top-selling new country         Constitution and Charter of Rights. He was the
 artist of all time.                                     Prime Minister of Canada for nearly 16 years.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

CBC's Great Canadians list is an ideal teaching tool to help elementary and secondary students learn
about their country, its history, and its heroes.

Create lesson plans by making use of downloadable guide and worksheets and suggestions for other
great ideas for classroom activities at <www.cbc.ca/greatest/teachers/Other_great_activities__2.pdf>.

In addition to the downloadable tools, below are some ideas about how to integrate the biographies into
the curriculum.

    •   Plan a science fair or stage a play recreating the science behind a great discovery.

    •   Encourage students to make their own inventions or invent a communications device of the

    •   Volunteer at the local hospital. Share the experience with other classes or schools.

    •   Invite a cancer survivor to the classroom to share his or her stories of hope and inspiration.

    •   Hold a skating party or organize a street hockey game—teachers versus students. Collect
        donations from spectators and have all the proceeds go to a Canadian charity.

    •   Re-enact the Confederation Conferences. Have students stage a debate on the pros and cons of
        forming Canada.

    •   Write letters to UN Peacekeepers or collect for UNICEF.

    •   Plan a community cleanup or visit a local recycling plant or conservation area.

    •   Experience another language or culture. Visit a local multicultural society or invite a speaker to
        come to the classroom.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            - 50 -                   Gender Equity Resource Guide
Memorable Canadian Men and Women
Library and Archives Canada has a large collection of Canadian
biographies located throughout its website at <www.collectionscanada
.ca/8/2/r2-201-e.html>, or its “Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online”
at <www.biographi.ca/EN/index.html>.

The biographies focus on the National Library’s areas of emphasis: Canadian history and society,
literature, music, and library and information science.

 Abbott, John Joseph                Bennett, Charles James Fox             Callbeck, Catherine
    Caldwell                        Bennett, Richard Bedford               Callihoo, Victoria Belcourt
 Abbott, Maude                      Berneche, Stanley                      Callwood, June
 Adaskin, Murray                    Bienvenue, Yvan                        Campbell, A. Kim
 Adeney, Marcus                     Bird, Dave                             Campbell, Alexander
 Agosti, Lucio                      Bird, Florence                         Canfield, Ella Jean
 Albani, Emma (La jeunesse)         Blachford, Frank                       Cardiff, Janet
 Allaire, Gaston Georges            Black, John                            Caron-Legris, Albertine
 Amagoalik, John                    Black, Martha Munger                   Carr, Emily
 Ambrose, Paul                      Blades, Ann                            Carrier, Roch
 Ambrose, Robert                    Blais, Andrée                          Cartal, Henri
 Amundsen, Roald                    Blais, Marie-Claire                    Carter, Frederic Bowker
 Anawak, Jack                       Blanchet, Louis-Joseph-                   Terrington
 Anderson, Doris                       Napoléon                            Cartier, George-Étienne
 Anfousse, Ginette                  Blight, Arthur                         Cartier, Jacques
 Angers, Félicité (Laure            Blodgett, E.D.                         Cary, Mary Shadd
    Conan)                          Boag, Max                              Casgrain, Marie Thérèse
 April, Raymonde                    Bogart, Jo Ellen                           (Forget)
 Aramini, Auguste                   Bohrer, Max                            Cashin, Peter John
 Archibald, Adams George            Bolduc, Mary Travers dit La            Cauchon, Joseph-Édouard
 Ashevac, Kenojuak                  Bondar, Roberta                        Champagne, Andrée
 Asselin, Pierre A.                 Boraks-Nemetz, Lillian                 Champagne, Claude
 Atkinson, George Douglas           Borden, Robert Laird                   Champlain, Samuel de
 Aude                               Bourdon, Rosario                       Chapais, Jean-Charles
 Aumais, Alban                      Bowell, Mackenzie                      Cheney, Harriet Vaughan
 Ayre, Ivor (Jack)                  Bradley, F. Gordon                     Chiasson, Herménégilde
                                    Brand, Dionne                          Chrétien, Jean
 Bachle, Leo                        Branscombe, Gena                       Clark, Charles Joseph
 Bachman, Randy                     Brault, Jacques                        Clark, Joan
 Bagshaw, Elizabeth                 Brewer, George MacKenzie               Clark, Paraskeva
 Baldwin, Robert                    Brouillette, Michel                    Clarke, Herbert L.
 Bales, Gerald                      Brown, Fred H.                         Claxton, Patricia
 Banting, Frederick                 Brown, George                          Clement, Gary
 Barry, Robertine (Françoise)       Brown, John                            Cockburn, James
 Bartlett, Robert                   Brunet, Noël                           Cohen, Lynne
 Bates, Mona                        Bulanadi, Dan                          Cohen, Matt
 Bearder, John William              Bulyea, George Headley Vicars          Coles, George
 Beauchemin, Micheline              Burr, Henry                            Collins, Heather
 Beckman, Margaret                  Bushell, Elizabeth                     Colombo, Franco
 Bédard, Myriam                                                            Comely, Richard
 Beddows, Eric                      Cabot, John                            Constant, Alexis
 Bélisle, Jean                      Cadieux, Geneviève                     Constant, Fleurette
 Bell, Marilyn                      Calderisi, Maria                       Cook, James

© 2006 Toronto District School Board           - 51 -                 Gender Equity Resource Guide
 Cook, Myrtle                     Edvina, Marie-Louise             Gould, Glenn
 Copps, Sheila Maureen            Edwards, Henrietta               Granfield, Linda
 Coupland, Douglas                    Muir                         Gratton, Hector
 Craig, James                     Eggleston, Anne                  Gray, Jerry
 Craig, James Henry               Egoff, Sheila                    Gray, John Hamilton
 Crawford, Isabella Valancy       Ellis, Sarah                     Greene, Nancy
 Creighton, Helen                 Evans, Peter                     Greenwood, Barbara
 Crofoot, Alan                    Eyolfson, Norman                 Gregory, Nan
 Cronan, Jerry                                                     Gugy, Leila
 Curley, Tagak                    Fairbairn, Joyce                 Gullen, Augusta Stowe
 Cushing, Eliza Lanesford         Fairclough, Ellen Louks
 Cyr, Louis                       Falk, Gathie                     Halpenny, Francess Georgina
                                  Feldman, Barbara                 Hambourg, Clement
 Dafoe, Elizabeth                 Fergusson, Muriel McQueen        Hambourg, Michael
 Daigle, Sylvie                   Ferron, Marcelle                 Hamel, Elzéar
 Dalpé, Jean-Marc                 Findley, Timothy                 Hamilton, Ross
 Dalton, Sophia Simms             Fitch, Sheree                    Harmant, René
 Daniel, Alan                     Fitzpatrick, Charles             Harrison, Ted
 Daveluy, Marie-Claire            Fleischman, Hank                 Haultain, Frederick William
 Daveluy, Raymond                 Fleming, Jock                        Alpin Gordon
 Davidson, Jimmy "Trump"          Fleming, Sandford                Healy, Michael
 Davidts, Jean-Pierre             Flemming, Robert                 Hearne, Samuel
 Davies, Victor                   Forsyth, Wesley Octavius         Helmcken, John Sebastian
 Davis, John                      Fournier, Pierre                 Heneghan, James
 Davis, Morris                    Fox, Terry                       Henry, William Alexander
 De Cosmos, Amor                  Franklin, John                   Hersenhoren, Samuel
 de Lint, Charles                 Franklin, Ursula                 Hétu, Jacques
 de Mille, Evelyn                 Fraser, Simon                    Heward, Prudence
 de Verchères, Madeleine          Fréchette, Sylvie                Hill, Esther Marjorie
 de Villiers, Marq                Freeman, George                  Hind, E. Cora
 Dela, Maurice                    Freitag, Michel                  Hoffman, Abby
 Dennys, Louise                   Frize, Monique                   Hood, Dora Ridout
 Denys, Jean-Baptiste             Frobisher, Martin                Hooper, Lou
 Derick, Carrie                                                    Horn-Miller, Waneek
 Dickey, Robert Barry             Gaboriau, Linda                  Houston, James
 Diefenbaker, John George         Gadbois, Charles-Émile           Howe, Joseph
 Dingle, Adrian                   Gagnon-Mathieu, Wilhelmine       Hudson, Henry
 Dolgay, Sidney                   Gal, Laszlo                      Hutton, John
 Donalda, Pauline                 Galouchko, Annouchka Gravel
 Dorion, Antoine-Aimé             Galper, Avrahm                   Iberville, Pierre Lemoyne d’
 Dorion, Jean-Baptiste-Éric       Galt, Alexander Tilloch          Irwin, May
 Douglas, Thomas                  Gaudreault, Laure                Ittinuar, Peter
 Drolet, Nancy                    Gauthier, Éva
 Dubé, Pierrette                  Gay, Marie-Louise                Jarvis, Harold Augustus
 Dubois, Paul                     Gérin-Lajoie, Marie Lacoste      Jenkins, Annie Lampman
 Duchesne, Christiane             Gilmore, Rachna                  Jenkins, Frank Maurice
 Duckworth, Muriel                Gilroy, Marion                   Jérémie dit Lamontagne,
 Dumbells                         Gingras, Charlotte                  Nicolas
 Duthie, Celia                    Goldschmidt, Nicolas             Jobin, Raoul
 Duysburgh, Reine                 Goobie, Beth                     Johnson, Pauline
                                  Goodman, Hyman                   Johnston, Julie
 Eckstein, Willie                 Goodwill, Jean                   Johnston, Rita Margaret
 Edmonds, Sarah Emma              Goodwin, Betty                   Jolin, Dominique
 Edmonton Grads                   Gordon, Arthur Hamilton          Jorish, Stéphane
                                  Gordon, G. Jean

© 2006 Toronto District School Board        - 52 -              Gender Equity Resource Guide
 Keillor, Lenore Stevens          Macdonald, John Alexander             Nelligan, Émile
 Kelsey, Henry                    Macdonald, John Sandfield             Nepveu, Pierre
 Khalsa, Dayal Kaur               Macdonough, Harry                     Newman, Albert Edward (Red)
 Kilties Band                     MacGill, Elizabeth Muriel             Newton, Lilias Torrence
 Kimber, Murray                      Gregory                            Newton, Margaret
 King, William Lyon               Machar, Agnes Maule                   Noel, Michel
     Mackenzie                    Mackenzie, Ada
 Kirkland-Casgrain, Marie-        Mackenzie, Alexander                  Palmer, Edward
     Claire                       Mackenzie, William Lyon               Papineau, Louis-Joseph
 Kovalski, Maryann                MacMillan, Ernest                     Paré, Roger
 Kusugak, Jose                    MacMillan, Keith                      Parent, Madeleine
                                  Macphail, Agnes Campbell              Parlby, Irene Marryat
 La Fontaine, Louis-Hippolyte     Magor, Liz                            Parlow, Kathleen
 Labbé, Gabriel                   Maheu, Renée                          Payette, Julie
 Laframboise, Philippe            Maillet, Antonine                     Payzant, Geoffrey
 Laird, David                     Maksagak, Helen Mamyaok               Peaker, Charles
 Laliberté, Alfred                Mance, Jeanne                         Pearson, Kit
 Lambton, John George             Manley, Gordon                        Pearson, Lester Bowles
 Lamontagne, Charles-             Manley, Rachel                        Pedersen, Lena (Elizabeth
     Onésime                      Marshall, Alice Smith                    Magdalena)
 Lampman, Archibald               Marshall, Lois                        Peebles, Joan
 Lande, Lawrence Montague         Massey, Vincent                       Pellerin, Hector
 Landry, Ned                      Mathieu, André                        Pelletier, Gilles
 Langevin, Hector-Louis           Mathieu, Rodolphe                     Pentland, Barbara
 Languedoc, Adèle de Guerry       Matonabbee                            Perrault, Pierre
 Lapp, Horace                     Matthews, Charles A.G.                Peterson, Oscar
 Laumann, Silken                  Maufette, Estelle                     Petitclerc, Chantal
 Laurier, Wilfrid                 May, Elizabeth                        Plunkett, Albert
 Lavallée, Calixa                 Mayer, Jeni                           Plunkett, Merv
 Lavell, Jeannette Vivian         McClung, Nellie Letitia (Mooney)      Pope, James Colledge
     Corbiere                     McClure, Robert                       Pope, William Henry
 Lavigne, Emery                   McCully, Jonathan                     Porter, Anna
 Lavigne-Maufette, Léontine       McCurry, Dorothy                      Porter, Gladys Muriel
 Lay, Eleanor H.                  McDougall, William                    Poulin, Stephane
 Le Caine, Hugh                   McGaw, Laurie                         Poundmaker
 Le Caine, Trudi                  McGee, Thomas D'Arcy                  Pratt, Mary
 Leacock, Stephen                 McGraw, Sheila                        Press Gang
 LeBel, Édouard                   McGugan, Jim                          Prévost, André
 Lees, Gene                       McIntyre, Paul                        Price, Percival
 LeJeune-Ross, Marie-             McKinney, Louise Crummy               Price, Robert
     Henriette                    McLaughlin, Audrey                    Price, Roberta Catherine
 Lemieux, Jean                    McLean, Eric                             MacAdams
 Lemieux, Michèle                 McNicoll, Helen
 Leprohon, Rosanna                Meighen, Arthur                       Radisson, Pierre-Esprit
 Letendre, Rita                   Mifflen, Jessie                       Rae, George M.
 LeVasseur, Irma                  Mills, Alan                           Ramsland, Sarah Katherine
 Levert, Mireille                 Mistry, Rohinton                         (McEwen)
 Lightburn, Ron                   Mongeau, Marc                         Rathburn, Eldon
 Little, Leonard                  Moodie, Susanna                       Reid, Barbara
 Livingstone, Kay                 Moody, Lois                           Rice, Gitz
 Loring, Frances                  Moogk, Edward B.                      Richardson, Thomas Bedford
 Lucas, Clarence                  Morenz, Howie                         Richler, Mordecai
 Luckock, Margarette Rae          Morin-Laprecque, Albertine            Richot, Noël-Joseph
     Morrison                     Morrissette, Gabriel                  Ridout, Freda

© 2006 Toronto District School Board         - 53 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
 Ridout, Godfrey                  St-Laurent, Louis Stephen         White, Portia
 Riel, Louis                      Stone, Court                      Whyte, Ernest
 Ritchie, John William            Stone, Fred                       Wicks, Ben
 Roback, Léa                      Stowe, Emily Jennings             Wieland, Joyce
 Roberts, Charles G.D.            St-Sauveur, Grasset de            Wilson, Alice
 Robertson, Brenda May            Sullivan, Françoise               Wilson, Cairine Reay Mackay
 Robson, John                                                       Wilson, Janet
 Rogers, Edith MacTavish          Taché, Alexandre-Antonin          Wolverton, Newton
 Rollet-Hébert, Marie             Taché, Étienne-Paschal            Wyle, Florence
 Rosenfeld, Fanny ‘Bobbie’        Taylor, Cora                      Wynne-Jones, Tim
 Ross, Ian                        Teasdale, Christine               Wyse, Anne and Alex
 Ross, James Hamilton             Thériault, Lucien
 Ross, James Yuille Stuart        Theriault, Marie-Josee            Yayo
 Ross, John                       Thibault, Jean-Baptiste           Yee, Paul
 Roy, Gabrielle                   Thibodeau, Serge Patrice
 Russel, Welford                  Thompson, David                   Zeman, Ludmila
 Rutherford, Erica                Thompson, Gordon Vincent          Zwicky, Jan
                                  Thompson, John Sparrow David
 Saint-Pierre, Albina             Thomsen, Airdrie Amtmann
 Saint-Pierre, Annette            Tibo, Gilles
 Salaberry, Charles-René-         Tilley, Samuel Leonard
     Léonidas d'Irumberry de      Traill, Catharine Parr
 Sarfati, Sonia                   Tremaine, Marie                   Sources:
 Saucier, Joseph                  Tremblay, Lise
 Saul, John Ralston               Tremblay, Suzanne                 •   “Dictionary of Canadian
 Sauvé, Jeanne                    Trudeau, Pierre Elliott               Biography Online.” Library
 Schafer, Raymond Murray          Tubman, Harriet                       and Archives Canada.
 Schmirler, Sandra                Tupper, Charles                       <www.biographi.ca/EN/
 Schoemperlen, Diane              Turner, John Napier                   index.html>.
 Schreiber, Charlotte             Turner, Robert Comrie
 Scott, Alfred H.                                                   •   Library and Archives
 Scott, Barbara Ann               Uchida, Irene Ayako                   Canada.
 Scott, Duncan Campbell           Urquhart, Jane                        <www.collectionscanada.c
 Scott, Howard                                                          a/8/2/index-e.html>.
 Scott, Thomas Walter             Vallence, Jim
 Sénécal, Clovis Omer             van Kampen, Vlasta                •   The Portrait Gallery of
 Shainblum, Mark                  Vancouver, George                     Canada.
 Shea, Ambrose                    Vanderhaeghe, Guy                     <www.portraits.gc.ca/0090
 Shea, Jerry                      Vassanji, M.G.                        01-1000-e.html>.
 Sifton, Clifford                 Vaughan, Denny
 Silvi, Gino                      Vendette, Émile                   •   TDSB Equitable Schools
 Sister Vision Press              Viau, Roland                          Website.
 Smallwood, Joseph Roberts        Voigt, Paul                           <www.tdsbequity.ca>.
 Smith, Harold D.
 Smith, Mary Ellen (Spear)        Wagner, Coleen
 Snider, Art                      Waldon, Freda
 Squires, Helena E. (Strong)      Waley, James
 Stanbury, Douglas                Walsh, Albert
 Stark, Ethel                     Walsh, James Morrow
 St-Aubin, Jean Claude            Ward, Ken
 Steacy, Ken                      Ware, John
 Steele, Samuel Benfield          Weber, Anna
 Stirling, Geoffrey               Weinzweig, John
 Stirling, Scott                  Wheland, Edward

© 2006 Toronto District School Board        - 54 -               Gender Equity Resource Guide
Days of Significance
                 October 2006: Women’s History Month
                 The objectives of Women’s History Month 2006 are to make Canadians aware of
                 Aboriginal women’s contributions to Canada, their communities, and their families. It is
                 also intended to promote understanding of the realities of Aboriginal women’s lives and
                 the unique challenges they face. This year also marks a number of significant
                 anniversaries: the 25th anniversary of Canada's ratification of the United Nations
                 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW),
the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, and the
10th anniversary of the release of the final report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, People
to People, Nation to Nation. This year, the WHM theme is “Aboriginal Women: The Journey Forward.”

October 18, 2006: Persons Day
Persons Day is on October 18 and commemorates the date the Persons Case decision was rendered in
1929. Each year, on or around Persons Day, the Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the
Persons Case are presented to six recipients (including one youth) who have helped advance the cause
of equality for girls and women in significant and substantial ways. Status of Women Canada administers
                   the Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case.

                 November 2006: Women Abuse Prevention Month (Canadian)
                 The Ontario government marks November as Woman Abuse Prevention Month. The
                 month provides an opportunity to raise awareness about violence against women and its

                  December 6, 2006: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against

                  The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women was
                  established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada and coincides with the anniversary of
                  the death of 14 young women who were tragically killed on December 6, 1989 at l’École
                  Polytechnique in Montreal because of their gender.

This day offers us an opportunity to pause and reflect upon the negative impact caused by violence
against women within our society and to commemorate the lives lost through gender-based discrimination
and aggression. It also a time for us to recommit ourselves to the following principles established by the
Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women:

    •   Living free from violence is a right, not a privilege.
    •   Violence against women is a crime and should never be considered a private matter.
    •   Safety for victims and survivors must come first.
    •   In order to eliminate violence against women, equality and healthy relationships among boys and
        girls must be promoted from an early age.

Today we are once again provided with the opportunity to reflect on the important role that we play as
educators in assisting in the transformation of unhealthy societal attitudes and practices through concrete
initiatives within our classrooms.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            - 55 -                 Gender Equity Resource Guide
                March 8, 2007: International Women’s Day (United Nations)

                March 8 marks International Women’s Day (IWD).

                   The first International Women’s Day was in 1911, but the day became one of activism
                   years earlier. Historians believe that it emerged from the labour strikes in the 1850s.
                   Female textile workers in New York City protested against inhumane working conditions,
12-hour workdays, and low wages. Although police attacked and dispersed the women, the women went
on to form their first union. On March 8, 1908, 15 000 women marched in New York City, demanding
shorter hours, better pay, voting rights, and an end to child labour.

Millions of women and men around the world mark International Women’s Day each year. Rallies,
marches, fairs, receptions, films, shows, and debates are held around the world to celebrate the
achievement of women.

Many schools will see this day as an ideal opportunity to reflect on the progress made to advance
women’s equality, to assess the challenges facing girls and women, to look at ways to improve life
conditions, to demand rights and, of course, to celebrate the gains made.

For more information, please refer to Days of Significance Curriculum Resource Guide 2006–2007
(Toronto District School Board, 2006), or visit the United Nations Association of Canada website at

© 2006 Toronto District School Board           - 56 -                 Gender Equity Resource Guide
Women’s History Month
What is Women’s History Month?
Women’s History Month (WHM) represents an opportunity to
highlight women’s contributions, past and present, to Canadian
society, and to recognize the achievements of women from all
walks of life as a vital part of our Canadian heritage. It also
provides an opportunity to show how we all benefit from the
achievements of our foremothers in the quest for equality. And,
foremost, it represents an ideal opportunity to instill a sense of
pride in our history, as well as to provide role models for all

When and how did Women’s History Month begin?
Women’s achievements are still overlooked in many history books
and are not well known outside academic circles. Determined to
see women’s historical participation rediscovered and celebrated,
a group of women from Victoria, British Columbia, founded the Canadian Women’s History Month
Committee in 1991. Their goal was to establish a national month devoted to honouring the contributions
of the many women who helped form our nation.

In March 1991, members of the committee wrote to the federal Minister responsible for the Status of
Women, requesting that October be designated Canadian Women’s History Month in Canada. They were
keenly interested in creating greater awareness among Canadians concerning the contributions of
women to our society. They also expressed concern about the marginalization of women in history, and
the need for more research and public information to bring the role of women into the mainstream of
historical study and practice. They suggested that a greater appreciation of the past achievements of
women would lead to a better understanding of the diverse roles women play in contemporary society.

2006 Theme: Aboriginal Women: The Journey Forward
The objectives of Women’s History Month 2006 are to make Canadians aware of Aboriginal women’s
contributions to Canada, their communities, and their families. It is also intended to promote
understanding of the realities of Aboriginal women’s lives and the unique challenges they face.

This year marks a number of significant anniversaries: the 25th anniversary of Canada’s ratification of the
United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW),
the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, and the
10th anniversary of the release of the final report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, People
to People, Nation to Nation.

2005 Theme: Women and War: Contributions and Consequences
2005 marked the 60th Anniversary of V-E and V-J Day, the end of the Second World War. As part of this
commemoration, the Government of Canada declared 2005 the Year of the Veteran. Throughout history,
the women of Canada have made countless contributions to both the war effort and the peace movement.
Knowing all too well the consequences of war, women have made great strides in providing a voice for
victims, the majority of whom are often women and children. 2005’s Women's History Month theme
examined the role of women in Canada in times of war, conflict, and peace-making as they strive for
recognition as contributing members of Canadian society, work toward peaceful solutions to conflict, and
struggle to become world leaders in advancing human rights.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board             - 57 -                Gender Equity Resource Guide
2004 Theme: Yes, Women Are Persons!
It is such an obvious statement, yet in 1929, “women as persons” was a hotly contended issue, giving rise
to the Persons Case, headed up by the Famous Five. Although the results of the case only recognized
women as “persons qualified” for appointment to the Senate, the media at the time declared “Women Are
Persons!” With those words emblazoned on broadsheets across the country, more and more women
began to question their role in society and their contributions to Canada. Following the example of the
Famous Five, women become involved in roles that were not traditionally their own. The 75th anniversary
of the Persons Case was an excellent opportunity to highlight the important contribution of women to
Canadian society and the vital role that they play in shaping the country’s future.

2003 Theme: What Do You Mean, Women Couldn’t Vote?
Today, the lives of Canadians are filled with many examples of the gains that women have made
throughout history. Women have access to higher education; they can work, earn money, and own
property; they have the right to counselling about, and the use of, contraception; and they have the right
to vote and to run for elected office. However, sometimes these liberties and rights that our foremothers
struggled to win are taken for granted. Women’s History Month is an ideal opportunity to encourage
young Canadians to look back at the past and understand how far we’ve come. Tomorrow’s leaders need
to ask the question: “What would it be like if no one had ever stood up for women’s rights?” By becoming
familiar with our history and taking pride in women’s accomplishments, all Canadians can work together
to achieve the goal of full equality for women.

2002 Theme: Women and Sports—Champions Forever!
Today, more than ever before, girls and women are free to participate in all kinds of sports. Just think of
the number of medals brought home by our female athletes from the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and
Paralympics in Salt Lake City. However, we must not take this success for granted because not too long
ago, running shoes and playing fields were for men only. In 2002, Status of Women Canada invited
Canadians to take a journey of discovery through the fascinating history of women in the world of sport
and to celebrate the achievements of Canada’s pioneer sportswomen.

2001 Theme: In Praise of Canadian Women Volunteers
The United Nations declared 2001 International Year of Volunteers. The 2001 theme celebrated key
accomplishments in Canadian history by women volunteers. It also acknowledged outstanding volunteer
women’s organizations who influenced the evolution of Canadian society through volunteering.

2000 Theme: Making History, Building Futures: Women of the 20th Century
With this theme, Status of Women Canada honoured women across the country for their outstanding
contributions to the evolution of Canadian Society and the conditions of women over the past century.

(Source: Status of Women Canada, 2006. <www.whm.gc.ca>.)

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            - 58 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Women’s History Month
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Women are dynamic
members of this country’s fastest-growing
demographic, comprising just over half of the
1.3 million Aboriginal peoples of Canada. Many of
their stories, past and present, are inspiring. To
commemorate Aboriginal women’s place in
Canada’s history, the theme for Women’s History
Month 2006 is “Aboriginal Women: The Journey

First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women have made and continue to make outstanding contributions to the
fabric of this country. But most of their achievements have gone unnoticed, omitted from many history
books. In fact, their efforts are all the more impressive, given the obstacles they face due to
discrimination, poverty, and violence—harsh realities that began with colonization.

The arrival of Europeans to North America forever changed the lives of Aboriginal peoples. In all pre-
contact Aboriginal societies, women had different social roles from men, but were equally respected and
even revered. With the Europeans came entrenched gender-based biases that deeply and negatively
affected Aboriginal women and their roles in their communities.

Gender-based discrimination toward First Nations women was formalized in 1868, when legislation was
enacted decreeing that Indian status could only be passed through the male line. As a result, when a First
Nations woman married a non-Indian man, she and her children lost their Indian status and their
entitlement to many benefits.

This gender-based discrimination was used as a technique of assimilation until 1985, when changes to
the Indian Act, known as the Bill C-31 amendment, were finally implemented, the result of a challenge
launched in 1971 by Jeannette Corbière Lavell, an Ojibway activist. The success of that challenge
permitted reinstatement of the First Nations women and children who had lost their status.

Like Ms. Lavell, many dedicated First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women have worked hard—and continue
to do so to bring about positive social change across Canada and around the world. The process is slow
and many challenges remain, but their efforts are creating better lives and greater opportunities for
women, their families, and their communities.

Through the oral tradition, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis knowledge, culture, and history are shared and
passed on to succeeding generations. Let’s take a brief look at the inspiring stories of a handful of women
of achievement:

Susan Aglukark (born 1967) is an Inuk singer/songwriter who blends English and Inuktitut. A winner of
three Juno Awards and the first-ever Aboriginal Achievement Award, she is a mentor to Inuit youth and an
Officer of the Order of Canada.

Bertha Allen (born 1932) is a member of the Gwich’in First Nation, a lifelong advocate for Aboriginal and
Inuit women’s political rights, and a recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the
Persons Case.

Ethel Blondin-Andrew (born 1951) is a treaty Dene and the first Aboriginal woman to serve as a
Member of Parliament and member of the federal Cabinet.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board           - 59 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Victoria Belcourt Callihoo (1861–1966) chronicled her life on the Prairies, from her early years as a
young Métis woman, witness to the first treaties in Western Canada, the decimation of the buffalo herds,
and the establishment of Alberta as a province.

Maria Campbell (born 1940) is a groundbreaking Métis author, playwright, and filmmaker. The
heartwrenching 1973 classic, Halfbreed, illuminated the Métis experience for readers of all ages and
established her reputation worldwide.

Nellie J. Cournoyea (born 1940), an Inupiak woman, was elected to the Northwest Territories Legislature
in 1979, becoming the first Aboriginal woman government leader.

Olive Dickason (born 1920) is a Métis writer and oral historian of Aboriginal life. She is a Member of the
Order of Canada and a recipient of the First Nations Lifetime Achievement Award.

Freda Diesing (1925–2002) was a Haida artist and master carver, one of the first Aboriginal women to
take up the tradition of carving on the Northwest Coast.

Jean Cuthand Goodwill (1928–1997), a member of the Cree First Nation, championed public-health
services for Aboriginal peoples and helped to establish the Aboriginal Nurses Association of Canada.

Rita Joe (born 1932) is a Mi’kmaq poet and songwriter, a Member of the Queen’s Privy Council and the
Order of Canada, and a recipient of an Aboriginal Achievement Award.

Matinen (Rich) Katshinak (born 1927) is an Innu hunter and granddaughter of one of the last northern
shamans. She shares her knowledge with young people to ensure the traditions are not lost. “My mother
was one of the great hunters. Me too, I can hunt as well as a man.”

Marion Ironquill Meadmore (born 1936), from the Peepeekisis Reserve in Saskatchewan, was called to
the Manitoba Bar in 1977, becoming Canada’s first Aboriginal woman lawyer.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond (born 1963) is a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and a Harvard
graduate. In 1998, she became the first treaty Indian and the first Aboriginal woman to be appointed to
the Saskatchewan Provincial Court.

Sheila Watt-Cloutier (born 1953) is an Inuk, the first female President of the Inuit Circumpolar
Conference, and an international activist on climate change.

These are but a few of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women of foresight, courage, and compassion
whose stories are igniting our collective imagination.

For more information:

Aboriginal Canada Portal. <www.aboriginalcanada.gc.ca>.
“Celebrating Women’s Achievements.” Library and Archives Canada.
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade—Aboriginal Planet—Indigenous Women.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. <www.ainc-inac.gc.ca>
Statistics Canada—Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report.
Status of Women Canada. <www.swc-cfc.gc.ca>.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            - 60 -                 Gender Equity Resource Guide
National Day of Remembrance and Action
on Violence Against Women
Stand up and speak out against violence. Let’s stop hate. No one is free, until everyone is free. Violence
against women hurts us all. Let’s work toward peace
on earth. Get active and get involved. We mourn
and work for change.

What is the significance of December 6?

On December 6, 1989, Marc Lepine entered the
University of Montreal School of Engineering and
murdered 14 women. He wrote, in his suicide letter,
“…I have decided to send the feminists, who have
ruined my life, to their Maker.” He chose to target the
women in the engineering program because he
subscribed to an extreme version of more widely
held sexist and misogynist values and beliefs about
how men and women should behave, and what the
consequences should be for stepping outside of
one’s prescribed gender roles. Commemorating
December 6 as a day to work toward the eradication
of violence against women will help to create
schools where students and staff actively can take
part in building a safe environment.

There are many grade- and subject-appropriate
classroom themes and activities to explore in
commemoration of December 6.

Primary and Junior Divisions
(Kindergarten to Grade 3 and Grades 4–6)

Themes to explore:
   • sex-role stereotyping
   • violence and bullying
   • safety
   • children’s rights and minority rights
   • television
   • developing an analysis for detecting bias
   • people who fight back
   • co-operative play
   • respecting individual differences

Some books that explore these themes are available from the Fran Endicott Equity Centre, Room B105,
Bathurst Building, Central Technical Secondary School, at 416-397-3795.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board             - 61 -                Gender Equity Resource Guide
Intermediate and Senior Divisions
(Grades 7/8 and 9 to 12)

Themes to explore:
   • violence against women, children, and other marginalized groups in terms of race, ethnicity,
      class, ability, and sexual orientation
   • men’s violence against one another
   • dating violence and intimate relationships
   • power and control
   • media literacy
   • resistance and activism—locally and globally
   • anti-violence and harassment legislation and policy
   • school, individual, and community action plans

Intermediate and Senior Classroom Activities

   •   Create a dramatic exploration.
   •   Research the history and work of an anti-violence organization or local women’s shelter.
   •   Read a story or book and develop an appropriate presentation for the rest of the class,
   •   Examine statistics on the prevalence of abuse and related current events (e.g., funding cuts to
       women’s services), and create a proposal for a research project.
   •   Create a video.
   •   Create a series of art pieces (posters, sculptures, or drawings).
   •   Write a story based on the life of someone you interview, who has either experienced violence or
       worked in an anti-violence movement.

Whole-School Activities

   •   Acknowledge December 6 during morning announcements by involving students who wish to
       read a poem or essay that they have written.
   •   Develop a display using a variety of student visual and written work, community posters, articles,
       and a book display on related themes.
   •   Create a memorial, which may include a mural or sculpture, a quilt, a symbol of peace such as a
       collective tree planting later in the year, or a graffiti sheet with slogans of peace, equity, and non-
   •   Hold an assembly. Use either candles or long-stemmed roses to create a tribute for each of the
       14 women murdered. Students may want to participate on stage by reciting the names of each of
       the women, or by reciting some statistics on the reality of violence against women and children in
       this country.
   •   Invite a guest speaker from an anti-violence organization such as a local women’s shelter or
       community agency such as Education Wife Assault.
   •   Invite a theatre group to give a performance, or have students who have worked with a drama
       teacher or community theatre group give a performance.
   •   Create a gender equity club in your school.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            - 62 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
The White Ribbon Campaign (WRC)
What is the White Ribbon Campaign (WRC)?
The WRC is the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women. In almost
50 countries, campaigns are led by both men and women, even though the focus is on educating men
and boys. In some countries, it is a general public education effort on ending violence against women.

How did the WRC get started?
In 1991, a handful of men in Canada decided they had a responsibility to urge men to speak out against
violence against women. Wearing a white ribbon would be a symbol of men’s opposition to violence
against women. After only six weeks preparation, 100 000 men across Canada wore a white ribbon.
Many others were drawn into discussion and debate.

Goals and Focus
What does it mean to wear a white ribbon? Wearing a white ribbon is a personal pledge never to commit,
condone, or remain silent about violence against women. Wearing a white ribbon is a way of saying, “Our
future has no violence against women.” What is the goal of the WRC and how do you accomplish these
objectives? It is an educational organization that encourages reflection and discussion that lead to
personal and collective action among men and boys.

As a decentralized campaign, the WRC’s focus varies from country to country. In Canada, the focus is on
boys and young men. The WRC produces educational resources for schools and TV and radio ads to
promote healthy and equal relationships, and to encourage boys to think about the choices they make
when it comes to the use of violence.

The WRC produces resources for use in workplaces, places of worship, and communities. It promotes
more active involvement by fathers. It encourages local fundraising to support local women’s groups. It
maintains a website (www.whiteribbon.ca) with a range of resources. It networks with White Ribbon
Campaigns around the world.

When is the focus of the White Ribbon Campaign?
In many countries, it is from November 25 (the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against
Women) to December 10. In Canada, it is until December 6, Canada’s National Day of Remembrance
and Action on Violence Against Women. In other countries, White Ribbon events come at other times of
the year.

Basic Philosophy
What forms of violence against women concern you? The most widespread problems are physical
violence against wives and girlfriends (from hitting right up to murder) and sexual violence (usually
committed by a boyfriend, husband, trusted adult, or family member). There is also emotional abuse—
sexual harassment at work or on the street, stalking, jokes that demean women, and controlling
behaviour. In some countries, there is genital mutilation of girls and trafficking of girls and young women
into prostitution.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            - 63 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
What about other forms of violence?
Although ending men’s violence against women is the WRC’s focus, it is concerned about all forms of
violence. The WRC is deeply concerned about violence against children. It is concerned about violence
in the sports arena, in relationships, and in war. And it is concerned about acts of violence by women
against women or against men, although these are not as extensive, nor as frequently lethal as men’s
violence against women. Unlike violence by some women against men, that committed by some men
against women has long been socially acceptable and is deeply rooted in beliefs of men’s superiority and
of men’s right to control the lives of “their” women. Does this mean you think that men are bad? Are you
anti-male? The WRC does not think that men are naturally violent, nor that men are bad. In many
countries, the majority of men are not physically violent.

Researchers tell us many past cultures had little or no violence. At the same time, the WRC does think
that some men have learned to express their anger or insecurity through violence. Far too many men
have come to believe that violence against a woman, child, or another man is an acceptable way to
control another person, especially an intimate partner. By remaining silent about these things, we allow
other men to poison our work, schools, and homes. The good news is that more and more men and boys
want to make a difference. Caring men are tired of the sexism that hurts the women around them. The
WRC is not anti-male. It was started by men who care about the lives of men and boys. Its goal is for all
men and boys to get involved in a campaign devoted to creating a future without violence against women.

Within the WRC there is a great diversity of opinion on many important issues, including ones relating to
moral, religious, and political beliefs. These issues are important, but they shouldn’t prevent men from
working together to stop domestic violence, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.

White Ribbon Campaigns
Does everyone have to wear a white ribbon? Some campaigns use cloth ribbons or small white ribbon
pins shaped into our distinctive logo. Others have the white ribbon logo printed on T-shirts or hats. Some
use cloth or plastic wristbands. And some only use the logo on posters, pamphlets, or in TV ads.

Who starts local and national campaigns?
The White Ribbon Campaign is unique in that it is a decentralized effort that believes that people know
best what will most effectively reach men and boys in their community, school, workplace, and country. In
that sense, anyone who believes in the goals and philosophy of the WRC can start a campaign. The
WRC encourages White Ribbon supporters in each country or community to work together. In some
countries, there is an official White Ribbon organization.

Are women part of White Ribbon? Do they wear the ribbon?
In Canada, the WRC is primarily a campaign of men that focuses on boys and young men. But the WRC
has women on its board and on its staff. Many local campaigns are encouraged by women’s groups,
many are led by men and women together, and women participate in many, if not most, activities. In
some countries, campuses, and communities, White Ribbon is led exclusively by men. In others, it is a
joint effort or even one where women are leading. Although the ribbon started as a symbol of men’s
opposition to violence against women, both males and females wear the ribbon in many schools and

What are your relations with women's groups?
The WRC acknowledges the expertise and central role of women in challenging violence against women.
With tremendous heroism, they pioneered this work; they set up support programs for women and
pushed for social awareness and legal change. The WRC encourages its local groups to have an ongoing
dialogue with women’s groups in their community.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board           - 64 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Who runs the White Ribbon Campaign?
In Canada, the WRC has an elected and volunteer Board of Directors, as well as a small, but dedicated,
staff. Around the world, the WRC is led by many different organizations.

So what type of organization is it?
The WRC is an organization like no other. Not only does it include men and women from varying social
and political perspectives, but it is an organization that has avoided becoming hierarchical or
bureaucratic. It wants to keep its emphasis on the community, schools, and workplaces.

Money Matters: How do you raise money?
In Canada, the WRC’s funding comes from individual supporters, trade unions, corporations, religious
institutions, foundations, and fundraising events. Specific projects are supported by the government.

Does this take money away from women’s groups?
WRC supports women’s programs by encouraging men to give generously to them, and by encouraging
schools and others to raise money. The WRC believes that by contributing to the reduction of violence
against women, it is contributing to the overstretched resources of women's services. And it believes that
as more men see this as an important issue, funding will increase to women’s efforts.

Does the WRC give grants or financial support?
Unfortunately, the WRC is not in a position to provide funding or grants for projects, organizations, or
travel, or for establishing national or local White Ribbon Campaigns.

How can I help?
The WRC encourages you to support White Ribbon activities in your community and to help the WRC in
Canada and around the world with your generous financial support.

(Source: White Ribbon Campaign, 2006. <www.whiteribbon.ca>.)

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            - 65 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
What Every Man Can Do to Help End
Men’s Violence Against Women
1. Listen to women… Learn from women.
The path starts with listening. Who knows better about violence against women than women who
experience it? Studies tell us that in most countries, 50 percent of women have experienced physical or
sexual violence. Huge numbers experience sexual harassment, that is, unwanted sexual comments,
sounds, or touch. Learn about violence by asking a woman who trusts you how violence has affected her
life. Then, if she feels comfortable to talk, sit back, and listen. Your role is not to challenge her on the
details, nor debate whether something really should have bothered her or not. It is to listen. Simply trust
that if she tells you something hurt her, then it did hurt her. And turn to your local women’s organizations.
They have a wealth of accumulated experience and knowledge. Talk to them. Read their publications.
Contribute financially. Learn from them.

2. Learn about the problem.
Violence against women includes physical and sexual assault, sexual harassment, and emotional abuse.
Not all violence leaves visible scars. Emotional violence includes regular subjection to demeaning jokes,
domineering forms of behaviour, and sexual harassment. Some forms of violence have a greater physical
or emotional impact than others. But all forms of violence contribute to the very real fear and suffering that
women in our society endure. The basic rights that most men enjoy—safety in their homes, ability to go
out at night, a job free of harassment—are a source of fear for women in much of the world. The fear is
greatest in women’s own homes. A common myth is that most violence is committed by strangers. In fact,
when a woman faces violence, it is usually by a man she knows—her husband, boyfriend, father, or
employer. Most men love and care about women. And yet frightening numbers commit acts of violence
against the women they say they love. It occurs throughout the world—among the rich, poor, and middle
class, and among those of every nationality, religion, and race.

3. Learn why some men are violent.
Men are not naturally violent. There have been societies with little or no violence. Studies over the past
century have found that half of the tribal societies studied had little or no violence against women or
children, or among men. Furthermore, even today, in many countries, the majority of men do not use
sexual or physical violence. Violence is something that some men learn. Men’s violence is a result of the
way many men learn to express their masculinity in relationships with women, children, and other men.
Many men learn to think of power as the ability to dominate and control the people and the world around
them. This way of thinking makes the use of violence acceptable to many men. Most individual acts of
men’s violence are a sad attempt to assert control over others.

Paradoxically, most violent acts by men are a sign of weakness, insecurity, and lack of self-esteem,
combined with a capacity for physical or verbal domination and feeling that they should be superior and in
control. Women are not immune from committing acts of violence. Women’s groups have spoken out
against the problem of violence against children, which is committed by both women and men, although
most sexual abuse of children is by men. Women can also be violent against men or other women, but it
usually has much less severe emotional or physical consequence. In many violent incidents, men have
been drinking alcohol. This might be because alcohol unleashes feelings, fears, rage, and insecurities
that some men, cut off from their feelings, cannot handle. But alcohol doesn’t cause violence. Genes
don’t cause violence. Ultimately, it is the attempt by some men to dominate women, or adults’ attempts to
dominate children, or some men’s attempts to dominate other men or groups of men. Violence is a way of
asserting power, privilege, and control. Violence is a way for compensating for feelings that you’re not a
“real man.”

© 2006 Toronto District School Board             - 66 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
4. Support White Ribbon events.
Change will occur if we each accept personal responsibility to make sure change happens. As men who
care about the women in our lives, we can take responsibility to help ensure that women live free from
fear and violence. Each year, men around the world wear a white ribbon or take part in the events of
White Ribbon Days. In many countries, this is from November 25, the International Day for the
Eradication of Violence Against Women, until around December 10. (In Canada, the ribbon is worn until
December 6, the day of the 1989 massacre of 14 women in Montreal.) Wearing a white ribbon is your
personal pledge never to commit violence against women. It is a personal pledge not to condone acts of
violence, not to make excuses for those who use violence, and not to think that any woman “asks for it.” It
is a pledge not to remain silent. It is a pledge to challenge the men around us to act to end violence.
Wearing a ribbon provokes discussion, debate, and soul searching among the men and boys around us.
The ribbon is a catalyst for discussion. It is a catalyst for change. Most important, the white ribbon is a
positive statement that our future has no violence against women.

5. Challenge sexist language and jokes that degrade women.
Sexist jokes and language help create a climate where forms of violence and abuse have too long been
accepted. Words that degrade women reflect a society that has historically placed women in a second-
class position. By reflecting this reality, they once again put women “in their place,” even if that isn’t the
intention. One of the most difficult things for men is to learn to challenge other men, to challenge sexist
language, to challenge men who talk lightly of violence against women, and to challenge men who
engage in violence.

6. Learn to identify and oppose sexual harassment and violence in your workplace, school, and
Sexual harassment refers to unwanted sexual advances or sexually oriented remarks or behaviour that
are unwelcome by another person. Flirting and joking are fine, but only if they are consensual and
wanted. Sexual harassment poisons the work or school environment. Men can join women in opposing
sexual harassment by learning to spot it and learning to say something to stop it.

7. Support local women’s programs.
Around the world, dedicated women have created support services for women who are survivors of men’s
violence: safe houses for battered women, rape crisis centres, counselling services, and legal-aid clinics.
Women escaping violent situations depend on these services. They deserve men’s support and our
financial backing.

8. Examine how your own behaviour might contribute to the problem.
If you’ve ever forced or pushed a women to do something sexual she didn’t want to do, if you’ve hit,
pushed, threatened, kicked your spouse or girlfriend, then you’ve been part of the problem. If this
happened in the past, admit what you did was wrong and make amends, if possible. But if such behaviour
has any chance of continuing, then you urgently need to get help getting to the root of your problem.
Don’t wait until it happens again. Please act today. Most men will never be physically or sexually violent.
But we all need to examine ways we might try to control women. Do we dominate conversations? Do we
put them down? Do we limit their activities? Do we make the decisions? We all must think about the
choices we make.

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9. Work toward long-term solutions.
Ending violence against women won’t happen overnight. Real solutions are truly long-term solutions. This
is because men’s violence against women is rooted in inequalities between men and women, and in the
way men learn to be men. Legal changes to combat men’s violence against women (such as laws against
rape and battering) are very important. The police and courts must diligently enforce such laws. But this is
not enough. Let’s work together to change our attitudes and behaviour. Let’s help men be better men by
getting rid of our suits of armour, that is, attitudes which equate masculinity with the power to control.
Let’s make positive changes in our relationships with women, children, and other men. Let’s involve men
as caregivers and nurturers of the young. Changes in attitude, behaviour, and institutions take time. And
so we must look at how we raise future generations. We must teach our children, by example, that using
violence in personal relationships is unacceptable, and that for boys to become men, they do not need to
control or dominate women, men, or children.

10. Get involved with the White ribbon Campaign’s educational efforts.
The White Ribbon Campaign is the largest effort in the world of men working to end men’s violence
against women. The WRC is a grass-roots effort, relying mainly on volunteers. It has spread from Canada
to almost 50 countries. Each country sets its own direction within the overall policies of the WRC. The
focus of the campaign in Canada on boys and young men. But it also focuses on older men who need to
think about what examples they are setting for their sons and daughters. Although primarily a men’s
campaign, women have been active in promoting and supporting the WRC in many communities and
countries. Aside from organizing the annual White Ribbon Days, supporters can do other things
throughout the year. They can hold activities in schools, communities, and workplaces; raise money for
women’s groups; organize special events to support positive roles for men, including their role as fathers;
talk to young people about building healthy relationships; start a local White Ribbon Campaign; and
financially support the work of the WRC. The WRC encourages you to contact them or visit
<www.whiteribbon.com> today to receive information on starting up a White Ribbon effort in your
community, school, workplace, or place of worship.

                   (Source: White Ribbon Campaign, 2006. <www.whiteribbon.ca>.)

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            - 68 -                 Gender Equity Resource Guide
Breaking Men’s Silence to End Men’s Violence
If it were between countries, we’d call it a war. If it were a disease, we’d call it an epidemic. If it were an oil
spill, we’d call it a disaster. But it is happening to women, and it’s just an everyday affair. It is violence
against women. It is sexual harassment at work and sexual abuse of young girls. It is the beating or the
blow that millions of women suffer each and every day. It is rape at home or on a date. It is murder.
There’s no secret enemy pulling the trigger, no unseen virus that leads to death. It is only men. Not all
men, not most men, but far too many men. And just who are these men? They are regular guys, men
from all social backgrounds and of all colours and ages, rich men and poor men, labourers and men who
sit behind desks. Regular guys, however, have helped create a climate of fear and mistrust among
women. Many of our sisters, our mothers and our daughters, our girlfriends, and our wives do not feel
safe. At night they cannot walk to the store for bread or rice without wondering who’s walking behind
them. It’s hard for them to turn on the television without seeing men running amok in displays of brutality
against women and other men. Even those women in relationships with men who are gentle and caring
feel they cannot always trust men. All women are imprisoned in a culture of violence.

Men’s violence against women isn’t aberrant behaviour. Men have created cultures where men use
violence against other men, where violence is wreaked on the natural habitat, where we see violence as
the best means to solve differences between nations, and where men enjoy forms of power and privilege
that women do not have. Men have been defined as part of the problem. But the White Ribbon Campaign
believes that men can and must be part of the solution. Confronting men’s violence requires nothing less
than a commitment to full equality for women and a redefinition of what it means to be men, to discover a
meaning to manhood that doesn’t require blood to be spilled.

With all of our love, respect, and support for the women in our lives:
We urge men around the world to wear a white ribbon each year or organize White Ribbon activities
between November 25 and December 10, or at another time of the year. Wearing a white ribbon is a
public pledge never to commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women. The white ribbon
symbolizes a call for any man who uses such violence to lay down his arms in his war against our sisters.

We ask unions, professional associations, student groups, corporations, religious institutions, the media,
and non-governmental and governmental organizations to make this an issue of priority.

We support governments that pass comprehensive laws against all forms of violence against women and
that fund programs for survivors of this violence, such as shelters for battered women and rape-crisis
centres, and for services to help men who use violence change their behaviour.

We call for large-scale educational programs in schools and workplaces, and for police officers and
judges, on the issue of men’s violence.

We believe that respect for girls and women and equality between men and women are preconditions to
ending the violence.

We urge men, or men and women, to organize local and national White Ribbon Campaigns, open to all
men and boys, right across the political, social, and economic spectrum. It has been the longest war, the
greatest epidemic, the biggest disaster. With strength and love, we commit ourselves to work alongside
women to bring this violence to an end.

(Source: White Ribbon Campaign, 2006. <www.whiteribbon.ca>.)

© 2006 Toronto District School Board               - 69 -                   Gender Equity Resource Guide
International Women’s Day
                                                   Did you know that March 8 is International Women's
                                                   Day? Established in 1977 by the United Nations, this
                                                   special day provides an opportunity to celebrate the
                                                   progress made to advance equality for women and to
                                                   assess the challenges that remain. This special day
                                                   also provides an opportunity to consider steps to bring
                                                   about equality for women in all their diversity.

                                                   The Canadian theme for International Women’s Week
                                                   2006 is “Beyond Laws: The Right to Be Me,” which
                                                   addresses women's rights, women's diversity, and the
                                                   need to put words into action.

                                                   2006 marks the 25th anniversary of Canada’s
                                                   ratification of the most comprehensive international
                                                   treaty on women’s rights—the United Nations
                                                   Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
                                                   Discrimination against Women.

                                                   The law guarantees women and men equal rights,
                                                   opportunities, and responsibilities in all aspects of
                                                   Canadian life. Much has been accomplished to put
                                                   into place legal foundations such as the Canadian
                                                   Human Rights Act, pay and employment equity laws,
                                                   the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and maternity
                                                   and parental benefits.

                                                     Despite these legal foundations, a gap remains
                                                     between laws and the reality of women’s lives. Many
                                                     issues from the past, such as violence and poverty,
                                                     have not been resolved. Today, as women join the
                                                     labour force in record numbers, raise families, and
participate in their communities, barriers remain. These barriers keep women—whether they are
Aboriginal women, women with disabilities, lesbians, single women, lone parents, or women living in
poverty—from realizing their full potential.

The legal removal of barriers is not enough, however. We need to close the gap between the sexes in our
daily lives. The 25-year wait for equality is over!

“We must open doors and we must see to it they remain open, so that others can pass through.”
– Rosemary Brown, 1973

© 2006 Toronto District School Board           - 70 -                 Gender Equity Resource Guide
Ideas for Celebrating International Women’s Day

International Women's Day is celebrated around the world on March 8. This date is
also commemorated at the United Nations and is designated in many countries as a
national holiday. Women from all continents unite to celebrate progress in the struggles
for equality, justice, and peace.

Here are some activities that teachers can carry out to help acquaint their students with the history of
women’s struggle for equality:

•   Have students produce a research paper, compose a poem, write a book report, or make a speech
    about the challenges that women face in achieving equality.

•   Hold a classroom discussion on what students can do in their homes, at school, and in the community
    to help foster equality for women.

•   Organize a photography, video, drawing, poetry, or essay contest in your school on the International
    Women’s Day theme. Encourage local businesses to donate prizes.

•   Encourage students to explore the history and purpose of International Women’s Day by visiting the
    following websites:

        -   Status of Women Canada. <www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/dates/iwd/questions_e.html>.

        -   International Women’s Day—United Nations.

        -   Education International. <www.ei-ie.org/main/english/index.html>.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            - 71 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Agnes Macphail Award
The Agnes Macphail Award recognizes the importance to Toronto’s East York community of the issues
that Macphail espoused in her long and distinguished career. The annual award is presented to an East
York resident who has made outstanding contributions in the area of equality rights and social justice and
who has exemplified and continued Macphail’s tradition of leadership.

For more information, visit <www.toronto.ca/macphail_award/index.htm>.

Constance E. Hamilton Award on the Status of Women
Established in 1979, this award was named after the first woman member of City Council, Constance E.
Hamilton, elected in 1920. The award commemorates the Privy Council decision of October 18, 1929
(now known as Persons Day), which recognized women as “persons,” thereby permitting their
involvement in all aspects of public life. Nominees must be individuals whose actions have been
significant in securing equitable treatment for City of Toronto women.

For more information, visit <www.toronto.ca/civicawards/ hamilton_award.htm>.

Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case
To be eligible for nomination for these awards, candidates must be Canadian citizens and over 25 years
of age. Youth Awards nominees must be ages 15 to 25 years.
These awards honour outstanding contributions that have promoted the equality of girls and women in
Canada, demonstrated by leadership and excellence in any field, in either a paid or unpaid capacity.

Candidates whose effectiveness and courage have advanced the cause of equality for girls and women in
significant and substantial ways that have enriched their communities will be considered. For example,
they may have identified needs for change and found innovative solutions in sectors relating to women;
lobbied for groups and services; initiated public education and information activities; or, through their
lives, made outstanding creative achievements or otherwise advanced equality for girls and women.

Five awards are given annually to candidates chosen from across Canada, in addition to one Youth

For more information, visit <www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/dates/persons/criteria_e.html>.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board           - 72 -                 Gender Equity Resource Guide
Community Resource Organizations
 Amnesty International Canada                        Dawn Ontario Disabled Women’s Network
                                                     162 – 975 McKeown Avenue, Suite 5A
 312 Laurier Avenue East
 Ottawa, ON K1N 1H9                                  North Bay, ON P1B 9P2
 Tel: 1-800-AMNESTY or 613-744-7667                  Tel: 705-494-8566
                                                     Website: <dawn.thot.net>
 Website: <www.amnesty.ca/women>
                                                     December Fund of Toronto
 Another Story Bookstore                             Tel: 416-966-3326
 315 Roncesvalles Avenue
 Toronto, ON M6R 2M6                                 DisAbled Women's Network of Canada
 Tel: 416-462-1104                                   Box 1138
 Website: <www.anotherstory.ca>                      North Bay, ON P1B 8K4
                                                     Tel: 705-474-4242
 Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry               Website: <www.dawncanada.net>
 701 – 151 Slater Street                             DisAbled Women’s Network of Ontario
 Ottawa, ON K1P 5H3                                  Box 1138
 Tel: 613-238-2422                                   North Bay, ON P1B 8K4
 Website: <www.elizabethfry.ca>                      Website: <dawn.thot.net>

 Canadian Research Institute for the                 Education Wife Assault
 Advancement of Women                                215 Spadina Avenue, Suite 22
 151 Slater Street, Suite 408                        Toronto, ON M5T 2C7
 Ottawa, ON K1P 5H3                                  Tel: 416-968-7335
 Tel: 613-563-0682                                   Website: <www.womanabuseprevention.com>
 Website: <www.criaw-icref.ca>
                                                     Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario
 Canadian Women’s Foundation                         (ETFO)
 133 Richmond Street West, Suite 504                 480 University Avenue, Suite 1000
 Toronto, ON M5H 2L3                                 Toronto, ON M5G 1V2
 Tel: 416-365-1444                                   Tel: 416-962-3836
 Fax: 416-365-1745                                   Website: <www.etfo.ca>

 The Centre for Women’s Studies in                   Family Service Association of Toronto
 Education                                           Tel: 416-595-9618
 Ontario Institute for Studies in
  Education/University of Toronto                    Feminist Alliance for International Action
 252 Bloor Street West, Room 2-225                   (FAFIA)
 Toronto, ON M5S 1V6                                 151 Slater Street, Suite 408
 Tel: 416-923-6641, ext. 2368                        Ottawa, ON K1P 5H3
 Website:                                            Tel: 613-232-9505
 <www1.oise.utoronto.ca/cwse/ginfo.html>             Website: <www.fafia-afai.org>

 Council of Elizabeth Fry Societies of Ontario       Green Dragon Press
 122 St. Patrick Street, Suite 210                   2267 Lakeshore Boulevard, Suite 1009
 Toronto, ON M5T 2X8                                 Toronto, ON M8V 3X2
 Tel: 416-585-2842                                   Tel: 416-251-6366
 Website: <www.web.net/~efyont>                      Website:

© 2006 Toronto District School Board        - 73 -                 Gender Equity Resource Guide
 Hassle-Free Women’s Clinic                            Rexdale Women’s Centre
 Tel: 416-922-0566                                     8 Taber Road, 2nd Floor
                                                       Etobicoke, ON M9W 3A4
 Immigrant Women’s Health Centre                       Tel: 416-745-0062
 Tel: 416-323-9986
                                                       Rights & Democracy
 Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)                Website: <www.ichrdd.ca>
 415 Yonge Street, Suite 1800
 Toronto, ON M5B 2E7                                   Scarborough Women’s Centre
 Tel: 416-595-7170                                     2100 Ellesmere Road, Suite 245
 Website: <www.leaf.ca>                                Scarborough, ON M1H 3B7
                                                       Tel: 416-439-7111
 MediaWatch                                            Website: <www.scarboroughwomenscentre.ca>
 517 Wellington Street West, Suite 204
 Toronto, ON M5G 1G1                                   Sistering: A Woman’s Place
 Tel: 416-408-2065                                     Tel: 416-926-9762
 Website: <www.mediawatch.ca>
                                                       South Asian Women’s Centre
 National Association of Women and the Law             Tel: 416-537-2276
 303 – 1066 Somerset West                              Status of Women Canada
 Ottawa, ON K1Y 4T3                                    360 Albert Street, Suite 700
 Tel: 613-241-7570                                     Ottawa, ON K1A 1C3
 Website: <www.nawl.ca>                                Tel: 613-995-7835
                                                       Website: <www.swc-cfc.gc.ca>
 North York Women’s Centre
 201 Caribou Road                                      This Ain’t the Rosedale Library
 North York, ON M5N 2B5                                483 Church Street
 Tel: 416-781-0479                                     Toronto, ON M4Y 2C6
 Website: <www.nywc.org>                               Tel: 416-929-9912
                                                       Website: <www.abebooks.com/home/THISAINT/>
 Oasis Centre des Femmes
 Tel: 416-591-6565                                     Toronto Public Health
 Website: <www.oasisfemmes.org>                        Tel: 416-338-7600
                                                       Website: <www.toronto.ca/health>
 Office of the High Commissioner for Human
 Rights (OHCHR)                                        Toronto Women’s Bookstore
 Website: <www.ohchr.org/ english/                     73 Harbord Street
 issues/women>                                         Toronto, ON M5S 1G4
                                                       Tel: 416-922-8744
 Ontario Women’s Directorate                           Website: <www.womensbookstore.com>
 Mowat Block, 6th Floor
 900 Bay Street                                        The White Ribbon Campaign
 Toronto, ON M7A 1L2                                   365 Bloor Street East
 Tel: 416-314-3000                                     Toronto, ON M4W 3L4
 Website:                                              Tel: 416-920-6684
 <www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/owd/index.html>            Website: <www.whiteribbon.com>

 Opportunity for Advancement                           WHRnet (Women’s Human Rights Net)
 Tel: 416-787-1481                                     Website: <www.whrnet.org>
 Website: <www.ofacan.com>
                                                       Women Living Under Muslim Laws
                                                       Website: <www.wluml.org>

© 2006 Toronto District School Board          - 74 -                Gender Equity Resource Guide
 Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People                Theatre Direct
 165 Front Street                                       720 Bathurst Street, Suite 412
 Toronto, ON M5A 3Z4                                    Toronto, ON M5S 2R4
 Tel: 416-947-1027                                      Tel: 416-537-4191
 Email: edservices@lktyp.ca                             Email: info@theatredirect.on.ca
 Website: <www.lktyp.ca>                                Website: <www.theatredirect.on.ca/home.html>

 The Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People            Theatre Direct is a Canadian touring theatre
 (formerly the Young People’s Theatre) is a not-        company that has operated since 1976. Its
 for-profit theatre dedicated to staging                mission statement is “to engage young people
 professional performances for children in their        through compelling, inventive, and
 own theatre, as well as in schools. Past plays         uncompromising theatre.”
 have addressed a variety of equity issues,
 including gender issues.                               Toronto Theatre Alliance
                                                        210 – 215 Spadina Avenue
 Mixed Company Theatre                                  Toronto, ON M5T 2C7
 157 Carlton Street, Suite 201                          Tel: 416-536-6468
 Toronto, ON M5A 2K3                                    Website: <www.theatreintoronto.com>
 Tel: 416-515-8080
 Email: mixedco@echo-on.net                             Toronto Theatre Alliance promotes support for the
 Website: <mixedcompanytheatre.com>                     theatre and dance arts, and provides services to
                                                        and represents artists of all cultural backgrounds.
 Mixed Company Theatre tours two professional
 issues-based Forum Theatre plays to schools
 throughout the Greater Toronto Area each year.
 As well, they offer workshops to students and
 educators on addressing equity issues through
 drama. Artists at Mixed Theatre are always
 developing plays on gender issues.

 Roseneath Theatre
 P.O Box #4,
 Fergus, ON N1M 2W7
 Tel: 519-787-2399
 Email: info@roseneath.ca
 Website: <www.roseneath.ca>

 Roseneath Theatre is a Canadian touring
 theatre company that has produced plays for
 children in schools and communities for
 20 years.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board           - 75 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Print Resources
The following books are available to TDSB staff from the Fran Endicott Equity Resource Centre. Call
416-397-3795 to reserve. TDSB teachers may also reserve videos from Library Media Resources at the
Tippett Centre by going online to <www.tdsb.on.ca/medianet>.

Adler, David A. A Picture Book of Anne Frank. New York: Holiday House, 1993.

Bailey, Debbie. My Dad. North York, ON: Annick Press, 1991.

Barchers, Suzanne. Wise Women. West Port, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 1990.

Barrett, Joyce. Willie’s not the Hugging Kind. New York: HarperCollins, 1989.

Bedard, Michael. A Darker Magic. Toronto: Stoddart, 1997.

Blackeslee, Mary. Halfbacks Don’t Wear Pearls. Richmond Hill, ON: Scholastic, 1986.

Blackwood, Mary. Derek, The Knitting Dinosaur. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books, 1990.

Brink, Carol. Caddie Woodlawn. New York: Collier Books, 1990.

Butterworth, Nick. My Dad Is Awesome. Cambridge, MS: Candlewick Press, 1992.

---. My Grandpa Is Amazing. Cambridge, MS: Candlewick Press, 1992.

---. My Grandma Is Wonderful. Cambridge, MS: Candlewick Press, 1992.

Caines, Jeanette. Just Us Women. New York: Harper & Row, 1982.

Campagna, Phil. The Liberty Circle. Toronto: Napoleon Publishing, 2000.

Chamas, Suzy. The Bronze King. New York: Bantam, 1988.

Chan, Arlene. Spirit of the Dragon: The Story of Jean Lumb, a Proud Chinese Canadian.
       Toronto: Umbrella Press, 1997.

Chin Charlie. China’s Bravest Girl. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 1993.

Clearly, Beverley. Dear Mr. Henshaw. New York: Morrow, 1984.

Cole, Babette. Prince Cinders. East Rutherford, NJ: Puffin, 1997.

---. Princess Smartypants. London, UK: Magi Publications, 1992.

Colman, Penny. Fanny Lou Hamer and the Fight for the Vote. Brookfield, CT: Millbrook
       Press, 1993.

Cooney, Barbara. Miss Rumphius. East Rutherford, NJ: Puffin Books, 1982.

De Haan, Linda. King and King. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle Press, 2002.

De Paola, Tomi. Now One Foot, Now the Other. New York: Putnam, 1981.

---. Oliver Button Is a Sissy. New York: Voyager Books, 1990.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board           - 76 -                 Gender Equity Resource Guide
Demi. One Grain of Rice. New York: Scholastic Press, 1997.

Ellis, Deborah. The Breadwinner. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2000.

---. Parvana’s Journey. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2002.

Freeman, Bill. Shantymen of Cache Lake. Toronto: Lorimer, 1975.

Gilman, Phoebe. Something from Nothing. Richmond Hill, ON: Scholastic, 1992.

Graff, Polly Anne, and Stewart Graff. Helen Keller: Toward the Light. New York: Chelsea Juniors, 1999.

Grimes, Nikki. My Man Blue. New York: Putnam, 1999.

Hoffman, Mary. Amazing Grace. New York: Scott Foresman, 1991.

Hopkinson, Deborah. Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt. New York: Dragonfly Books, 1993.

Howe, Dolores. Horace and Morris, But Mostly Dolores. New York: Aladdin Library, 2003.

Hughes, Monica. Invitation to the Game. New York: HarperCollins, 1990.

Jovanovich, Tomie. Oliver Button Is a Sissy. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1979.

Lauture, Denize. Father and Son. New York: Putnam, 1992.

Little, Jean. Different Dragons. New York: Viking Kestrel, 1986.

Mack, B. Jessie’s Dream Skirt. Chapel Hill, NC: Lollipop Power, 1979.

Mackay, Claire. The Minerva Program. Toronto: Lorimer, 1984.

Marx, Trish. One Boy from Kosovo. New York: HarperCollins, 2000.

Matas, Carol. LISA. Toronto: Lester and Orpen Dennys, 1997.

McGill, Alice. Molly Bannaky. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999.

Merriam, Eve. Daddies at Work. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989.

---. Mommies at Work. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989.

Montzalee, Miller. My Grandmother’s Cookie Jar. Los Angeles: Price Stern Sloan, 1987.

Neubweger, Anne E. The Girl-Son. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books, 1995.

Newman, Leslie. Heather Has Two Mommies. Los Angeles: Alyson Publications, 2000.

Paterson, Katherine. The King’s Equal. New York: HarperTrophy, 1999.

---. The Great Gilly Hopkins. New York: Harper & Row, 1987.

Patrick, Jean L.S. The Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books, 2000.

Peterson, Helen. Susan B. Anthony: Pioneer in Women’s Rights. Champaign, IL: Garrard, 1971.

Quinlan, Patricia. My Dad takes Care of Me. North York, ON: Firefly Books, 1987.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board           - 77 -                   Gender Equity Resource Guide
Rodwosky, Colby. My Name Is Henley. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1982.

Roy, Lynette. Brown Girl in the Ring. Rosemary Brown: A Biography for Young People.
       Toronto: Sister Vision, 1992.

Saller, Carol. Florence Kelly. Minneapolis, MN: Carlrhoda Books, 1997.

Scullard, Sue. Miss Fanshaw and the Great Dragon Adventure. New York: St. Martin’s, 1988.

Selvadurai, Shyam. Funny Boy. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1994.

Sherrow, Victoria. Wilma Rudolph. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Books, 2000.

Sisulu, Elinor Batezat. The Day Gogo Went to Vote. New York: Little Brown, 1996.

Stinson, Kathy. Mom and Dad Don’t Live Together Anymore. Toronto: Annick Press, 1984.

Super, Gretchen. What Is a Family?. Breckenridge, CO: Twenty First Century Books, 1991.

Thurman Hunter, Bernice. The Scatterbrain Booky. Richmond Hill, ON: Scholastic, 1981.

Watada Terry. Seeing the Invisible: The Story of Dr. Irene Uchida, Canadian Scientist.
       Toronto: Umbrella Press, 1997.

Women Changing the World. New York: The Feminist Press, 2000.

Wyatt, Valerie. The Science Book for Girls and Other Intelligent Beings. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1993.

Zlolotow, Charlotte. William’s Doll. New York: HarperTrophy, 1985.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board           - 78 -                 Gender Equity Resource Guide
TDSB Professional Library Services
The following resources are available to TDSB teachers from Professional Library Services at Tippett
Centre, 3 Tippett Road, Route NW. TDSB schools that wish to borrow any resources may phone
416-395-8289 or email professionallibrary@tdsb.on.ca.


Allard, Andrea, and Jeni Wilson. Gender Dimensions: Developing Interpersonal Skills in the Classroom.
         Armadale, AU: Eleanor Curtain Publishing, 1995.

Bernstein, Sharon Chesler. A Family That Fights. Racine, WI: Whitman Publishing, 1991.

Buehner, Caralyn. Fanny’s Dream. New York: Dial Books, 1996.

Clarke, Kathryn. The Breakable Vow. New York: Avon Books, 2004.

Cohen, Jody, and Sukey Blanc. Girls in the Middle: Working to Succeed in School. Washington, DC:
       American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, 1996.

Colman, Penny. Rosie the Riveter: Women Working on the Home Front in World War II. New York:
       Crown Publishers, 1998.

Coman, Carolyn. What Jamie Saw. Arden, NC: Front Street, 1995.

Connolly, Jennifer Anne, Virginia Hatchette, and Loren E. McMaster. School Achievement of Canadian
       Boys and Girls in Early Adolescence: Links with Personal Attitudes and Parental and Teacher
       Support for School. Hull, QC: Human Resources Development Canada, 1998.

Corey, Shana. You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer: A Very Improper Story. New York: Scholastic,

Cushman, Karen. Catherine Called Birdy. New York: Clarion Books, 1994.

DeBare, Ilana. Where Girls Come First: The Rise, Fall, and Surprising Revival of Girls' Schools. New
       York: J.P. Tarcher/Penguin, 2004.

Eder, Donna, Catherine Colleen Evans, and Stephen Parker. School Talk: Gender and Adolescent
       Culture. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1995.

Flinn, Alex. Nothing to Lose. New York: HarperTempest, 2004.

Fritz, April Young. Praying at the Sweetwater Motel. New York: Hyperion, 2003.

Funke, Cornelia Caroline. The Princess Knight. New York: Scholastic, 2004.

Gaskell, Jane, and John Willinsky, Eds. Gender In/Forms Curriculum: From Enrichment to
        Transformation. Toronto, ON: OISE Press, 1995.

Ginsberg, Alice E., Joan Poliner Shapiro, and Shirley P. Brown. Gender in Urban Education: Strategies
       for Student Achievement. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 2004.

Goldberg, Gail Lynn, and Barbara Sherr Roswell. Reading, Writing, and Gender: Helping Boys and Girls
       Become Better Readers and Writers. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education, 2002.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board          - 79 -                 Gender Equity Resource Guide
Gurian, Michael. The Wonder of Girls: Understanding the Hidden Nature of Our Daughters. New York:
        Pocket Books, 2002.

Gurian, Michael, and Arlette C. Ballew. The Boys and Girls Learn Differently: Action Guide for Teachers.
        San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.

Gurian, Michael, and Kathy Stevens. The Minds of Boys: Saving Our Sons from Falling Behind in School
        and Life. San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2005.

Gurian, Michael, and Patricia Henley. Boys and Girls Learn Differently: A Guide for Teachers and
        Parents. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001.

Gussetti, Barbara J. Reading, Writing, and Talking Gender in Literacy Learning. Newark, DE:
        International Reading Association, 2002.

Hansen, Lorraine Sundal, and Barbara Flom. Growing Smart: What’s Working for Girls in School.
       Washington, DC: AAUW Educational Foundation, 1995.

Henkes, Kevin. Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse. New York: Greenwillow Books, 1996.

---. Sheila Rae, the Brave. New York: Mulberry Books, 1996.

How Schools Shortchange Girls: The AAUW Report: A Study of Major Findings on Girls and Education.
      Washington, DC: The Association, 1992.

Karp, Karen. Feisty Females: Inspiring Girls to Think Mathematically. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1998.

Kessler, Cristina. My Great-Grandmother’s Gourd. New York: Orchard Books, 2000.

Kindlon, Daniel J., and Michael Thompson. Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys. New
        York: Ballantine, 2000.

Krull, Kathleen. Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman. New York:
         Voyager Books, 2000.

Lester, Julius. When Dad Killed Mom. San Diego, CA: Silver Whistle, 2001.

Lipp, Frederick. The Caged Birds of Phnom Penh. New York: Holiday House, 2001.

Lopez, Nancy. Hopeful Girls, Troubled Boys: Race and Gender Disparity in Urban Education. New York:
       Routledge, 2003.

Martin, Rafe. The Rough-Face Girl. New York: Putnam, 1998.

McCormick, Theresa Mickey. Creating the Nonsexist Classroom: A Multicultural Approach. New York:
      Teacher College Press, 1994.

McCully, Emily Arnold. The Ballot Box Battle. New York: Dragonfly, 1998.

---. Mirette and Bellini Cross Niagara Falls. New York: Putnam, 2000.

---. The Orphan Singer. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2001.

McKissack, Patricia C. Going Someplace Special. New York: Atheneum, 2001.

Millard, Elaine. Differently Literate: Boys, Girls, and the Schooling of Literacy. London, UK: Falmer Press,

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            - 80 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Pipher, Mary Bray. Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Lives of Adolescent Girls. New York: Putnam, 1994.

Polacco, Patricia. The Butterfly. New York: Philomel Books, 2000.

Pollack, William S. Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood. New York: Random
        House, 1998.

Rowan, Leonie. Boys, Literacies, and Schooling: The Dangerous Territories of Gender-Based Literacy
       Reform. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press, 2002.

Salisbury, Cynthia. Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Leader of the Fight for Women’s Rights. Historical American
        Biographies. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2002.

Samuels, Lind S. Girls Can Succeed in Science!: Antidotes for Science Phobia in Boys and Girls.
      Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, 1999.

Sax, Leonard. Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging
       Science of Sex Differences. New York: Doubleday, 2005.

Tashjian, Janet. Fault Line. New York: Henry Holt, 2003.

Thorne, Barrie. Gender Play: Girls and Boys in School. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press,

Trentacosta, Janet, Ed. Multicultural and Gender Equity in the Mathematics Classroom: The Gift of
       Diversity. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 1997.

Wells, Rosemary. Noisy Nora. East Rutherford, NJ: Puffin, 2000.

Woodson, Jacqueline. The Other Side. New York: Putnam, 2001.

Yolen, Jane. Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons. New York: HarperCollins, 2002.

Journal Articles

Bauer, Karlin S. “Promoting Gender Equity in Schools.” Contemporary Education, 71:2 (2000): 22-25.

Bleuer, Jeanne C., and Gary R. Walz. “Are Boys Falling Behind in Academics? Part 1.” Eric Digest.
        Greensboro, NC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services. ED470601 (2002).

Connell, Diane, and Betsy Gunzelmann. “The NEW Gender Gap.” Instructor, 113:6 (March 2004): 14-17.

Datnow, Amanda, and Lea Hubbard. “Single-Sex Public Schooling: Lessons from California's
       Experiment.” Orbit 34:2 (2004): 9-11.

Eyre, Linda, and Jane Gaskell. “Gender Equity and Education Policy in Canada, 1970-2000.” Orbit, 34:1
        (2004): 6-8.

Fenwick, Tara. “What Happens to the Girls? Gender, Work and Learning in Canada’s ‘New Economy.’”
       Gender and Education, 16:2 (June 2004): 169-185.

Fine, Sean. “Gender Gap: Slowly, Administrators Are Noticing That Boys Are Falling Behind in school.”
        Education Today, 13:2 (Summer 2001).

Froese-Germain, Bernie. “Are Schools Really Shortchanging Boys? Reality Check on the New Gender
       Gap”. Orbit, 34:1 (2004): 3-5.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board          - 81 -                 Gender Equity Resource Guide
Gurian, Michael, and Kathy Stevens. “With Boys and Girls in Mind.” Educational Leadership, 62:3
        (November 2004): 21-26.

Laster, Carol. “Why We Must Try Same-Sex Instruction.” Education Digest, 70:1 (September 2004): 59-

Murray, Susan. “Why the Boys Aren’t Learning.” Teach, 9-10 (May/June 2004): 17-18.

Sanders, Jo, and Sarah Cotton Nelson. “Closing Gender Gaps in Science.” Educational Leadership, 62:3
       (November 2004): 74-77.

Shimon, Jane. “Red Alert: Gender Equity Issues in Secondary Physical Education.” Journal of Physical
       Education, Recreation and Dance, 76:7 (September 2005): 6-10.

Spencer, Renee, Michelle V. Porche, and Deborah L Tolman. “We’ve Come a Long Way—Maybe: New
       Challenges for Gender Equity in Education.” Teachers College Record, 105:9 (December 2003):

Tindall, Tiffany, and Burnette Hamil. “Gender Disparity in Science Education: The Causes,
         Consequences, and Solutions.” Education, 125:2 (Winter 2004): 282-294.

Upitis, Rena. “Girls (and Boys) and Technology (and Toys).” Canadian Journal of Education, 26:2 (2001):

Wane, Njoki N., and Erica Neegan. “African Canadian High School Girls and Their Quest for Education.”
       Orbit, 34:1 (2004): 36-37.

French Resources
Alaoui, Latifa. Marius. Montréal : Les 400 coups, 2001.

Clausener-Petit, Magali. Garçons et filles: tous égaux ? Montréal : Éditions Milan, 2002.

Ellis, Deborah. Le Voyage de Parvana. Montréal : Héritage Jeunesse, 2003.

---. Parvana, une enfance en Afghanistan. Montréal : Héritage jeunesse, 2001.

Galouchko, Annouchka Gravel. Shō et les dragons d’eau. Toronto : Annick Press, 1995.

Hirst, Mike. Les droits de l’homme—La liberté de pensée. Montréal : Éditions École Active, 2000.

Lenain, Thierry. Menu fille ou menu garçon. Toronto : Nathan Publishing, 1996.

Munsch, Robert. Mais où est donc Gah-Ning ? Toronto : Annick Press, 1994.

---. La princesse dans un sac. Toronto : Annick Press, 2002.

Pef. Une si jolie poupée. Montréal : Gallimard Jeunesse, 2001.

Sauriol, Louise-Michelle. Au secours d’Élim ! Montréal : Héritage jeunesse, 1996.

Wolf, Gita. Mala. Toronto : Annick Press, 1996.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board              - 82 -               Gender Equity Resource Guide
Video/DVD Resources
The following video resources are available from the Fran Endicott Equity Resource Centre. Call
416-397-3795 to reserve. TDSB teachers may also reserve videos from Library Media Resources at the
Tippett Centre by going online to <www.tdsb.on.ca/medianet>. For those videos that are available from
Library Media Resources, an order number is provided.

Against the Odds. Videocassette. Prod. Bigelow Productions. Kinetic Video, 2000. (23 minutes)
        Against the Odds is a documentary and website intended to encourage young women in the
        areas of science, technology, and entrepreneurship. The video profiles the intimate stories of
        three Canadian women entrepreneurs, Aboriginal, francophone, and immigrant, who have
        succeeded in the traditionally male-dominated fields of science and Internet technology. In
        addition to gender, these women have overcome the further challenges of economic disparity,
        culture, and age, and they stand out both in Canada and abroad.

All Different, All Equal. Life Series, Episode 11. Prod. TVE International. Videocassette. McNabb &
         Connolly, 2000. (24 minutes) (#801340)
         This program looks at progress in achieving greater equality for women five years after the
         Beijing conference on Women. Government delegations in Beijing pledged themselves to tackle
         increasing violence against women.

Angry Girls. Prod./Dir. Shelley Saywell. Prod. Bishari Film Productions, Inc. Videocassette. McNabb &
       Connolly, 2004. (52 minutes) (#107335)
       This is a story of teenage girls living in Toronto’s inner core, raised in shelters and housing
       projects. These girls feel so isolated and disconnected that joining a clique or gang becomes the
       only way to belong. For them, violence is empowerment. The film looks at the sources of their
       violence—racial tension, family problems—and some programs that help them cope and
       overcome their destructive behaviour. Note: Sensitive – previewing recommended.

Body Image. Prod. Heartland Motion Pictures Inc. Videocassette. Kinetic Video, 1998. (27 minutes)
       This program critically examines prevalent gender stereotypes that pervade society and presents
       adolescents with the facts, including information on eating disorders and steroids.

Building Respectful Schools and Classrooms. Videocassette. Sunburst Communications, 1999.
        (36 minutes)
        Staff development leader’s guide and video. The program aims to help staff (of elementary
        Grades 4–8) use concrete, detailed terms to talk about how they can address issues of respect,
        and to empower staff to confront disrespect forthrightly rather than ignoring it or glossing it over.
        Among the issues presented are name calling, casual use of derogatory racial/gender terms,
        abusive behaviour directed at adults, bullying, social exclusion, and anti-gay language.

Dreamworlds 2: Desire/Sex/Power in Music Video. Prod. Media Education Foundation. Writer/Narr. Sut
      Jhally. Videocassette. Kinetic Films, 1995. (56 minutes) (#055236)
      This film analyzes the images of women in some music videos. It focuses on the male
      commercial culture and corporate interests that present women as being decorative, desiring to
      be looked at and possessed by men, and insatiable in their sexual desires. These images,
      enhanced by filmic techniques that emphasize body parts while downplaying individuality,
      suggest that violence is acceptable. Using the gang-rape sequence from the film The Accused,
      the program demonstrates the similarity of images, and suggests that these images, while not
      causing behaviour, do influence ways of seeing the issues of rape and violence against women.
      Warning: This video contains a very disturbing scene of sexual violence from the movie
      The Accused. Watching this video is a voluntary act. Students should feel free to leave the
      room at any time if they feel upset or uncomfortable.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board             - 83 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Gender Matters. Developing World Series. Prod. Image Media. Videocassette. Open University, 1992.
       (24 minutes) (#054870)
       Distinguished participants from India, Africa, Latin America, and Oxfam explain the strange
       phenomenon of how, until recently, women’s experience was totally ignored by both development
       planners and the societies they were trying to serve.

Her Brilliant Career. Prod. Productions Grand Nord. Videocassette. Ciné Fête, 2005. (43 minutes)
         Whenever power and money come together, no matter what the profession, women still remain
         notably absent. Although women make up more than 46 percent of the labour force in Canada,
         less than half of all public corporations have any women on their boards. What is it about women
         that blocks their progress? Her Brilliant Career examines discrimination in the workplace and
         politics, and introduces the viewer to a controversial program for women executives. Jean
         Holland has developed a unique workshop in California that aims to help ambitious female
         executives get ahead. She calls it the Bully Broads program. Note: Sensitive – previewing

It’s a Girl’s World. Prod. Sylvia Sweeney, Gerry Flahive, and Silva Basmajian. Dir. Lynn Glazier.
          Videocassette. National Film Board of Canada, 2004. (52 minutes) (#106701)
          Takes us inside the tumultuous relationships of a clique of popular 10-year-old girls. Playground
          bullying captured on camera shows a disturbing picture of how these girls use their closest
          friendships to hurt each other—with shunning, whispering, and mean looks—to win social power
          in the group. Meanwhile, their parents struggle through denial and disbelief as they become
          aware of the serious consequences of this behaviour. By comparison, the tragic story of a
          14-year-old girl is a stark reminder that social bullying can spiral out of control. Believing she had
          no other choice, Dawn-Marie Wesley killed herself after enduring months of rumours and verbal
          threats. This documentary shatters the myth that social bullying among girls is an acceptable part
          of growing up. Note: This documentary presents 6 modules: Modules 1–4 (Grades 4–12);
          Modules 5–6 (14 years and older). French-language translation available on DVD354 entitled
          “Une affaire de filles.” Note: Sensitive – previewing recommended.

The Problem with Boys. CBC Newsworld Series. Prod. Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Videocassette. CBC
       Educational Sales, 2004. (41 minutes) (#107134)
       Examines the issues around the growing trend of underachievement in young men. Host
       Kathleen Petty is joined by a panel of specialists, educators, and parents to discuss the issues
       and concerns. Also examines the cultural influences on boys’ lives. David Gray conducts a frank
       and open conversation with a group of boys about their first-hand thoughts on school, life, and all
       the expectations they face. Note: Sensitive – previewing recommended.

Unveiled: The Truth Behind the Myth. Prod. Fortune Cookie Productions, Inc. Narr. Seema Mehta and
       Saddiya Ibrahim. Videocassette. McNabb & Connolly, 2003. (23 minutes) (#107291)
       This program views the trials and tribulations of adolescent life through the lens of a Muslim girl
       attending high school in Toronto. At first, Sadiyya Ibrahim seems to be an unlikely representative
       of her student body. Cloaked from head to toe in her religious attire, she best appears to fit the
       stereotyped image of the shy, oppressed Muslim girl seen in the media. But, by allowing her inner
       voice to guide her through the vices of peer pressure and discrimination, Sadiyya silences all
       skeptics with her larger-than-life personality—proving that heroes can come in all shapes, sizes,
       and appearances. Note: Sensitive – previewing recommended.

Playing Unfair: The Media Image of the Female Athlete. Prod. Media Education Foundation. Narr. Mary
        Jo Kane, Pat Griffin, and Michael Messner. Videocassette. Kinetic Video, 2002. (30 minutes)
        It has been 30 years since Title IX legislation granted women equal playing time, but the male-
        dominated world of sports journalism has yet to catch up with the law. Coverage of women’s
        sports lags far behind men’s and focuses on female athletes’ femininity and sexuality over their
        achievements on the court and field. Note: Sensitive – previewing recommended.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board              - 84 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Professional Resources for Teachers
Adams, Carol. Primary Matters: To Equal Opportunities in Primary Schools. London, UK: ILEA, 1986.

American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. Gender Gaps: Where Schools Still
       Fail Our Children. New York: Marlowe., 1999.

Ammon, Bette DuBruyne, and Gale W. Sherman. More Rip-Roaring Reads for Reluctant Teen Readers.
      Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1999.

Booth, David. Even Hockey Players Read: Boys, Literacy and Reading. Markham, ON: Pembroke, 2002.

Brozo, William G. To Be a Boy, To Be a Reader: Engaging Teen and Preteen Boys in Active Literacy.
       Newark, DE: International Reading Association, 2002.

Crawford, Mary, Sara Davis, and Jadwiga Sebrechts, Eds. Coming into Her Own: Educational Success in
       Girls and Women. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1999.

Equitable Schools: It’s in Our Hands. Toronto: Toronto District School Board, 2005.

The Future We Want: Building an Inclusive Curriculum. Mississauga, ON: Peel District School Board,

Gipps, C.V., and Patricia Murphy. Equity in the Classroom: Towards Effective Pedagogy for Girls and
        Boys. London, UK; Washington, DC: Falmer Press, 1996.

Guidelines & Procedures for the Accommodation of Religious Requirements, Practices, and
        Observances. Toronto: Toronto District School Board, 2000.

Herald, Diana Tixier. Teen Genreflecting. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 1997.

Imagine a World That Is Free from Fear: A Kindergarten to Grade Eight Resource Addressing Issues
       Relating to Homophobia and Heterosexism. Toronto: Elementary Teachers’ Federation of
       Ontario, 2004.

Jobe, Ron, and Mary Dayton-Sakari. Info Kids: How to Use Nonfiction to Turn Reluctant Readers into
       Enthusiastic Learners. Markham, ON: Pembroke, 2002.

Millard, Elaine. Differently Literate: Boys, Girls, and the Schooling of Literacy. London, UK; Washington,
         DC: Falmer Press, 1997.

Odean, Kathleen. Great Books About Things Kids Love: More than 750 Recommended Books for
       Children 3 to 14. New York: Ballantine, 2001.

---. Great Books for Boys: More than 600 Books for Boys 2 to 14. New York: Ballantine, 1998.

Rainbows and Triangles: A Curriculum Document for Challenging Homophobia and Heterosexism in the
       K–6 Classroom. Toronto: Toronto District School Board, 2002.

Razack, Sherene. Looking White People in the Eye: Gender, Race, and Culture in Courtrooms and
       Classrooms. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998.

Setterington, Ken, and Deirdre Baker. Guide to Canadian Children’s Books in English. Toronto:
        McClelland & Stewart, 2003.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            - 85 -                 Gender Equity Resource Guide
A Teaching Resource for Dealing with Controversial and Sensitive Issues in Toronto District School Board
       Classrooms. Toronto: Toronto District School Board, 2003.

Tools for Equity. Toronto: Toronto District School Board, 2006.

We’re Erasing Prejudice for Good. Toronto: Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, 2002.

Wynne-Jones, Tim. Ed. Boys’ Own: An Anthology of Canadian Fiction for Young Readers. Toronto:
      Viking Penguin, 2001.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board           - 86 -               Gender Equity Resource Guide
The following websites contain interesting facts, historical events, people profiles, and other items that
may be useful in preparing lessons and planning events for your classroom and school.

Note: The URLs for websites were verified prior to publication. However, given the frequency with which
these designations change, teachers should verify them before assigning them for student use.

“Canadian Adolescent Boys and Literacy.” University of Alberta – Faculty of Education.

Canadian Women’s Internet Directory. <directory.womenspace.ca>.

Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature Site. <www.carolhurst.com/subjects/history/women.html>.

“Celebrating Women’s Achievements.” Library and Archives Canada. <www.nlc-bnc.ca>.

“Children’s Literature Web Guide.” University of Calgary. <www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~dkbrown/index.html>.

“Cool Women Features.” Cool Women. <www.coolwomen.org>.

“December 6th—National Day of Action and Remembrance on Violence Against Women.” Ontario
      Women’s Directorate. <www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/owd/english/dec6.htm>.

“Educators.” The White Ribbon Campaign. <www.whiteribbon.ca/educational_materials>.

International Reading Association. <www.reading.org>.

“International Women’s Day.” United Nations Cyberschoolbus.

National Book Service (NBS). <www.nbs.com/nbshome.htm>.

“National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.” Answers.com.

“National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.” Status of Women Canada.

“National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.” Wikipedia.

“News and Events.” The White Ribbon Campaign. <www.whiteribbon.ca>.

Ontario Association of Women’s Centres. <www.oawc.org/index.html>.

Sablon, Claire du. Chronologie historique des femmes du Québec.

Scieszka, Jon. Guys Read. <www.guysread.com>.

TeenReads. <www.teenreads.com>.

Tinlids. <www.tinlids.ca>.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board             - 87 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Vandergrift, Kaye E. Beyond Female Protagonists—Female Voices in Picture Books. 10 June 2006. Rev.
       23 September 2006. <www.scils.rutgers.edu/~kvander/Feminist/fempic.html>.

---. “Empowering Young Women.” Rev. 23 September 2006.

“Women of Canada Making History.” Cool Women. <www.coolwomen.org>.

“Women: International Women’s Day.” United Nations Department of Public Information.

“WomenWatch.” Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE).

World March of Women Canada. <www.canada.marchofwomen.org>.

York University School of Women’s Studies. <www.arts.yorku.ca/wmst/index.html>.

“Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).” American Library Association (ALA).

YWCA Arise. <www.ywca.org>.

YWCA Breakthrough. <www.ywca.org>.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board         - 88 -                Gender Equity Resource Guide
Appendix A:
Bias                   Behaviours resulting from the spoken or unspoken assumption that one
                       group is superior to the other. An example is when a male soccer coach
                       assumes that a male athlete will be a better player than a female athlete.

Career Stereotypes     A (false) belief that certain careers should belong to people based on
                       characteristic(s) such as gender, race, ethnicity, or age.

Cultural Awareness     Consciousness of cultural similarities and differences. Awareness of one’s
                       own culture and that of others.

Culture                The way of believing, feeling, and behaving by a group of people.
                       The way of life of a people—their values, skills, and customs.

Discrimination         Any practice or behaviour, whether intentional or not, which has a
                       negative effect on an individual or group because of one of the prohibited
                       grounds outlined in the TDSB’s Human Rights Policy and Procedures.

Gender Equity          Fair treatment to both genders.

Gender Identity        One’s internal and psychological sense of oneself as male or female, or
                       both or neither, regardless of sexual orientation. There are some people
                       who question their gender identity and may feel unsure of their gender or
                       believe they are not of the same gender as their physical body.

Gender Norm            So-called appropriate behaviours, beliefs, and attitudes for girls, women,
                       boys, and men, as decided by a society.

Gender Roles           A set of behaviours based on gender that make up a role (e.g., father, mother).

Harassment             A form of discrimination that refers to single or ongoing communication
                       or expression engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that
                       is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.

Hate Crimes            Serious, illegal, and harmful acts directed at targeted individuals/groups
                       based on real or perceived characteristics such as race, ethnicity, sexual
                       orientation, gender, religion, socio-economic status, age, or other factors.
                       Extreme prejudicial actions.

Heterosexism           The cultural, institutional, and individual set of practices that assume
                       heterosexuality is the only natural, normal, and acceptable sexual orientation.

Humour, Sexist         Jokes, stories, cartoons, etc. that demonstrate gender prejudice.

Inclusive Language     The use of gender non-specific language (e.g., “partner” instead of
                       “husband”) to avoid assumptions that limit, and to enhance the
                       accessibility of information and services; educational, social service, and
                       health professionals are especially encouraged to use inclusive language.

Career                 A professional, technical, or skilled job in which a small number of
                       one sex (fewer than 25 percent) are employed. Non-traditional careers for
                       women usually have higher salaries than traditionally held female jobs.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board          - 89 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Segregation            When certain occupations are dominated by one gender. An example
                       might be welding, where the overwhelming majority of workers are male.

Partner                A term used to define a primary domestic partner in a spousal
                       relationship. This term is acknowledged as being more inclusive than
                       “girlfriend/boyfriend,” “lover,” “roommate, “life partner,” “wife/husband,” or
                       “significant other.”

Prejudice              A set of attitudes and feelings toward a certain group, or individuals within the
                       group, that casts that group and its members in an inferior light, and for which
                       there is no legitimate basis in fact.

Self-Esteem            The quality of seeing ourselves as worthwhile, competent, and deserving.

Sexism                 Sexism is gender prejudice, usually directed at women. Often this form of
                       prejudice is combined with institutional power to create and maintain a system of
                       privileges and benefits for males.

Sexual Harassment      Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other
                       unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Sexual Innuendo        Verbal or written statements that imply subjects of a sexual nature.

Sexual Orientation     Sexual orientation is the gender (or sex) with which one is most likely to
                       direct one’s social, sexual, and intimate connections and relationships.

Stereotype             A false or over-generalized image of a group of people, resulting in
                       categorization of each member of that group, without regard for individual

Tokenism               The act of making small, often formal concessions to the demands of an
                       oppressed group by a group that has power. For example, responding to the
                       demands of a women’s rights group for more jobs, a corporation might hire one
                       woman. This would be a token hiring, to appear to be working on the problem
                       while actually doing very little about it.

(Adapted from Western Massachusetts Gender Equity Centre’s Gender Equity Lesson Plans and
Teacher Guide, 2004.)

© 2006 Toronto District School Board           - 90 -                   Gender Equity Resource Guide
Appendix B:
Instructional Strategies for Gender Equity Teaching
•   Be committed to learning about and practising equitable teaching.

•   Use gender-specific terms to market opportunities. For example, if a technology fair has been
    designed to appeal to girls, mention girls clearly and specifically. Many girls assume that gender-
    neutral language in non-traditional fields means boys.

•   Modify content, teaching style, and assessment practices to make non-traditional subjects more
    relevant and interesting for female and male students.

•   Highlight the social aspects and usefulness of activities, skills, and knowledge.

•   Comments received from female students suggest that they particularly enjoy integrative thinking;
    understanding context, as well as facts; and exploring social, moral, and environmental impacts of

•   When establishing relevance of material, consider the different interests and life experiences that girls
    and boys may have.

•   Choose a variety of instructional strategies such as co-operative and collaborative work in small
    groups, opportunities for safe risk taking, hands-on work, and opportunities to integrate knowledge
    and skills (e.g., science and communication).

•   Provide specific strategies, special opportunities, and resources to encourage students to excel in
    areas of study in which they are typically under-represented.

•   Design lessons to explore many perspectives and to use different sources of information; refer to
    female and male experts.

•   Manage competitiveness in the classroom, particularly in areas in which male students typically excel.

•   Watch for biases (e.g., in behaviour or learning resources) and teach students strategies to recognize
    and work to eliminate inequities they observe.

•   Be aware of accepted gender-biased practices in physical activity (e.g., in team sport, funding for
    athletes, and choices in physical education programs).

•   Do not assume that all students are heterosexual.

•   Share information and build a network of colleagues with a strong commitment to equity.

•   Model non-biased behaviour: use inclusive, parallel, or gender-sensitive language; question and
    coach male and female students with the same frequency, specificity, and depth; allow quiet students
    sufficient time to respond to questions.

•   Have colleagues familiar with common gender biases observe your teaching and discuss any
    potential bias they may observe.

•   Be consistent over time.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            - 91 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Appendix C:
How to Handle Harassment in the Hallways
in Three Minutes
    • Interrupt the comment/halt the physical harassment.
    • DO NOT pull students aside for confidentiality unless absolutely necessary.
    • Make sure all the students in the area hear your comments.
    • It is important that all students—whether onlookers, potential targets, or potential harassers—get
       the message that students are safe and protected in the school.

     • Label the form of harassment: “You just made a harassing comment/put-down based upon race/
       religion/ethnicity/abilities/gender/age/sexual orientation/economic status/size, etc.”
     • Do not imply that the victim is a member of that identifiable group.
     • A major goal is to take the spotlight off the target and turn the focus to the behaviour. Students
       should realize what was said, regardless of what was meant (e.g., kidding).

    • Do not personalize your response at this stage: “At this school, we do not harass people.” “Our
      community does not appreciate hateful/thoughtless behaviour.”
    • Re-identify the offensive behaviour: “This name calling can also be hurtful to others who overhear
    • “We don’t do put-downs at this school” specifically includes those listening, as well as the school
      community in general. Even if they were “only kidding,” harassers must realize the possible
      ramifications of their actions.

    • Personalize the response: “Chris, please pause and think before you act.”
    • Check in with the victim at this time: “If this continues, please tell me, and I will take further action.
       We want everyone to be safe at this school.”
    • Now turn the spotlight on the harasser specifically, asking for accountability. Again, be sure not to
       treat the target like a helpless victim. Rather, plainly give him or her this responsibility on behalf of

© 2006 Toronto District School Board              - 92 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Appendix D:
Challenging Sexist Jokes and Sexist Language
Your buddy says, “I have a good joke for you.” You get a little smile on your face waiting to have a good
laugh, but instead, you hear a joke that degrades women. It describes women as incompetent, weak,
constantly hysterical, or as mere sexualized body parts. Many jokes speak of horrible violence such as
rape in a supposed “lighthearted” manner. That frozen smile is still on your face, but you feel very
uncomfortable inside, and you know that this just does not feel right. You want to say something but the
rest of the guys seem to be enjoying it. They have smiles on their faces and you don’t want to be the
downer of the party. But maybe—just maybe—some of them are thinking the same thing you are and that
smile on their face is just as uncomfortable as yours.

What can you say?

Here are some suggestions: “Hey man, that’s actually not very funny. Too many guys joke about rape
when rape is a traumatic event and a violent crime. Joking about it kind of makes us forget what it really
is, and how serious it is.” There’s a good chance that someone in the room has known someone close to
them who has been raped or sexually assaulted. Conservative statistics say 39 percent of all Canadian
women have experienced at least one incident of sexual assault since the age 16 (The Violence Against
Women Survey, Statistics Canada, 1993).

You may be surprised at the positive support you get. If you don’t and you are told to “lighten up,” you can
simply say, “I still don’t find it funny. Would you be as comfortable telling a joke about people of colour or
Jews?” This is especially effective if there are men from different cultures and backgrounds in the room.
Although don’t be surprised if many of them tell you, “you don’t have a sense of humour.” But at least
you’ve planted the seed with these guys, letting them know where you stand. Challenging guys about this
stuff may be a difficult thing to do, but it’s worth it, knowing you’re doing your part to create a world where
ending violence against women is taken seriously and sexism and violence are no longer a laughing

© 2006 Toronto District School Board             - 93 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Appendix E:
How Schools Shortchange Girls
What can I do about it?

The following questions may be used as a guide. Awareness is the first step to sensitivity. You may
consider asking a colleague to tally your interactions in the classroom.

    1. Do I make eye contact more with male than female students?

    2. Do I appear to listen more attentively to male than to female students?

    3. Do I respond differently to male and female students who call out answers without raising their

    4. Is the quality of my response to students different for male and female students? For example, do
       I coach male students more than female students in order to support them in developing their
       answers to a question?

    5. Is there a difference in the types of questions directed to male and female students (e.g.,
       questions requiring factual answers or questions requiring higher order of thinking skills)?

    6. Do I interrupt female students more often than male students?

    7. Is there a difference in what qualities I praise in male and female students (e.g., academic
       accomplishments rather than social behaviour)?

© 2006 Toronto District School Board           - 94 -                  Gender Equity Resource Guide
Appendix F:
Equity Department and System Contacts

  The mandate of the Equity Department is to:

  •   implement the Equity Foundation Statement
  •   provide leadership for developing the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to challenge
      racism, religious discrimination, ethnocentrism, sexism, homophobia, classism, and ableism
  •   plan, implement, and evaluate equity initiatives with staff in schools, other educators, students,
      parents/guardians/caregivers, and community groups
  •   design, distribute, and provide in-service support for the integration of learning resources that
      infuse equity into the curriculum
  •   assess materials and programs from an equity perspective
  •   work collaboratively with Human Rights, Community Services, and Safe Schools Offices
  •   assist teachers, schools, and system leaders with crisis intervention and follow-up

Equity Department
 Title                   Name             Location                Phone         Email
 Supervising             Yaw Obeng        1 Civic Centre Court    416-          Yaw.Obeng@tdsb.on.ca
 Principal, Equity and                                            394-7302
 Inner City
 Program Assistant,      Carmela          1 Civic Centre Court    416-          Carmela.Manuelle@tdsb.on.ca
 Equity                  Manuelle                                 394-7307
 Instructional Leader,   Moira Wong       1 Civic Centre Court    416-          Moira.Wong@tdsb.on.ca
 North West                                                       394-6119
 Instructional Leader,   Wayne Lee        1 Civic Centre Court    416-          Wayne.Lee@tdsb.on.ca
 South West                                                       394-4809
 Instructional Leader,   Donna Guerra     1 Borough Drive         416-          Donna.Guerra@tdsb.on.ca
 North East                                                       396-4798
 Instructional Leader,   David Ast        1 Borough Drive         416-          David.Ast@tdsb.on.ca
 South East                                                       396-6054

Equity System Contacts
 Title                   Name             Location                Phone         Email
 Executive Officer,      Lloyd McKell     5050 Yonge Street       416-          Lloyd.McKell@tdsb.on.ca
 Student and                                                      397-3528
 Community Equity
 Executive Assistant     Leslie Fox       5050 Yonge Street       416-          Leslie.Fox@tdsb.on.ca
 Superintendent, Safe    Donna Quan       5050 Yonge Street       416-          Donna.Quan@tdsb.on.ca
 Schools and                                                      393-8933
 Programs, Inner City
 Central Principal,      Cathy Pawis      140 Borough Drive       416-          Cathy.Pawis@tdsb.on.ca
 Aboriginal Education                                             396-7474
 Manager,                Pardeep          5050 Yonge Street       416-          Pardeep.Nagra@tdsb.on.ca
 Employment Equity       Nagra                                    393-3107
 Officer,                Patricia         5050 Yonge Street       416-          Patricia.Hayes@tdsb.on.ca
 Human Rights            Hayes                                    393-1028

© 2006 Toronto District School Board            - 95 -                 Gender Equity Resource Guide
Appendix G:
Equitable Schools Website
The Toronto District School Board’s Equitable Schools website provides information on TDSB Policies
and Procedures, Days of Significance, Human Rights Education, community events, organizations,
literature/articles, and links.

The site offers inclusive curriculum materials with best practices, classroom ideas and strategies, and
school initiatives. It also includes curriculum resources that support the Equity Foundation Statement’s
five areas of equity: Anti-Racism and Ethnocultural Equity, Anti-Sexism and Gender Equity, Anti-
Homophobia and Sexual Orientation Equity, Anti-Classism and Socio-Economic Equity, and Persons with

For more information, please visit <www.tdsbequity.ca> or email webstaff@tdsbequity.ca.

© 2006 Toronto District School Board          - 96 -                 Gender Equity Resource Guide
Appendix H:
Fran Endicott Equity Centre
The TDSB Equity Department’s Fran Endicott Equity Resource Centre is home to a diverse collection of
equity-focused resources, houses equity-based student artwork, and provides a warm, welcoming space
for meetings and events.

The collection includes print and non-print resources on equity, diversity, Aboriginal peoples, as well as
on racism, ethnocentrism, anti-Semitism, and other forms of discrimination based on religion, gender,
sexual orientation, ability, and age. The collection is available for loan to TDSB parents/guardians/
caregivers, students, and staff.

The Fran Endicott Centre is located in Room #105B, Bathurst Building, Central Technical School
(southwest corner of Bathurst and Lennox Streets). For further information, please contact the
Instructional Leaders during library hours (or leave a message) at 416-397-3795, or email us through any
of the Instructional Leaders’ contact emails.

To borrow books, videotapes, or posters, visit the Centre, or request that materials be sent directly to your
school. You need to be registered with Professional Library Services at Tippett Centre to have online
borrowing privileges.

It is best to come to the Fran Endicott Centre in person to sign out resources.

                                                  Bathurst Station
                                                                                               Bloor Street

                                                                                               Lennox Street
                                Bathurst Street

                                                  Fran Endicott Equity
                                                   Resource Centre

                                                     Room #105B

© 2006 Toronto District School Board                      - 97 -                      Gender Equity Resource Guide

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