N.W.T. women's groups tout online gender-equality course
1-hour course helps people understand how to make policies and programs fair for all genders
A group of women says it wants to improve gender equality in the North by getting as many people as possible in the N.W.T. to take an online course by the end of the month.
Members of the Status of Women Council of the N.W.T., the Native Women's Association of the NWT, the Yellowknife Women's Society and the YWCA of Yellowknife are encouraging government representatives and people across the territory to take Gender‑Based Analysis Plus, an online course created by the federal government.
The training is meant to help people understand how to make policies and programs fair for all genders.
Lorraine Phaneuf, executive director of the Status of Women Council of the N.W.T., was excited when she took the training, so she told the other women's groups about it.
"It's a way of looking at… how we make historical assumptions, how we sometimes have policies that appear to be equal, but when you can actually look at them more closely… you actually see that although they appear to be equal they're not equitable," Phaneuf said.
The course only takes about an hour to complete. Participants read the course material online and then answer a 10-question quiz. They have to get at least 80 per cent on the quiz in order to pass.
"It's a very easy process," Phanuef said. "It's free and very enlightening.
"You think, 'Oh, this isn't so complicated. There are small ways that we can start looking at putting equity in our policies and programs.'"
The women's council wants to get as many people as possible in the N.W.T. to take the course by July 1.
Caroline Cochrane, the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, says all the federal MPs as well as the MLAs should take the course.
She says the territorial government's policy on the equality of women and men in the N.W.T. has set the groundwork for improving the issue.
"But there is still a great deal of work to be done in this area," Cochrane said, adding that "violence against women and girls remains a serious issue in the Northwest Territories."
The four women's groups in the territory want every "graduate" of the course to print their certificate, take a photo with it and share it on social media to show their support for gender equality.
"Equal opportunity for the development of the human potential of both women and men is a benefit of society as a whole," she said.