GLOBAL VOICES COLUMN ARCHIVE

Giving a voice to the world's most fascinating untold global and social issues.

Cradles in prison cells: Mothers behind bars

Amid the constant crackle of radios and chatter of inmates, surprising sounds linger in the prison halls. A baby’s coo. A mother’s gentle soothing. The creak of a rocking chair, rhymes recited from a children’s book, scratches of a crayon. Behind the barbed wire fence at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, 50 kilometers east of Vanc...

May 6th, 2017 read more

Empower a girl, educate a boy

Hundreds looked on as proud young men, decked out in crisp uniforms, led their parents onto the campus that will help unlock their future. This January, the Kisaruni group of girls’ schools in Kenya’s Maasai Mara unveiled its first all-boys high school. After the opening ceremony, village elders christened it with a name. They chose Ngulot, ...

February 25th, 2017 read more

Could the United Nations make history this year?

There’s another election fraught with gender politics and global consequences, with one candidate braced to become a world leader—and no one is talking about it. This summer, outgoing Secretary General Ban Ki Moon publicly called for his successor to be a woman. In a body of 193 nations, the Secretary General of the United Nations is both...

October 1st, 2016 read more

Women on Currency: Why Settle for Just One?

Merna Forster was stunned as she watched Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announce on International Women’s Day that women will be represented on one of Canada’s banknotes again. “After fighting for this for years, it was hard to believe the victory,” the historian and author of 100 Canadian Heroines (Dundurn, 2004) and 100 More Canadian He...

April 9th, 2016 read more


Confronting gender violence, International Women’s Day

The catcall came as Brynn Chleirich walked alone through an Ottawa grocery store parking lot. A stranger in his late 30s was leaning against a car, smoking and staring at her. “Hey sweetie, you look pretty badass,” he leered, following up with lewd suggestions. “This has to stop,” Chleirich, a 41-year-old single mother replied, staring b...

March 5th, 2016 read more


What happened to #BringBackOurGirls? Was it clicktivism or slacktivism?

One year ago the world stood with a small Nigerian community to demand “bring back our girls.” Today, there may be no one to bring back. Most Canadians had never heard of Boko Haram—a Nigerian radical Islamic militia violently opposed to western education and culture. But in a matter of days they became a household name after abducting 270...

April 11th, 2015 read more

The puzzle of missing and murdered Aboriginal women

ADVISORY: This article was inspired by tragic events. Please take caution when sharing it with students. The distraught woman paced the streets, clearly in search of someone. She broke down in tears when police approached. “I’m looking for my daughter. She’s being pimped out by a boy who’s in a gang, and I need to find her.” In no...

February 14th, 2015 read more

Many still fear the “F” word: Feminism

“I have decided to send the feminists, who have always ruined my life, to their maker.” Those are chilling words from the suicide note of Marc Lepine. Twenty-five years ago, on Dec 6, 1989, Lepine slaughtered 14 women at Montreal engineering school École Polytechnique. The word ‘feminist’ emerged over a century ago as the defining term ...

December 6th, 2014 read more