Outside the Pink Box

Here in Waterloo, a small group of students are working towards some serious change for gender equality in education. Not only is the Waterloo chapter of the Miss G__ Project creating awareness about a serious issue, they are actively participating in our community by teaching these values to the younger generation.

The Miss G__ Project is an organization started by four University of Western Ontario students who were moved by the story of Miss G__ to create an association that is aiming to introduce a women’s studies program into the Ontario Secondary School curriculum. “She is a fitting mascot for the project as her experience is a good representation of the struggle women have endured in education,” says Jay from the Waterloo chapter. The original Miss G__ was a scholar in the late nineteenth century, who apparently died because she focused her energies towards scholarship instead of domesticity.

In Miss G__’s memory, the group has taken it upon themselves to fight the good fight for gender equality in education. Also, the organization encourages students to get involved in their own education and realize the possibility of change and development from a grassroots perspective. Jay notes that “one of the great things about the project is that it is promoting collective activism among young people (at the high school and university level), the majority of whom are women.” A great aspect of the project is that students are getting a different perspective on education: for Miss G__ knowledge ws a privilege and not a right, something that current students often forget.

Introducing this type of material to students at a younger age invites high schoolers to become more open minded and accepting of various gender issues. In contrast to the other courses on the curriculum, a women’s studies class could offer an exciting alternative to standard options. This is an exciting prospect for teachers too: Jay states that, “The Miss G__ Project also supports high school teachers who are working to integrate women and issues of gender into their courses.”

Jay emphasizes that high school students are “an integral part of the project. The high school outreach committee is working on putting together effective workshops that will introduce women’s studies to high school students. Through [these] workshops, high school students may be learning about or getting to talk about issues of gender for the first time.”

Want to get involved? Email the local chapter of Miss G_: missgwaterloo@gmail.com or visit the organization’s website: themissgproject.org.

Make your voice heard and write to your MPP: addresses and other important contacts can be found at the Miss G__ Project’s website.