About Communicating Equality

In this project, we link expertise in communication, gender transformative thinking and violence prevention to act on the drivers of violence against women and girls.

Bird's eye view of a group of people rowing a boat
A group of women standing shoulder to shoulder

Communicating Equality

Communicating Equality contributes to the primary prevention of violence against women and girls (VAWG) by promoting gender transformative approaches and messages. We engaged with journalists, communicators, violence prevention organizations, and men’s health groups to explore gender transformative approaches to VAWG.  Through consultation, we created succinct gender transformative messaging that promotes understanding of the drivers of VAWG: gender stereotyping, unhealthy norms about masculinity, bystander attitudes, and the overall condoning of VAWG in society.

Lift the Masc.

Lift The Masc. is a series of messages  we created to promote understanding of the drivers of VAWG and inspire widespread action on primary prevention. In Lift The Masc., the drivers of VAWG are addressed head-on by depicting a situation that contributes to gender inequality and VAWG, followed by a call to action to think and act differently.


Men and boys are a key audience. While men and boys are central to VAWG, they can also have a key role in disrupting gender inequitable norms. Lift The Masc. recognizes this by using a strengths-based approach to inspiring men and boys, and others, to say something, do something, and  be a model for change.


Together we can challenge stereotypes about masculinity and gender roles. We can disrupt harmful expectations of what it means to be a man. We can challenge ourselves and inspire others to reduce gender inequality.   

Man doing laundry and housework with his sons.

Background Research

We conducted searches of the academic and grey literature for gender-transformative approaches to primary prevention of violence against women and girls to inform the development of messages.

About the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health

The Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health carries out research and knowledge exchange to improve women’s health. We close the loop between research and practice to create social change and health improvements for women and girls. We collaborate with researchers, service providers, policy makers and community-based advocates across Canada and Australia. We lead collaborations through online research networks, virtual communities and web-based collaboratories.


The Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, and the Communicating Equality team extends gratitude to the many individuals and organizations that supported this project. Our key partner, Our Watch, based in Australia, was an inspiration and a guide as we created a gender transformative approach to primary prevention of violence against women for Canada.

A Reference Group and three Communities of Inquiry worked beside us for three years, giving feedback, ideas, and guidance. We shared and discussed drafts of our discussion guides, media guide, and context summaries with all of these groups, and received valuable feedback that improved the materials.

After our gender transformative messages were drafted in collaboration with Argyle Communications, we convened meetings with the Reference Group and Communities of Inquiry to get their responses and dissemination recommendations. Their insightful feedback, critique, and sound advice greatly improved the final versions.

We very much appreciate the time and effort of all who contributed to this project, and your passion for the challenging work of preventing violence against women and girls.

Reference Group

  • Argyle Communications
  • CanWaCH
  • Ending Violence Association of BC
  • Informed Opinions
  • Our Watch
  • Trauma at the Root / University of British Columbia

Community of Inquiry on Men’s Health and Masculinities

  • Changing Ways
  • Brandon University
  • Queen's University
  • MANifest Change, OCTEVAW
  • Men's Health Research Program, University of British Columbia
  • Next Gen Men
  • Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada
  • School of Nursing, University of British Columbia Okanagan
  • Shift! The Project to End Domestic Violence, University of Calgary
  • Transforming Masculinities: Men in Gender Justice, University of Calgary

Community of Inquiry on Communications and Media

  • Ottawa Citizen
  • Globe and Mail
  • J Source
  • rabble.ca
  • Winnipeg Free Press
  • School of Journalism, Toronto Metropolitan University
  • University of King’s College
  • McMaster University
  • Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres
  • Vancouver Focus

Community of Inquiry on Primary Prevention of VAWG

  • Anova
  • Be the Peace Institute
  • Bridges Institute
  • Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability
  • Counselling and Family Service Ottawa
  • Ending Violence Association of Canada
  • Girls Action Foundation
  • Sagesse
  • Students for Consent Culture Canada
  • Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Housing
  • Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women
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