About the National Community of Practice Project and White Ribbon - COP Toolkit
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About the National Community of Practice Project and White Ribbon

In October 2013, White Ribbon began facilitating a National Community of Practice composed of
 organizations with projects funded by Status of Women Canada’s “Working Together: Engaging Communities
to End Violence Against Women and Girls”. Together, over a three-year period, we built a National Community of Practice focused on sharing lessons learned, challenges and enabling factors in engaging men and boys for gender-based violence prevention.

National Community of Practice Partners Include:


Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS), Broadway Neighbourhood Centre, Centre d’accueil et d’accompagnement francophone des immigrants du Sud-Est du Nouveau-Brunswick (CAFI), Changing Ways, Chrysalis House Association, Les EssentiElles, Nova Vita Domestic Violence Prevention Services, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, and Students Commission of Canada.

The following principles informed our collective work in the national community of practice. We encourage you to consider these principles within your male engagement initiative or program:

Fostering accountability:

Crucially important are the ways in which accountability is built and fostered between pro-feminist men’s initiatives and women’s networks. In developing the framework, we are cognizant of this component throughout as it is a crucial component in program development, implementation and evaluation.” Accountability is the unlearning of power and privilege[1]”, and while the messaging in engaging men initiatives needs to meet the audience where they are at – including a gendered analysis that speaks to the overwhelming majority of men’s violence perpetrated against women is accountability to women. This should not be lost or prioritized over acknowledging diversity and intersection.

[1] Van Der Gaag N. and Nolan S. (2016) “Critical Dialogue on Engaging Men and Boys in Gender Justice – Summary Report”, MenEngage Alliance. 

Girls and women's safety and security:

Evidence-based and demonstration of gender equitable attitudes and behaviours in boys and men is critical to ensure efficacy of our programs. Showing positive impacts amongst boys and men is also important in building accountability with women’s organizations.

Work with men and boys should be seen as complementary to work with women and girls,

not as a replacement. While it’s important to ensure adequate resources are earmarked to support that work, those resources should not be at the expense of programs for women and girls or programs led by women’s organizations. Furthermore, male engagement initiatives should be done in collaboration with women’s organizations and networks.

Acknowledge the accomplishments

and continued work by leading women activists and women’s organizations in the gender-based violence sector.

Affirm a diversity and intersectionality approach when exploring gender.

We need to explore and celebrate all gender identities and understand the cross-cutting nature of race, class, ability, age, sexuality on our experience of gender.