Through my involvement with Oxfam Canada, I have gained new skills and strengthened many skills that will help me in my future. I have managed to refine my research and communications skills and I have acquired some very practical, hands-on abilities that I know will be especially useful when dealing with campaign and fundraising initiatives. I have also developed a much stronger understanding and appreciation for the role that effective advocacy and campaigning plays in affecting social change; something that cannot be taught in a classroom.
I am currently completing my Masters Degree at the University of Ottawa, writing my thesis on transgender issues. My studies focused on women’s rights globally and issues of representation, minority and indigenous rights, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, gender in relation to poverty, HIV/AIDS and women, environmentalism and gender, and the comparative politics of developing countries. I’ve studied a variety of feminist issues andhave become part of a political and active feminist community.
I have come to see the world through a gendered lens, very much in line with Oxfam’s definition of Gender Justice and so for me, it was imperative that I become involved with an organization that has a strong focus on women’s rights and gender equality. Oxfam Canada’s gendered analysis of poverty and social justice issues provides a clear understanding of the experiences of women across the globe and is unlike any other organization I have researched!
As a volunteerintern with Oxfam’s Policy and Outreach Team in OttawaI have been able to explore some very interesting issues. I have been a part of the Pride parade in Ottawa, completed research on conflict minerals and the subsequent women’s rights issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo anddrafted policy materials on LGBTQ issues and women and culture.
It has been very rewarding to see some of the research I have done being adopted into greater policies that are able to effect change. Being a participant in change initiatives that are close to my heart is an unparalleled feeling and it is something that can only be understood outside of the academic realm, in a place like Oxfam that truly makes things happen!