‘Tis the season for capitalistic consumption in the name of Jebus! This year, put your money towards a better cause: women and girls. Not by any means a comprehensive list, here are seven amazing feminist (actually) organizations you can support over the holidays:
1) Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter (VRR) is Canada’s oldest rape crisis center. Established in 1973, VRR operates as a feminist collective and operates a 24-hour rape crisis centre and shelter for women and children trying to escape male violence. They also do a ton of education in the community and are a foundational center to the Canadian women’s movement. Support them today with a donation!
2) Inner City Helping Homeless provides a frontline outreach service covering the city of Dublin. Homelessness is something that all too often forces women and girls into prostitution — as SPACE explains, “Many of our members had to enter the sex trade due to homelessness and poverty and being targeted by pimps while sleeping rough.” The charity recently turned down a donation of nearly €2,000 from Escort Ireland, the largest sex trade profiteer in this country. What integrity! Consider helping them out with a donation.
3) The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) helped lead the push for a federal inquiry into the missing and murdered women and is also an abolitionist organization, advocating for the Nordic model. They state:
“NWAC’s position is that prostitution exploits and increases the inequality of Aboriginal women and girls on the basis of their gender, race, age, disability and poverty…
… Aboriginal women are grossly overrepresented in prostitution and among the women who have been murdered in prostitution. It is not helpful to divide women in prostitution into those who ‘choose’ and those who are ‘forced’ into prostitution. In most cases, Aboriginal women are recruited for prostitution as girls and/or feel they have no other option due to poverty and abuse. It is the sex industry that encourages women to view prostitution as their chosen identity.”
Founded in 1973, NWAC has long been an integral feminist voice and advocate for Indigenous women in Canada. Please do support them in any way you can.
4) The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) intervenes in cases on behalf of women and girls to defend our right to equality. LEAF’s first case, back in 1985, challenged a law in the Yukon that prevented married women from changing their names to their birth name. This year, LEAF intervened in the inquiry into the conduct of victim-blaming Justice Robin Camp. Thanks, in large part, to their work, the Canadian Judicial Council recommended the removal of Camp from his position as judge. Consider supporting their work with a donation.
5) The EVA Center out of Boston, MA aims to empower women who have been prostituted and support them to exit the commercial sex industry. The EVA Center is committed to ending commercial sexual exploitation and advocates for the Nordic model. Founded by Cherie Jimenez, a survivor of the sex trade (and a member of SPACE), this project is unique in that it is survivor-led organization. We desperately need more organizations like EVA — especially in the U.S., where social services and support for marginalized, exploited women is so lacking. Send them a donation if you can!
6) Ruhama is a frontline service that began its work in 1989, as an outreach service to women in street-based prostitution. Based in Dublin, the organization has assisted over 2,500 women from over 60 countries during its 25+ years in operation. As well as assisting and supporting women to exit prostitution and recover from the experience of sex trafficking, Ruhama is a powerful voice in the fight against commercial exploitation. Send them a donation over the holidays, if you can!
7) Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) is an NGO that works to end human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children worldwide. Since 1988, CATW has been an international leader in the fight to find human rights-based solutions to the problem of commercial sexual exploitation, is the world’s first organization to fight human trafficking internationally, and is the world’s leading abolitionist organization. In 2010, CATW led the successful protest in front of Craigslist’s corporate headquarters in San Francisco that resulted in the removal of their “Adult Services” section, which was facilitating sex trafficking in the US and internationally. Last year, CATW was a leading voice in the global protests against Amnesty International’s position supporting the legalization of prostitution. Their work has been pivotal in the global feminist movement — please support their work today!