Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Sarah Tuckey and I am a PhD Candidate in Public Administration at the University of Ottawa. I’m currently conducting research for my PhD dissertation, on Canada’s whole-of-government approach to gender equality through the example of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team (K-PRT) in Afghanistan. My interests lie in how Canada integrated a gender equality perspective into the policies, programs, and departmental collaboration involved in running the K-PRT.
Interesting! Tell us more: What drew you to this particular area of research?
I discovered a love for gender equality and international development studies in the last year of my undergraduate degree, back in 2006. I’ve been researching gender equality policy, Canadian foreign policy, gender and development ever since!
As you already know, this year’s International Women’s Day theme is “Make it Happen” and it has two main objectives: To celebrate women’s achievements and to call for greater equality. Can you share with us: a) What this means to you b) How you are “Making it Happen” in your community.
Making it happen means walking the talk. If individuals, groups, and entire nations call for gender equality, we need to come up with ways to create true equality and balance in our communities and beyond.
I manage a Twitter account attached to my name, where I try to tweet about gender issues that I feel passionate about. I like to talk about all sorts of things on that account, but gender equality is my favourite topic to discuss. I love networking with other like-minded Twitter users on issues of gender equality. I’ve also tried to do my part in other ways, like volunteering and working for organizations that educate young people about crucial issues of the day (environmental degradation, social justice, gender equality, poverty, and many others).
What do you think it’ll take to Make gender equality Happen?
I think the only way we can truly make it happen is to educate the youth of today on how and why gender inequality is still an issue in 2015. There are so many people out there who have been taught to believe we have achieved gender parity in North America, and the more we talk about how we still have a ways to go, the more we will encourage young people to investigate why. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can be tools for change if we use them in the right ways!
What advice would you give anyone who is trying to Make it Happen in their communities? or rather What tips would you offer someone who is just starting out in their activism career?
I would suggest finding out what you are passionate about, and then finding others who feel the same way! Start doing internet searches for organizations or communities that share your views, and contact them to see about volunteering or becoming a member!
Are there any books or publications you would recommend?I highly recommend picking up a copy of the Otesha book “From Junk to Funk” about sustainable living and social justice as it is a fantastic educational tool, and for insightful perspectives on Canada’s role internationally on gender issues (or any other social issue that you are passionate about), check out the blog posts on the Centre for International Policy Studies’ website (http://cips.uottawa.ca/cipsblog/). There is an impressive list of authors that write about a ton of interesting topics that pertain to Canada’s position in the world.
What are you most excited for in 2015?
Tackling my PhD research head on! I’ll be doing interviews and attending loads of meetings this year on gender equality in the Canadian whole-of-government approach, and I am very excited to speak to some cutting-edge civil servants and gender equality activists.
I also think, overall, that 2015 will be a year where we see an explosion of discussion on social media regarding gender issues. We’ve already seen so much in 2014, like the #AskHerMore campaign and countless debates on Rape Culture. I also think we’re going to see the biggest backlash ever against feminism in mainstream Western society, and I am looking forward to the transformative debates to be had.
Thanks Sarah! How can we find out more about what you are doing?
You can follow me on Twitter! https://twitter.com/stuck85
Sarah Tuckey has an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Guelph, and a Master’s degree in Global Development Studies from Queen’s University. Her interests include: CrossFit, cycling, hiking, community development, environmental sustainability and feminism and gender equality (obviously!) You can learn more about what Sarah is doing by following her on twitter: @stuck85