The Union for Gender Empowerment came together out of a need to address systems of oppression which enforce a gender binary and use that binary to privilege some groups and punish those who fall outside it. In response to the hierarchies of privilege, we recognize the need to provide a space for empowerment by actively addressing, educating on and challenging these binaries and to provide resources and services not otherwise widely available.
We aim to provide services to any person who identifies with our mission goals in a pro-woman and trans-positive environment, regardless of gender identity.
The collective strives to be an anti-oppressive organization that welcomes, but is not limited to, queer, two spirited, transgender, transexual, intersex and genderqueer people. We work to provide services that are sensitive to survivors of gender-based violence, people of color, indigenous people, First people, poor people and people with (dis)abilities. We aim to ensure that all individuals in the space are treated with respect for their identity and background, including political and religious beliefs, and that they have equal access to the resources available. Accordingly, we seek to establish a collective that has a strong representation of people of color and trans people.
The Union provides resources, educational opportunities and a centre for advocacy. Resources include: a co-op selling alternative menstrual products, safer sex products, and gender empowerment items on a pay-what-you can basis; a zine distro; referrals for health or legal related issues; queer- and trans-positive resources, etc. The Union will provide educational opportunities such as workshops, support groups and action groups. Finally, the collective will act as a centre for gender advocacy by working as allies in solidarity with other organizations, working as a “watchdog” organization at McGill and in the wider community, and taking on our own initiatives to further the above-stated goals of the organization.