Why I chose to walk

  • by Jeff
  • Sep 20, 2013
Walk a Mile in her Shoes Jeff Coffman

Support for the Lethbridge YWCA and its programs is - what we call - a "no brainer." The organization, its staff and volunteers offer programs and services desperately needed in our community. So, attending the "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event is another way to support this valuable agency. However, I'm a bit picky about my footwear.

I chose my shoes carefully (more so than every other morning!). In my world, I interact with very few women in high heels. The women in my world - my family, my friends, colleagues, students and residents - walk in a wide variety of footwear: pumps, work boots, flats, runners, sandals, flip flops, hiking boots et cetera. My outfit tries to stay away from gender stereotyping (something I actively teach my children), instead reflecting and supporting the women in my life, and the roles they play in their respective lives: healthcare professionals, construction workers, police / fire / ems workers, mothers, retirees, students et cetera. Although the event is only a short distance to walk, I will never fully appreciate or understand what women experience in their lives, so the best I can do is take an active role in the cause.

Frankly stated, men have to enter into the struggle to eradicate violence against women. Violence against women is not a "womens issue", nor is it "just between those two." Violence against women is a societal issue, one in which we all play a part. As such, men can become the role models for our sons, boys and for other men, moving beyond bystander status by challenging abusive behaviours.

Please take a step forward for this community issue. You don't have to 'walk a mile in her shoes' (whatever those shoes look like) to help eradicate violence against women: educate yourself (through initiatives such as ," the "" or the "" campaign), donate to and - above all - speak out against violence.