What Can You Do?

Practitioners, educators and health promoters have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of girls and young women in their community by integrating On the Move concepts into their organization’s policies, programs and services.

The benefits associated with physical activity include:

  • Increased self-esteem and self-efficacy
  • Physical and mental health and well-being
  • Decreased risk for developing a host of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and osteoporosis
  • Lower incidence of tobacco, alcohol and other drug use

What can you do to make a difference in the lives of girls and young women in your community? Here are 10 easy suggestions:

  1. Learn For Oneself
    Talk to experienced people and read up on the issues. Look for equity with your own eyes – be critical about what you see and hear, and question the actions and assumptions of others. Join the CAAWS eNetwork to keep up to date on issues and events. Purchase the On the Move Handbook to learn more about gender equity, the issues surrounding girls’ and young women’s participation, and committed individuals and organizations working in the field.

  2. Each One Teach One
    It is just as important to make a difference to one person as it is to larger numbers. Ensuring girls and young women enjoy their participation will encourage them to bring their friends.

  3. Share the Resources
    There are a number of resources available to help you get girls and young women active. Just ask! Contact Sydney Millar, the On the Move National Coordinator, or visit the main CAAWS website. If you know of or are involved in a female-only program we want to hear about it! Click here to fill in our online feedback form.

  4. Create Partnerships/Networks
    Forge partnerships with organizations in your community. They have experience, expertise and resources that will contribute to the success of your initiative.

  5. Involve Girls and Women
    It’s the only way you will find out what they want and what works.

  6. Program for Those Not There
    Access inactive girls and young women to introduce them to the benefits of participation. Find ways to bring them on board.

  7. New Models and Methods
    Traditional models and methods are not working for everyone – look for new ideas, challenge traditions, and explore. Be willing to take risks yourself. Think outside the box!

  8. Integrate Gender Equity Plans and Policies
    Make some changes and make them stick. Set goals and celebrate even small successes. Leverage the support of individuals, organizations and policies.

  9. Ask for What You Deserve and What You Believe to be Fair
    One of the main issue is fairness – provide inactive girls and young women with opportunities that meet their needs, interests and experiences. Determine what that means to the work you do and make fairness happen.

  10. Make a Personal Commitment
    Ask yourself:
    What will I change?
    What do I need?
    How can I have an impact on the lives of girls and young women in my community?

Looking for more practical tips and suggestions?

Read through the list of On the Move resources for additional support.

Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity
970 Queen Street East,
PO Box 98162
Toronto, Ontario M4M 1J0
Tel: 416-901-0484


CAAWS appreciates the financial support of the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian Heritage, Sport Canada