Last Thursday, approximately 20 UTM male students gathered outside the Student Centre and stumbled about in high heels for five minutes. The annual event, dubbed Walk Five Minutes in Her Shoes was hosted by the UTM Womens Centre for the twelfth consecutive year. The events primary goals were to raise awareness about women’s issues and to form allies with males on womens issues, equality and feminism.
Many of the females that [male participants] know have faced discrimination, inequality and abuse because of their gender, said Amreet Kaur, Events Coordinator of the UTM Womens Centre.
Friends and supporters surrounded the group of males as they strutted their way in a runway style walk-off outside of the Student Centre. This years fundraiser incorporated obstacles for participants. In previous years, all participants had to do was to walk down the Five Minute Walk to the North Building.
The male participants, along with one female, competed across the campus in an obstacle course that included walking with balloons between their legs, trying to find a ping pong ball in a container of leaves, balancing the ball on a spoon and walking to the finish line, all while wearing two-inch heels. Derek Wu, Karun Pathak and Vinhson Tran finished as the top participants.
Key supporters of the event were Out@ UTM, Historical Student’s Society, the Sexual Education and Peer Counselling Centre, UTM BikeShare, Sikh Students Association, Erindale Punjabi Association and Intervention at UTM, who all brought their members out to support the Womens Centre and the event.
The Womens Centre surpassed their initial goal of $100 and has already raised nearly $400, with pledges still coming in. This years event created awareness regarding violence against children and women locally. All of the money raised from this event will be donated to Interim Place, a local womens shelter, which supports and houses victims of domestic abuse.
Kaur thanked participants that joined the Womens Centre in their walk to end violence against women and children. The money raised will significantly contribute to members of our community who endure violence on a regular basis.