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Let’s Talk About Gender

December 10, 2018

Gender identity and expression is a determinant of health and an important community conversation. Health outcomes are at risk when your gender limits your access to services, education, employment, housing and social inclusion. Gender identity is “who you know yourself to be”. A person’s gender identity may be male, female, or it may be somewhere in between, including “neither” or “both”. People may choose to express their gender to others through clothing, hairstyle, behaviours or the name you go by.

Is Gender a Human Right?

Yes. The Ontario Human Rights Commission added explicit protection for gender identity and gender expression to the Code in 2012. The Human Rights Code prohibits gender discrimination and harassment in employment, services (including education, policing, health care, restaurants, shopping malls, etc.), housing, contracts and membership in vocational associations.

What is in our Community to Support Gender Equity?

Girls Incorporated of Upper Canada

  • Girls Inc. supports gender as a determinant of health through programs and services specifically for girls between the ages of 6–18. They are supporting girls to realize their own potential – Strong, Smart and Bold!

LGBTQ & Allied Youth Drop-In

  • Every Tuesday at the Brockville Public Library 4:00–5:30pm; Contact Brandy @ 613-342-3936 or Linda @ [email protected]

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit – Sexual Health Clinics

  • Our Health Unit nurses are LGBTQ+-friendly and are here to support you in making the right decisions about your sexual health.
  • Intake and assessment forms include an opportunity for self-identification.

What Can You Do to Reduce Gender Inequity?

Learn more about the Ontario Human Rights Code and gender identify/expression.

Be compassionate towards what influences other people’s health.

“There is a lot of work to do on gender equity. We need to acknowledge as a society what is unfair, unjust and avoidable and collectively work towards solutions that improve health outcomes” states Tanis Brown, Registered Nurse.

For more information on gender visit our Social Determinants of Health section or call 1-800-660-5853.


Susan Healey, Communications Co-ordinator, Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit 613-802-0550