The Gender Empowerment Centre provides a space on the University of Victoria campus for self-identified women, non-binary, and gender non-conforming folks to organize, network, access resources, attend workshops and events, study, and relax.
The University of Victoria, the University of Victoria Students’ Society, and the Gender Empowerment Centre reside on stolen territories of the Lekwungen and WSÁNEĆ peoples. GEM recognizes the ways in which colonization has impacted and continues to impact our concepts of gender and sexuality, most notably through the colonial creation of the gender binary and the fostering of systems of oppression.
The Gender Empowerment Centre actively works to keep this in the forefront of our minds in all of the work that we do.
We seek to collectively and individually work towards decolonization and Indigenous solidarity as an ongoing part of our mandate, and recognizing the specific patterns of colonization and resistance that have affected the people and land upon whose territories we work is part of this process.
We are run by a collective made up of students and community members who are self-identified women, non-binary, and gender non-conforming folks. We hold collective meetings once a month that are open to anyone who identifies as a woman, as non-binary, or as gender non-conforming. We use consensus-based decision making to make decisions about the space in a non-hierarchical fashion.
We provide free resources, including:
- menstrual products (pads, tampons, menstrual cups)
- pregnancy tests
- emergency contraceptive pill (plan b)
- internal and external condoms (latex, non-latex, non-lubricated)
- other safer sex supplies (dental dams, lubricant, gloves)
- tea, snacks
INFORMATION & SUPPORT
We can provide you with information on various community resources and supports, ranging from pregnancy support, abortion services, mental health resources, sexual health services, and more.
Our resource library is located in SUB B107a, connected to our main drop in space. It is an all-gender space and is open to all University of Victoria students and community members. We have two computers (including a large screen for visual accessibility), free printing, a free local telephone, and feminist, anti-oppressive literature for you to borrow.
COMMUNITY SUPPORT & FUNDING
Each year, GEM donates a portion of our funding to community-based projects, events, research, and other initiatives that support members of the UVic and Victoria community. If you’re looking for funding, send us an email!
EMERGENCY NEED FUND
We have an emergency need fund that is used to support GEM community members who run into sudden and immediate financial need. For more information, send us an email.