Hart House Global Commons


The world is changing. Are you ready?

2018/19 Series Theme: Building Better Societies: Gender Equality Matters

The 2018-2019 Hart House Global Commons will connect students in Canada with others in Colombia, the United States, South Africa, and France, along with and a wide range of community partners and civil society actors to explore these and other questions and actions geared towards building better societies that reflect, uphold, and institutionalize the full equality of women.

Reports and studies have shown that improvements have been made over the past century with respect to women’s rights, and moving towards gender equality. At the same time, there is an ever-present and pressing reality that it is not enough. From the #MeToo movement, the gendered wage gap, delays and gaps in political will towards the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (#MMIW) Inquiry in Canada, and female activists being disappeared in Colombia, there are countless examples of how far we, as local and global communities, still have to go. Additional intersections of political, socioeconomic, and racial stratification compound these issues and widen the gap between women’s rights and their achievement in the Global North and Global South.

How can we work to confront such hate, oppression, and division of women globally? Movements like #TheTotalShutdown in South Africa, the Handmaid’s Tale Protests around the world, and unprecedented numbers of women running for office are showing us that change continues to be made.

Term 1

The first term of the Hart House Global Commons will focus on the local, taking as a starting point women’s political and socioeconomic participation in society, inquiring into the barriers, challenges, and opportunities for greater change and involvement. What are the perspectives and lived experiences of students and community partners who are working in the field? What is the role that young women can play, and how can they get involved?

How can we work towards removing everyday and systemic barriers to create safer societies for women, and us all? Is there one catalyst or thread that connects change locally and globally? How can the Global North learn from and with the Global South?


Session 1:  Thurs., Oct. 18, 2018, 10 am-12pm / ONLINE 
Session 2: Thurs., Nov. 1, 2018, 10 am-1 am FORUM 
Session 3: Thurs., Nov. 15, 2018, 10 am-12pm / ONLINE 

Term 2
The second term of the Hart House Global Commons takes UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 as its starting point, focusing in on of Gender Equality[1]with a global lens. Sessions will discuss how change is being made around the world, in terms of ‘achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls,’and will inquire into the relevance, meaning, and application of the SDG from the various positionalities, perspectives, and experiences in participating locations.

What has to happen legally, politically, and economically for true and lasting change to take effect, for gender equality to be achieved? How can solidarity and allyship be built and sustained? This conversation is not intended to denigrate the voices or contributions of men or the critical role that they play in working to answer these questions. How is this work being done both locally and globally, and how can students from all locations contribute to those efforts?

Session 4: Thurs., Feb, 7, 2019, 10 am-12 pm / ONLINE 
Session 5: Thurs., March 7, 2019, 10 am-1 pm FORUM 
Session 6: Thurs., March 21, 2019, 11 am-1 pm / ONLINE 


For more information on the Hart House Global Commons, please contact Marco Adamovic at marco.admovic@utoronto.ca

Read about previous Hart House Global Commons events.