“Not Your Exotic” panel at Ryerson University

Toronto, Ontario

East and Southeast Asian women addresses gender-based violence

Mildred German

With the long history of Asian communities being targeted, exoticised, being used as cheap labour, and labeled as the “model minority,” 2020 saw a nearly doubled increase in anti-Asian attacks and vandalism.

On March 4, 2021, ​activists, advocates and writers presented East and Southeast Asian perspectives on addressing gender-based violence in a panel organized by ​Ryerson University.  Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam hosted  the event online,  “Not Your Exotic” East and Southeast Asian Women Addressing Gender-Based Violence.

Filipina-Canadian award-winning author, Catherine Hernandez was one of the panelists, along with Olivia Chow, Masia One,Hijin Park, and Kai Cheng Thom. Hernandez‘s first novel, ​Scarborough, ​won the Jim Wong-Chu Award for the unpublished manuscript; was a finalist for the Toronto Book Awards, the Evergreen Forest of Reading Award, the Edmund White Award, and the Trillium Book Award; and was shortlisted for Canada Reads. A film adaptation of Scarborough is currently in post-production by Compy Films, with support from Telefilm Canada and Reel Asian Film Festival.

Practices that contribute to gender-based violence have been rampant amidst the pandemic. Increasing reports of domestic violence, human trafficking and child abuse globally occuring during the lockdown and isolation reflect a worsening crisis.

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