Canada: GVI Protest
On Sunday 7 March 2021, the day before International Women’s Day, a group of women protested outside Grand Valley Institution against the Correctional Service of Canada policy whereby allocation to prison is on the basis of gender identity, not sex. This means that male prisoners who identify as transgender are housed in women’s prisons. The protest was organised by We The Females and caWsbar.
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Grand Valley Institution for Women, which is located in Kitchener, Ontario, is a multi-level security prison which houses around 200 prisoners. We know that male prisoners who identify as transgender are held there. Feminist and prisons activist Heather Mason is co-ordinating a project collecting accounts from women held at Grand Valley Institution. These relate horrifying and brutal experiences of being housed with male prisoners who identify as transgender, including physical violence and sexual assault.
The protest was covered by the Toronto Sun and CTV News: