Artboard 2.png

why missINFORMED?

As young women, there are many questions we wish we had answers to. Are IUDs safe to use? Do they hurt to insert? Is vaginal discharge normal? Why does penetration hurt for me, but for no one else? Or do we just not talk about it? In conversations with our trans-identifying peers, there were even more questions, with even fewer answers available. Who could we ask, but each other and Google? As hard as it is to approach our friends with “awkward” questions such as these, it’s even more difficult to approach parents, teachers, and counsellors, and so it often comes down to going on private browser mode on your phone, and searching a version of, “is this normal?”. Here’s where it gets even worse - the results are immediately populated with websites like Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health Magazine; the same websites that often encourage fad diets and push wellness techniques that often conflict with the science of today. 

 

OUR MISSION is to answer these important questions, and be the resource we ourselves need. Given that medical literature was predominantly written by and for white men, how can it cater to our needs, and how can we be sure that it will protect the sanctity of our bodies, and the wellness of our minds? Through the use of research that centers gender and sex, we hope to validate more of the lived experiences of young women as they interact with the healthcare system; lived experiences that have been dismissed as "symptoms of our periods”.

 

OUR VISION is to provide scientifically-backed answers to the everyday questions that young womxn and gender-diverse folx are asking. We want to make this information accessible, relatable and most importantly, shareable so that awareness about womxn’s health in all of its forms, reaches all corners of Canada.

Our purposes are to:

  1. Create credible resources made accessible to womxn and gender-diverse folx across what is currently Canada.

  2. To promote health literacy on topics of health that often are mis-represented in, or absent from, formal institutional curricula and the Canadian health system.

  3. To facilitate and promote research that focuses primarily on the impact of gender and sex on health.

  4. To actively advocate for the health and wellbeing of womxn and gender-diverse folx.

  5. To connect womxn and gender-diverse folx in communities across what is currently Canada by creating a safe space for sharing lived experiences.

  6. To combat the stigmatization of health issues of womxn and gender-diverse folx.

  7. To ensure that we centre intersectionality (as coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw) throughout all of our work.

womxn empowering womxn

meet the team

Clara MacKinnon

President & Co-Founder

Clara graduated from the University of Toronto with a BSc (Hons) majoring in Neuroscience. While living in downtown Toronto, she volunteers in Dr. Moscovitch’s Cognitive Sciences Lab as a research assistant. She is a producer and editor for Cafe Bioethics, a global public forum focused on discussing bioethics and just last year she helped to establish a climate/social justice organization, Shake Up The Establishment, as their Head of Design & Media. As both a proud feminist and environmentalist, Clara hopes to empower and inspire other youth.

Manvi Bhalla

Director & Co-Founder

Manvi has a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Science from the University of Guelph, and is now completing her MSc in Public Health and Health Systems at University of Waterloo. Recently, she was the Guelph chapter President of Oxfam, where she managed a budget over $30,000, while organizing events on women’s health, gender-based violence and health inequities faced by underserved communities, alongside other important social issues. She is also a published researcher, guest lecturer and co-founder/President of the national, youth-led registered non-profit, Shake Up The Establishment.

Kayla Benjamin

Director & Co-Founder

Kayla holds a BMSc (Hons) from Western University. In 2018, she studied in the Netherlands with Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, researching the public health infrastructure supporting HIV-positive mothers in low to middle income countries. She has been heavily involved in advocacy work and worked at ANOVA, a women’s community house, for four years. Kayla is currently an MSc student at the University of Waterloo, her research focuses on immigrant women’s reproductive health.

missINFORMED is a national non-profit designed to provide health education & to promote informed advocacy, through evidence-based teachings and by centring the lived experiences of womxn and gender diverse folx.

missINFORMED primarily operates on the traditional land belonging to the Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, and Neutral Peoples as well as the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. We acknowledge that our actions contribute to the land we live on, and as such we are tasked to be caretakers of this land and the people that inhabit it. On behalf of the individuals of immigrant and settler Canadian descent who are present on our team, we acknowledge that our positions on health, and our accessibility to healthcare, have been largely shaped by our own lived experiences which encompass many privileges. We are committed to continually evaluate & decolonize our practices, and doing our best to incorporate the lived experiences of the land defenders and protectors within our work. We plan to use our platform to be inclusive of all womxn who call the geographical confines of what is currently known as Canada, home, and hope to build our organization to represent and support womxn of all identities including but not limited to queer, trans, two-spirit, and non-binary folx, as well as those that identify as Black, Indigenous, or Womxn of Colour. As an organization, we will try our utmost best to ensure that only individuals with lived experiences are speaking on behalf of their communities, while still recognizing that communities of colour and the LGBTQ2S+ community, are not a monolith. While each member of missINFORMED brings their own experiences, education and expertise, we are always motivated to keep learning and to keep expanding our repertoire and knowledge capacity. We hope that through this platform, we can build an inclusive, diverse and equitable community of empowered and informed womxn.

Womxn, in our use of the word, refers to those who identify as cis or trans women, folx assigned female at birth and those who are comfortable in a space that centres on the experiences of women. Gender diverse folx are welcome in our space and we hope to provide them with the necessary health resources to inform and educate their decisions. 

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Stay in-touch!