On the second week of the coldest month of the school year so far, students of MGCI were invited to wear dresses to school – and many did.

MGCI’s club The Girl Effect introduced Dressember to raise awareness on the issue of human trafficking. The idea was to capture confused students’ attention and spread the message through them when they asked why dresses were being worn on a cold month.


Girl Effect members handed out ribbons and treats to Dressember participants. Photo: Sophia Liu

In Canada, human trafficking is not a prominent issue as it is in developing countries. Men, women, and even children in our country have no fear of being forcefully sold the next day in order to support their families.

“I think it is extremely important for us to understand how privileged we are to not have to worry about our safety or whether or not we would be sold the next day to support our families,” said Arora Chen, co-founder and co-president of The Girl Effect in MGCI. “We should be reaching out to solve such problems, as it is a moral responsibility to be aware of the issues and trying to resolve them with our power.”

Many Garneau students including some boys and teachers, wore dresses and orange ribbons to show support. Although Dressember is a month-wide event, The Girl Effect hosted it for three days for maximum participation.

“I found it important to raise awareness for human trafficking because not many know about it. And in order to change something people have to know,” Tracey Frimpong, a Grade 12 student and Dressember participant, commented. “A lot of people wondered why many of us wore dresses and they seemed pretty into it.”

Next year, they wish to encourage more boys to contribute and let people know the event is not only limited to girls.

The Girl Effect Club meets on Wednesdays at Lunch in Room 214. New members who are willing to work for equality are welcome to join.