What is it called when you see dozens of men strutting through Camana Bay in high heels, make-up and other women’s clothing? Why, it must be A Walk in Her Shoes, the annual Cayman Islands Crisis Centre fundraising event. This year’s walk, which takes place from 5 p.m until 7 p.m. on March 8 along Market Street in Camana Bay, is the fourth edition of the popular fundraiser and takes place, fittingly, on International Women’s Day.
“This event is my favourite because of the enthusiasm that the men bring to it,” says Michelle Lockwood, chairman of the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre Fundraising Committee. “Our first year we were not expecting so many men to be willing to do this, but they blew us away, not only with the shoes, but also with the level of costume and make-up. Sometimes the men are wearing heels higher and more daring than me!”
The Cayman Islands Crisis Centre was established in 2003 as Grand Cayman’s first safe shelter for female victims of domestic violence and their children. The non-profit organisation also provides a crisis helpline for women in distress, aftercare support to the former shelter clients and counselling for shelter clients and other members of the public. Public education on domestic matters for the community is also part of the Crisis Centre’s mandate.
Crisis Centre Executive Director Ania Milanowska says that A Walk In Her Shoes is Cayman’s version of the internationally acclaimed Walk a Mile In Her Shoes event, an international men’s march held annually in the United States to raise awareness of gender violence.
“As any woman can tell you, walking in high heels is not the easiest task,” she says. “This event brings together men throughout the community to take a stand and raise awareness about gender relations and violence against women.”
The event encourages participating men to collect donations from friends, family and colleagues in support of them donning a pair of high heels in front of crowds of people. The participants are supposed to walk five “laps” up and down Market Street, but for every CI$150 they raise in donations, they can deduct one lap from the requirement, down to a minimum of one lap.
The funds raised from this year’s event will support a variety of the Crisis Centre’s programmes, including assistance to victims, an after-school programme for at-risk youth and a new shelter.
“Our goal for this year’s A Walk In Her Shoes is to raise more than CI$55,000,” says Lockwood. “It’s an ambitious goal, but these funds are desperately needed to ensure we can support local victims of domestic violence with a purpose-built facility, as we have outgrown our current shelter.”
For first-time male walkers, the event can be daunting, but Lockwood’s advice is to not overthink it or take it too seriously. She suggests men choose a modest heel and then accessorise.
“If you want to take it up a notch, add some pretty necklaces or paint those toes a bright colour,” she says. “And don’t forget this is a ‘walk’ not a race, so no need to push yourself for the
This year’s event is sponsored by OLEA, Camana Bay’s first for-sale residential property. A sales office for OLEA will open this month on Market Street just north of the Paseo.
The cost to participate is CI$25. To register for the event or learn more about it or the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, visit www.cicc.ky.