Backgrounder: YWCA


Status of Women Canada – Women’s Program

One of the ways Status of Women Canada advances gender equality is by providing funding to eligible organizations through the Women’s Program. Projects are selected via calls for proposals on specific themes, as well as through a continuous intake process that allows the Women’s Program to address emerging issues as they arise.

The Women’s Program provides funding to projects that address barriers to women’s participation and equality in Canadian society in three priority areas: ending violence against women and girls; improving the economic security of women and girls; and encouraging women and girls in leadership roles.

Funded Project

The Young Women's Christian Association of Canada (YWCA) is the country’s oldest and largest women’s multi-service organization, with thirty-two associations operating in more than 400 districts and communities across Canada.

The organization provides programs and services to women and their families in response to community needs. Its mission is to advance gender equity for all women through informed advocacy and strong member associations.

YWCA Canada has developed wide-ranging expertise and knowledge serving vulnerable and marginalized women and has a strong understanding of the best ways forward to ensure women’s inclusion in the job market and, ultimately, gender equality.

Project Description

YWCA Canada is receiving $1.25 million in federal funding for a 36-month project that will improve access jobs for women who face systemic barriers to employment, training and financial security.

By conducting research and using the diversity and inclusion lens, often referred to as Gender-based Analysis Plus, this project will increase understanding of the systemic barriers that vulnerable and marginalized women face. Examples of barriers can include a lack of affordable childcare, lack of access to affordable housing and shelter services, and a lack of formal literacy training. Research activities will take place in 10 YWCA member association sites across Canada from eight provinces and a territory. Having all of those sites involved will allow better understanding of barriers for vulnerable and marginalized women of various backgrounds.

This project will identify and test the most successful wrap-around programs to access labour markets in six member association sites across Canada, including Calgary, Halifax, Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Yellowknife. Identified promising practices will then be employed nationally by 20 member associations.

The project will partner with government, business and civil society sectors to effectively implement actions and change practices that will help the economic empowerment of vulnerable and marginalized women. For the many women in Canada who face employment barriers, this project will provide a pathway that will allow them to participate fully in our economy.

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