For close to 150 years, YWCA Canada has been working in partnership with our Member Associations to improve women’s economic security:
We’ve done this by:
- Providing wrap around supports like child care and housing
- Providing skills and employment training program to access good jobs and decent work
- Advocating for systemic change to support women’s labour market participation
The work we do means ensuring women have access to
- Economic resources they need to plan for the future and be financially independent
- Good jobs that have decent working conditions, and provide equal pay for equal work
- Employment advancement so that they can take on leadership positions without barriers
Ultimately, when women and girls succeed and reach their full potential, everyone benefits!
A snapshot of our work
YWCA works to advance gender equality by promoting the economic security of women, girls and their families.
Using an anti-oppressive feminist lens, our Member Associations meet women where they are at and provide programs and services that are responsive to their needs.
Across Canada, our Member Associations do critical work on the ground to support women with skills training and employment services so they can access jobs with decent working conditions and adequate pay.
A snapshot of some the programs and services:
- YWCA Metro Vancouver’s YWCA WorkBC Centres
- YWCA Prince Albert’s Regional Newcomer Centre
- YWCA Saskatoon’s Employment & Learning Centre
- YWCA Calgary’s Women’s Employment Resource Centre
- YWCA Thompson’s Steps to Success Program
- YWCA Cambridge STEM Mentoring
- YWCA Kitchener-Waterloo In Her Shoes Program
- YWCA Hamilton’s Microlending Program for Women-led Small Businesses
- YWCA Toronto’s Skills Development Centre
- YWCA Montreal’ s Women to Work Program
- YWCA Moncton’s Employment My Way Program
YWCAs support women who may be experiencing different barriers to employment such as language barriers, lack of experience, or limited educational attainment or who come from diverse marginalized and vulnerable communities including women from remote and
Northern communities, racialized and Indigenous women, women fleeing violence, newcomers, single mothers, LGBTQ+, low-income women, and women with varying levels of ability.
Born to Be Bold – Measuring success for women’s access to the labour market
For this first time in Canada, this three-year research and knowledge mobilization project funded by the Government of Canada will engage the public, private, and civil society sectors to commit to creating systemic change for women’s equitable access to the labour market. Using a cross-sectoral approach, this project will make use of GBA+ research to launch a national conversation on women’s economic empowerment and gender equity in the workforce. By focusing on vulnerable women, we are uncovering the three best ways to break down barriers for the diversity of women in Canada that are unable to access gainful employment.
- Building bridges to employment, Globe & Mail
- New federal funding will help vulnerable and marginalized women access job market, Government of Canada – Women and Gender Equality Canada
- Backgrounder: YWCA, Government of Canada – Women and Gender Equality Canada
2018 Day on the Hill – Women’s Economic Security
This year, we are asking the Government of Canada to invest $75 million dollars in core funding to scale up our existing YWCA employment and training programs with best practices to ensure economic security for women, girls and their families
Equal Pay for Equal Work – Advocating for Pay Equity!
In our submission to the Standing Committee on Finance for the 2019 Pre-Budget Consultations, we called for proactive pay equity federal legislation. We are also proud members of the Equal Pay Coalition and are interested in working with colleagues across the country to fight for equal pay for self-identified women.
Poverty for women – Precarious work, low wages and children
With the highest levels of working mothers in our history, 37% of single mothers have incomes below the poverty line. The progressive Canada Child Benefit, championed by Campaign 2000, is a key opportunity to increase the incomes of women with children, particularly women raising children on social assistance, as long as the provincial and territorial governments do not deduct it from social assistance payments or reduce other means-tested benefits. Low-cost child care is also an effective anti-poverty tool for women raising children.
Economic Equality & Tax Fairness
Tax policy is an effective tool for addressing income inequality. YWCA Canada supports the work of Canadians for Tax Fairness on tax justice and ending tax avoidance. Given women’s income levels broadly, and how much women benefit from social programs, tax cuts are not gender neutral, but benefit men disproportionately. Maintaining a substantial federal tax base is essential to maintaining program supports and income transfers that close the inequality gap.
Making Women Count, a 2016 report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Oxfam Canada, looks at the impact of rising income inequality on women in Canada and globally. Women do not receive equal benefits from the economic growth spurred by their increasing work.