Social justice addresses many things: wealth distribution, race, health, environment, peace, justice. At the Women’s Centre, we touch on all these topics and apply a gender lens to issues in order to ensure that women’s voices are heard and are part of the conversation, and that women’s needs are reflected in policies. Through programs, workshops, committee work and research, the Women’s Centre brings the topic of social justice to life. This past year saw an increase in social issues related discussions and workshops; in January, we kicked off the Environmental Issues Discussion Series. Here is a quick recap of some of the fantastic things that we have seen at the Women’s Centre in 2016 and what we can expect to see in 2017:
- Our monthly Social Issues Discussion Series, covering topics ranging from women living with disabilities, to the experience of transgender women in Calgary, to a discussion on basic income.
- Our Social Issues Reading List that people can sign up for to receive on a monthly basis to learn more about women’s issues in Calgary and around the world.
- The January kick-off of the Environmental Issues Discussion Series – to be hosted every third Wednesday in 2017, and cover topics prioritized by the launch participants, including food security (Feb) and ecofeminism (Mar)
- Girl Up program for girls aged 15-17 allows them to explore issues affecting their lives, to support each other, and to engage in social action and leadership projects in a safe and supportive environment. This program, launched in January, allows girls to recognize their unique strengths and abilities as individuals and their collective power as a group.
- A workshop on Active Citizenship that educates women on creating change in their community.
- Our March 8 International Women’s Day celebration – this year’s theme is “Be Bold for Change” – is an opportunity to honour the complexity of women’s stories, which includes their role as tireless and committed social justice advocates.
- Research and reports are being done at the Women’s Centre’s to provide a gender lens on poverty reduction efforts in Calgary and Alberta. We will also continue to ask for more investments into affordable, quality child care, and an increase to social assistance rates, two issues of major importance to women who access our services.
- The Women’s Centre also partners with other organizations in the city, whether to further the conversation on gender and women’s issues in creative ways. In April, for example, This is My City Art Society is hosting “Song Circle: Singing for Social Justice”. We encourage you all to attend!