Women’s Centre women worked incredibly hard over the past year advocating for women’s rights in our region. We participated in an array of community events, forums and rallies, researched poverty policy, wrote letters and reports, signed postcards, hosted forums, and met with politicians.
A few highlights from 2012…
- We organized groups of women to attend 5 community events – Take Back the Night, Speak Out and the Truth and Reconciliation Walk to name a few.
- We held 43 workshops on diversity, women’s issues and public policy.
- The number 142 is indicative of the number of letters, briefs and meetings held with policy makers.
- We hosted and/or attended 16 grassroots and community meetings to develop policy input for initiatives such as the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative and the provincial Social Policy Framework.
- In preparation for our 2013 women’s gathering, we met with 11 diverse women’s groups in the Calgary region.
Women and poverty
Over the last couple of years, our work for change has focused on advocating for poverty reduction strategies with a gendered lens at both the municipal and provincial levels of government. In 2012, through a collaborative process, we put together a background paper outlining policy recommendations in eight key areas to address women’s poverty. This paper was sent to various policy makers and followed-up by meetings with thirteen Calgary members of the legislative assembly, three ministers and two associate ministers. Click here to read A Gendered Analysis for Alberta’s Poverty Reduction Plan.
This paper echoes a 2011 municipal background paper presented to 13 city councillors and a representative from the mayor’s office. Click here to read Calgary Municipal Poverty Reduction: A Gendered Perspective.
This work for change not only helps to create community at the Centre, but is an essential contribution to greater attitudinal and policy changes in Calgary and Alberta. Some notable policy changes in 2012 include:
- The City of Calgary and the United Way announced the stewardship committee for the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative in January. The stewardship committee included 50% women.
- The provincial budget in the spring brought with it a $400 monthly increase to those receiving Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) payments, as well as an increase in eligibility to those able to access child care subsidies.
- In November 2012, City Council announced an increase in eligibility for the low-income transit pass to 100% of the low-income cut-off by 2014, starting with an increase from 75% to 87.5% in 2013.
- A 2013 pilot project providing youth with the same eligibility criteria as adults for accessing low-income transit passes was announced in December by City Council.
Another success we have to look forward to in 2013 will come after the municipal election in the spring when aldermen will officially be called city councillors.
Thank you to all of you who contribute to our work for change.