In 2020, 39% of the women who came to the Women’s Centre told us that they were experiencing poverty.

At the Women’s Centre, we understand that meeting women’s basic needs is only a part of the greater solution to the issue of women experiencing poverty and economic insecurity.

We understand that in order to make lasting change, we need to challenge policies and systems that contribute to inequalities between genders as well as across categories such as Indigeneity, ability, race and ethnicity; we need to make sure that diverse women’s voices are heard in public policy discussions.

Women in Alberta face the largest employment gender gap of any province and are overrepresented in lower-paying jobs and part-time work, which makes investments in improved access to affordable, quality child care a key priority. 

Women experience poverty at a greater rate than men, especially if they are single parents or on their own, which makes them more likely to be impacted by changes in income support programs.

Shortage of affordable housing affects women and children in unique ways: the threat of violence (assault, abuse, sexual harassment of tenants) can result in homelessness, while some women stay in violent relationships because of a lack of housing alternatives.

Indigenous women in Alberta are almost three times more likely to experience violence than non-Indigenous women and seven times more likely to be a victim of homicide; they are more likely to live in poverty, and they earn below 60% of what a non-Indigenous man earns.

To address these inequalities, we research policy solutions that take into consideration the experiences and needs of diverse women in our community in key areas such as income supports, affordable transit and child care; we write letters, briefs and outreach materials; host forums; and meet with politicians.

We work collaboratively with community partners and officials to build and advocate for public policy solutions that improve the status and well-being of women and advance gender equality. 

We are a partner in Calgary’s Enough for All poverty reduction strategy, and an active member of several city-wide groups and coalitions, including Fair Calgary Community Voices, Basic Income Calgary and Keep Calgary Strong.

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