#ADVOCATING FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS beyond our walls
BECAUSE YWCA MONTREAL IS DEDICATED TO REDUCING EXCLUSION AND SOCIAL AND GENDER INEQUALITIES, AS WELL AS ALL FORMS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS, WE ORGANIZED, COLLABORATED, AND PARTICIPATED IN MANY AWARENESS AND MOBILIZATION ACTIONS FOR WOMEN’S EQUALITY, IN ADDITION TO OUR EVERYDAY FRONT-LINE WORK WITH WOMEN AND GIRLS.
#HYPERSEXUALIZATION AND SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
- Presentation at the symposium of the Association canadienne-française pour l’avancement de la science (ACFAS)
- Talk given for Cheryl Armistead’s course, Issues in Women’s Health, at McGill University
- Presentations given at meetings of the Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE) and the regional conference of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN)
- Workshop for the Regroupement des maisons d’hébergement pour femmes victimes de violence
- Press conference, La prévention de l’exploitation sexuelle, un projet plus ambitieux, mais réalisable
- Press conference and participation in the Buying Sex is Not a Sport campaign.
- Active member of the Comité des 12 jours d’action contre la violence faite aux femmes [12 Days of Action Against Violence Against Women Committee], including the organization of multiple activities
- Press conference to launch the 12 days of action against violence against women
- Three luncheon presentations (screening of the film Le commerce du sexe, presentation of videos on the situation of Aboriginal communities with Wapikoni Mobile, and Jasmin Roy’s talk entitled #Bitch, les filles et la violence)
- Initiative to call for the lighting of the Olympic stadium tower and Montréal’s city hall
- Co-organization of the commemoration of the massacre at Polytechnique, held at Place-du-6-décembre
- Participation in the #OnVousCroit [We believe you] campaign, organized by Québec rape crisis centres (CALACS)
- Submission and presentation of a brief entitled Responsabiliser, sensibiliser, prévenir [Making accountable, educating, and preventing] to hearings conducted by the National Assembly’s committee on institutions concerning Bill 64 – Firearms Registration Act
#CAMPAIGN TO FIGHT HOMELESSNESS
- Support for a campaign led by the Réseau d’aide pour les personnes seules et itinérantes de Montréal (RAPSIM) to lobby the federal government for funding to fight homelessness
- Participation in a consultation led by the Conseil des montréalaises on women and homelessness in Montréal
- Participation in drafting a declaration on women’s homelessness with the Table des groupes de femmes de Montréal (TGFM)
#SOCIAL AND GENDER EQUALITY
- Talk entitled #SommesNousÉgalité égalité given at the Institut du nouveau monde’s École d’été
- Participation in a panel Gender Stereotypes and their Impact on Women organized by the Institut du nouveau monde’s École d’été
- Submission of a brief entitled #SommesNousÉgalité to Status of Women Canada’s consultation on women’s equality
- Presence at the Sommet des femmes
- Submission of a brief entitled La solidarité et l’inclusion passent par l’égalité [equality is the mainstay of solidarity and inclusion] to a consultation led by the Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la solidarité sociale
- Presentation on the situation of women given at the offices of Revenu Québec for International Women’s Day
- Participation in the development and launch of an information kit entitled Femmes immigrantes et métiers majoritairement masculins [Immigrant women and male dominated trades] produced by the Concertation montréalaise Femmes et emplois majoritairement masculins
- Member of YWCA Canada’s Defending Women’s Interests Committee
- Participation in formulating YWCA Canada’s action plan concerning the situation of Aboriginal women
- Participation in Québec Family Week
- Participation in the #PasBesoinDe campaign to promote volunteering
- Participation in the National Forum on Human Trafficking organised by Public Safety Canada and the Canadian Women Foundation
A SOCIETY BUILT ON EQUALITY, SOLIDARITY, INCLUSIVENESS, AND SECURITY
Over the past 141 years the YWCA Montréal has supported over 350,000 women on their journey toward a better future. Through its contribution to women’s personal and professional development, provided in a safe a welcoming environment, the YWCA Montréal has become a significant motor for social transformation in the city, and an agent for change to put an end to exclusion, social and gender inequality, and all forms of violence against women.
To increase its impact, the YWCA Montréal believes that public education is a powerful tool to spark the awareness and understanding that can generate changes in behaviour and social policies and practices. To this end, we submitted briefs to three public hearings this year on the subjects of women’s equality, social solidarity and inclusion, and the creation of a Québec gun registry.
It’s true that much has been accomplished in terms of legal reforms to increase women’s equality. Yet, when risk and vulnerability factors are combined with gender, the situation of women is still more precarious than that of men. We have only to consider the situation of immigrant, racialized, Indigenous, disabled, single-parent, older, and homeless women to see the truth of this statement. For instance, 82% of single-parent families are headed by women; 45% of women who hold remunerated employment earn less than $20,000 per year; the earnings of women who work full time represent 75% of what men earn, and this, despite the fact that women have more formal schooling than men. In certain areas, for instance, domestic and sexual violence, the gender gap is such that we must describe it as a form of violence that specifically targets women. Even in 2016, being a woman still seems to be the biggest risk factor.
For this reason, the YWCA Montréal submitted briefs in 2015-2016 containing recommendations to implement measures that promote awareness of these persisting inequalities. We proposed measures ranging from the creation of an Office of Equality and Inclusion, massive awareness campaigns, and education in the schools, to the creation of affordable safe housing reserved for women, compulsory work/family/study balance measures for employers, actions to address sexual harassment, etc.
Similarly, with regard to the creation of a gun registry in Québec, we not only supported and argued to the parliamentary committee in favour of the creation of such a registry, but we also recommended that individuals who purchase guns provide proof they hold a valid gun permit. In addition, to ensure accountability and awareness, we recommended that gun registrations be accompanied by a formal statement to the fact that gun ownership entails certain responsibilities and that the gun owner agrees to comply with the law and the spirit of the law.
Complete versions of the three briefs
#SOMMES NOUS ÉGALITÉ? (in french only)
RESPONSABILISER, SENSIBILISER, PRÉVENIR (in french only)
LA SOLIDARITÉ ET L’INCLUSION PASSENT PAR L’ÉGALITÉ (in french only)