New project underway to to tackle policy barriers faced by survivors

September 12, 2017

We are excited to announce a new project which will be undertaking intersectional gender-based analysis of public policies to better understand their impacts on survivors and advocate for policy change.

In October 2016, Status of Women Canada invited organizations to propose projects that advance gender equity across Canada. Through this call for proposals, the aim was to identify a total of 150 women leaders in various sectors, organizations, and communities across the country to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. On August 16, 2017, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Status of Women Canada, announced funding to nine organizations across the Toronto region, including WomanACT, as part of this call for proposals. All projects will address systemic barriers over a 36-month period through three components: (1) increasing women’s economic security and propserity; (2) encouraging women and girls to be better represented in leadership and decision-making roles; and (3) ending violence against women and girls.

WomanACT’s 36-month project will prevent recurring violence against women by focusing on  barriers that prevent women from accessing services, social benefits and safety measures when exiting emergency shelters. A gender analysis of the impact of policies related to social security, landed immigration status, child custody, affordable housing, and post-secondary education grants will be completed by working with stakeholders from community networks. This analysis will inform the development of an action plan to advance solutions to maximize safety and opportunities for women rebuilding violence free lives. The organization will host policy dialogues with municipal, provincial, and federal subject matter experts, strengthening longer term partnerships for systemic change. Recommendations and final project outcomes will be shared widely with partners, stakeholders and elected officials through ongoing dialogue.

Harmy Mendoza, Executive Director of WomanACT, shares that, “Leaving an abusive relationship can be a difficult and dangerous transition. This project will analyze the impact of policies in place to assist survivors of violence in rebuilding their lives. By working with our partners in the community and supporting policy dialogues, the project will strengthen longer term partnerships for systemic change. We will broadly share our knowledge and support the implementation of suggested recommendations.”

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