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The YWCA began its mission to be a powerful voice for women in Alberta more than a century ago. Today, we remain at the forefront of the critical issues facing women and girls. From reducing gender-based violence to implementing trauma-informed practises and developing leadership programs for girls and youth, YWCAs across the province are spearheading a local response to key concerns facing women and girls. Through informed advocacy, we effect change.

Gender equity is a crucial component in violence prevention. Everyone should be able to live full, healthy lives in an environment that is safe and violence-free. This is why we fight for gender equity, women’s rights, and the elimination of all forms of family, domestic, intimate partner, and hate-motivated violence. By advocating for systemic change to end gender-based violence, we ensure that people affected by family violence and gender inequality have a voice and that their objectives and solutions are heard by decision-makers.

Gender-based violence is a public health and socio-economic disaster that disproportionately impacts women and children, particularly those living in marginalized or vulnerable populations. The COVID-19 pandemic only served to exacerbate this. In June 2020, the Alberta YWCAs developed an ambitious and collaborative road map to assist the government in incorporating a much-needed gender lens into our economic recovery strategy during and after the COVID-19 crisis. Our governments can play a critical role in reducing violence against women by enacting laws and policies that promote gender equality.

Together, the YWCAs of Alberta provide childcare, crisis shelter, disability services, domestic violence counselling and shelter, emergency and permanent housing, fitness, language education for immigrants, and mental health counselling to approximately 30,000 women, children, and families in rural and urban areas. We are keenly interested in using our expertise to help build equitable economic policy, as our sector is often a connector, facilitator and healer during difficult times. Our recommendations were formulated after extensive review of evidence-based research and consultation with industry experts.

Learn more in our Economic Recovery Strategy: bit.ly/2YqD556

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