New tool aims to build inclusive, diverse communities

June 10, 2015 

Together with partners from municipalities and women’s organizations across Canada, the City of Toronto, Springtide Resources and Toronto Women's City Alliance helped to launch a new national guide for city officials, managers and staff on June 8 at Ottawa City Hall. A project of the City for All Women Initiative (CAWI), Advancing Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Municipalities offers tools, best practices and case studies to support efforts to plan, create and sustain positive change that emphasizes the strengths of Canada’s diverse populations.  

 

“This important initiative builds on insights from the City of Toronto's Equity Lens, a practical tool designed to ensure that City policies and programs result in equitable outcomes for all residents," said Councillor Pam McConnell (Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale), member of the board of directors at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and chair of its women's committee. "Cities have so much to gain from creating inclusive programs, policies, services and opportunities; they allow us to capitalize on the strengths of people that are often marginalized and living in poverty.”

 

Funded by the Status of Women Canada, the guide provides resources to help municipalities:

respond to the needs and aspirations of diverse populations;

recognize and engage the skills, experience and knowledge of all residents;

address systemic barriers through policies, programs and services;

attract, promote and retain a talented workforce; and

create relationships and work together to ensure collective impact.

 

"The advancing equity and inclusion guide recognizes women's diverse backgrounds and social identities," said Lynda Roy, Manager of Women with Disabilities and Deaf Women's Program at Springtide Resources. "It provides tools and strategies to promote greater access to programs and services through the development of City policies which take into account the complexities of women's lives." 

 

"This guide is a valuable resource for incorporating diverse women's voices in municipal policy all over Canada," said Kara Santokie, Executive Director of the Toronto Women's City Alliance. "Aboriginal women, low-income women, racialized women, seniors, women living with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ community all deserve full recognition and equal participation in civic life." 

 

More information about the City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) is available at http://www.cawi-ivtf.org/. The guide, Advancing Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Municipalities is available online in English and French at http://www.equityandinclusion.ca/.

 

Springtide Resources is a registered charity that develops and implements programs aimed at responding to the prevention, intervention and educational needs of those working on gender based violence.  Since 1978 Springtide has engaged diverse communities in shared educational strategies designed to prevent gender based violence. Springtide Resources is growing and evolving to meet the changes in how training and organizing on human rights issues is achieved in communities. More information about Springtide Resources is available at http://www.springtideresources.org

Toronto Women's City Alliance (TWCA) was formed in 2004 by a diverse group of women to end the growing silence and invisibility of girls' and women's voices and issues from the political agenda in the City of Toronto. TWCA works to ensure political commitment to addressing and removing barriers that many women face in accessing essential services. More information about TWCA is available at http://www.twca.ca.