Author: Anqi Shen
Anqi Shen was a former writer/videographer at the Canadian Women's Foundation. She is passionate about multimedia storytelling, research and policy analysis, and education. She has written and produced content for national news organizations and nonprofits.
When oil prices collapsed last year, the Canadian economy took a hit after a slow recovery from the 2008 recession. In Alberta, one of the hardest-hit provinces, some sectors have seen rounds of layoffs and self-employment has risen.
So, it may come as no surprise that community organizations such as Momentum, in Calgary, and Women Building Futures, in Edmonton, have been seeing greater demand for their economic development programs.
Over the past 20 years, women have been the biggest driver of household income growth in Canada. During that time, more women have joined the workforce and their incomes have slowly grown, so you would expect that women’s levels of poverty have dropped accordingly—but that’s not the case. Why?
We got some answers from Kate McInturff, senior researcher with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the keynote speaker at a recent reception hosted by the Canadian Women’s Foundation.
Women living on a low income face many barriers to financial stability and independence. When childcare arrangements fall apart or there’s not enough money to pay a dental bill, a woman can find it difficult to finish an economic development program, even when she’s worked hard to earn a spot.
The Canadian Women’s Foundation invests in 3 kinds of women’s economic development programs, focusing on skilled trades, self-employment and social purpose enterprises.
Being a newcomer to Canada can be both exciting and daunting. It often means being immersed in a foreign culture and language and, if you’re a teenager, it can feel like you’re straddling two worlds at home and school.
I recently spoke with Gina McKay, a facilitator with the Sexuality Education Resource Centre (SERC) in Winnipeg, Manitoba, about how her organization is working with newcomer and refugee youth. The Canadian Women’s Foundation provides multi-year funding to SERC’s Newcomer Youth & Healthy Relationships program, which serves youth aged 12-17 in two inner-city schools.