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Advocacy

Since 1889, YWCA Hamilton has been a part of a national and international network fighting for gender equity.

We were there advocating for the right to vote; for reproductive rights; for parental leave; and we were there when the first women’s shelters in Hamilton were opened.

Since then, YWCA Hamilton has been a strong voice advocating for gender equity locally and through our affiliation with YWCA Canada and the World YWCA.

YWCA Hamilton knows that an intersectional feminist approach is critical to gender equity work. We continue to learn, grow and deepen our understanding of diverse women’s experiences, identities, knowledge and strengths. We work to create the conditions where women and gender-diverse people can fully realize their goals and aspirations.

We advance social justice for women and gender-diverse people through our programs, services, supports and advocacy.

We mobilize locally, provincially, and nationally to transform life for women, families, and gender-diverse people through coalition-building, and strategic partnerships.

YWCA Hamilton is dedicated to:

Ending gender-based violence

Achieving women’s economic equality

Providing affordable, accessible high-quality child care

Ending homelessness for women and gender-diverse people

Promoting the leadership development of women and girls

Advancing women’s equity rights

The third week of October marks YWCA’s Week Without Violence™, a globally-recognized, week-long series of community events that focus on creating a violence-free world. Individuals across Canada recognize this annual initiative aimed at making gender-based violence a thing of the past.

Activities throughout the week focus on raising awareness, promoting attitude changes, and enabling individuals and organizations to begin positive actions towards ending violence in their communities.

Gender-based violence remains a global concern. We know that not all violence is acknowledged or responded to equally. Some survivors of violence go unrecognized, unheard, and unanswered. We also know that Indigenous, racialized, and newcomer women experience higher rates of violence, and are less likely to report their perpetrators.

To learn more about planning a Week Without Violence™ event in your community, visit YWCA Canada’s campaign headquarters.

Each year, YWCA Hamilton joins representatives from YWCA member associations from across Canada to meet with Federal representatives in Ottawa as part of YWCA Canada’s Day in the Hill. Together, we advocate for increased investments in women and gender-diverse people.

Our 2024 request:

  • Increasing funding for the Women and Children Shelter and Transitional Housing Initiative, which provides funding for unique evidence-based housing approaches and supports for women, gender-diverse people and families rebuilding their lives after fleeing violence.

Previous requests include:

  • Dedicating 25% of National Housing Strategy funds for permanent and transitional housing, shelters, and wraparound supports for women, gender-diverse people and families.
  • Investing in women’s economic security to promote inclusive prosperity.

YWCA Hamilton, in partnership and solidarity with YWCA Canada and other member associations, have successfully advocated for funding at Day on the Hill, as well as creating meaningful and collaborative relationships with Members of Parliament and Senators.

YWCA Ontario Coalition

The YWCA Ontario Coalition is an advocacy group formed by YWCA member associations across the province, including YWCA Toronto, YWCA Cambridge, YWCA Kitchener-Waterloo, YWCA Muskoka, YWCA Sudbury, YWCA Niagara, YWCA Peterborough, and YWCA St. Thomas/Elgin. Together, we engage in systemic advocacy to advance gender equity in our province. Combined, we serve more than 50,000 people every year across Ontario.

Hamilton is Home

Hamilton is Home is an alliance of community housing providers sharing their knowledge and experience and advocating for new funding to maximize public benefit and address the growing need for affordable housing.

The collective was launched by the seven active affordable housing developers in Hamilton:  YWCA Hamilton, Indwell Community Homes, Sacajawea Non-Profit Housing, Good Shepherd Non-Profit Homes, Victoria Park Community Homes, East Hamilton Non-Profit Homes, and CityHousing Hamilton. These organizations began to formally meet in early 2020 around the idea of pitching a group of projects to the Federal government for funding from the Co-Investment Fund, the flagship program of CMHC’s National Housing Strategy.

Under the banner Hamilton is Home, the collective of affordable housing developers has articulated the goal of building 3,000 new affordable units in the next three years and has advocated for funding to make this a reality.

Advocacy Campaigns and Actions

YWCA Hamilton advocates on issues affecting the lives of women and gender-diverse people across Ontario and beyond.

Learn more about our local, national and global advocacy campaigns!

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