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Advocacy

YWCA Hamilton is part of a national and international network for Gender and Equity.

We were there when women were advocating for the right to vote, for reproductive rights, for maternity leave, we were there when the first women’s shelters 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 a holistic approach is needed in order to achieve women’s equity.

We advance social justice for women, girls, non-binary and gender-fluid folks through our programs, services, supports and advocacy.

  • Ending Gender-Based Violence
  • Affordable, accessible high quality non-profit child care
  • Women’s economic justice and independence
  • Women’s health and wellness
  • Women’s equity rights
  • Supporting youth development
  • Women’s leadership and community-building
  • Advocacy and support for Transwomen, genderfluid and non-binary folks

Past Advocacy Initiatives:
Voice Words Action-Sandy and Nora
Elect More Women Conference and Workshop Series
Women Vote for Action Campaign
Fem the Vote Campaign

Upcoming Advocacy Outreach:
Gender-Based Budgeting and Governance: towards a Gender Equity Strategy for Hamilton

In Partnership with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board,  YWCA Hamilton will host the annual Totally Awesome Young Women’s Breakfast on Friday, May 29, 2020 at Liuna Station. This event works to strengthen young women’s voices, celebrate their differences and recognize their accomplishments. Over 500 young women and non-binary youth from across Hamilton come together annually for an empowering and inspirational morning.

The breakfast is an opportunity for young women across the city to acknowledge their impact. It also provides a safe space for young women and non-binary youth in our community to learn that their lives, goals and contributions are important.  The intention is for these youth to be inspired to become leaders in their communities and to increase their sense of confidence and belonging.

Inspiring bold leaders in #HamOnt on Thursday, November 8, 2018 at the Hamilton Public Library.

In partnership with McMaster University, Mohawk College, and Workforce Planning Hamilton, the Leadership Summit for Women (LSW)’s goal is to inspire, instill confidence and provide a network for young future leaders in our community through the sharing of experiences, skills and goal-setting. The Summit will also provide a local network of mentors and supports for women in the Hamilton community.

We strive to be an open and inclusive event with speakers reflecting the diversity of experience that makes this city great. We also welcome feedback on how to continue to improve this work. The Leadership Summit welcomes First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples, racialized persons, persons with (dis)Abilities, LGBTQ2SIA persons and allies.

Our theme this year, “Press for Progress,” is inspired by the International Women’s Day 2018 campaign theme. Learn more here.

The third week of October marks the YWCA’s Week Without Violence™, a globally-recognized, week-long series of community events that works to promote a violence-free world. More than 17,000 people in schools, workplaces and neighbourhood organizations throughout Canada recognize this annual violence prevention initiative aimed at making violence a thing of the past.

As part of YWCA Canada’s commitment to violence prevention initiatives for girls and young women, we are continuing to expand the Power of Being a Girl™ (PBG) program, a signature violence-prevention conference for girls ages 12-17 hosted during the Week Without Violence™ and funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program, the conference responds to local community needs and relies on girls’ leadership in its planning and organization with workshops focusing on a variety of issues including self-esteem, healthy relationships, dating, discrimination, body image, sexual health, bullying and Internet safety, among others.

Past YWCA Hamilton Week Without Violence Events include:

  • An evening with White Ribbon Campaign Founder Michael Kaufman
  • Facilitated Screening of YWCA Montreal and the National Film Board of Canada’s Sexy Inc.: Our Children Under Influence
  • Power of Being a Girl! Conference

Lobbying for Women and Equity

On November 1st over 100 YWCA representatives from across Canada, including leadership from YWCA Hamilton, rallied together at Parliament Hill to call on Canada to invest in women’s economic security to promote inclusive prosperity. Together, we shared the critical impact of YWCAs across Canada. We organized and we were heard.

As a result of our lobby efforts we were able to:

YWCA Hamilton and YWCA Canada was also recognized in Question Period in the House of Commons, by all parties. We will continue to mobilize to strengthen women’s economic security as investing in women’s economic security will improve Canada’s financial future.

The Women & Diversity EXCLerator Project is the first of its kind to present a
comprehensive overview of women’s representation in senior leadership positions
in Hamilton and Halton’s most prominent organizations. This report analyzes women in
leadership across nine sectors, and provides an essential benchmark against which
future progress may be measured.

This 2017 report is the second installment of the Women & Diversity EXCLerator Project and quantifies the racial diversity of Hamilton and Halton’s top leadership. It also adds a ‘youth sector’ to gain insight into the diversity of the regions’ youngest leaders.

Speqtrum is a youth-founded, youth-run, and youth-focused skill-sharing and community building program for queer and trans young people in Hamilton, ON.

​Speqtrum aims to build community among queer, trans, and two spirit (2SLGBTQIA+) youth, ages 17-29, by offering monthly Active and Social sessions, along with skill sharing workshops led by members of the community.

Recognizing we all have different interests, abilities, and comfort levels, Speqtrum creates a variety of spaces to meet other like-minded 2SLGBTQ+ peers.

As young people, we have an exciting opportunity, here in Hamilton, to shape our community in a real and lasting way. Our co-planner program gives you the opportunity to plan the events that you would like to see.

​Speqtrum also recognizes the need for broad LGBTQ2S+ activities, and we invite elders and peers outside our target age range to collaborate on our events.

Speqtrum is supported by YWCA Hamilton and the Youth Opportunities Fund of Ontario Trillium Foundation.

For more information about ​Speqtrum, please contact info@speqtrum.ca

News and Events

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