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
RISE Collective is a youth-led collective that centres and amplifies the voices of young women, non-binary, and gender fluid youth in Hamilton. The RISE Collective consists of events, workshops, art and movement, that is informed and led by youth which focus on four key themes: 1) Reflect – Rest – Recharge 2) Influence – Integrate – Imagine 3) Sustain – Support – Strategize and 4) Engage – Empower – Educate.
The purpose of the program is to create holistic and intentional programming for all youth that empowers and engages. The RISE Collective offers something for all youth looking to make change in their community.
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 in November 2021.
This event works to strengthen young women’s voices, celebrate their differences and recognize their accomplishments. Over 600 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.
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:
- Mobilize $1.25 million dollars in funding to research systemic employment barriers for vulnerable women for YWCAs in Canada.
- Call on the government to invest $75 million dollars in scaling up programs that promote women’s economic security.
- Engage in conversations with over 60 Members of Parliament and Senators
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 email@example.com
An opportunity for women and non-binary individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, Persons of Colour (BIPOC) to participate in a FREE 5-part workshop series with a focus on learning how to claim power and place in politics to effect change.
The Olga Cloke Bursary was established by the Cloke Family in 1971 to celebrate Olga’s 75th birthday. After Olga’s passing in 1974, YWCA Hamilton established an endowment fund in memory of Olga Cloke.
Olga was a past President of the Zonta Club of Hamilton 1, past Governor of District 4, and also held international positions in Zonta.
Olga was passionate about being involved in her community and was the past chair of the YWCA Hamilton Building Campaign, as well as past District Commissioner of the Hamilton Girl Guides Association.
Busary Info and Eligibility
Olga Cloke Bursary Amount – $750
Application for Olga Cloke Bursary is now closed.
You can apply for the Olga Cloke Bursary if you are:
- A current student
- Entering a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree program in 2021
- A resident of Hamilton
- In financial need
- A young women
2020 Olga Cloke Bursary Winner
YWCA Hamilton is pleased to announce the winner of the 2020 Olga Cloke Bursary, Victoria Charron!
Victoria is a student in the Speech-Language Pathology program at McMaster University and a long-time friend to YWCA Hamilton. She has worked as a lifeguard in our aquatic programs and has volunteered with GirlSpace, a free after school program for girls in grades 1-6, and Good Beginnings, a program that provides weekly home visits to mothers of infants under six months.
She also recently became a support line volunteer with SACHA, which offers 24-hour support to survivors of sexual abuse and their allies.
“I continue to work to dismantle societal institutions and barriers to create a more equitable community,” wrote Victoria in her application. “By supporting women in various circumstances, I challenge the status quo by listening to and raising up women in this community who have been traditionally silenced and pushed to the side.”