"Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn't be that women are the exception." ~ Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Dear friends, 

We are officially in a federal election season! The first nation-wide campaign to be held in a pandemic will stretch from now until September 20th. There is a great deal at stake: Economic recovery from the pandemic. Reconciliation. The ever-rising cost of living.
There is another issue we believe should stand out as a priority in Election 2021: Child care. There is broad public and political consensus that child care is key to recovery. The various lockdowns throughout the pandemic drove this home for employers and policy makers, as women left the workforce en masse and parents struggled to care for their kids and keep making a living. There is $30 billion on the table from the federal government in their 2021 budget to make universal child care a reality. The election was called after Saskatchewan became the eighth province and territory to ink a deal.
Now, we urge you to push child care as a major issue in this election. Ask candidates for their party’s plan for child care – what system do they support and how will it be funded? After decades of advocacy, the historic opportunity to make universal child care a reality is now. Be sure to vote September 20th and encourage your loved ones to do the same.


Heather M. McGregor
Chief Executive Officer
Photo | Courtesy of Adam Winger Unsplash
At YWCA Toronto, advocacy is an integral part of our service delivery in support of women, girls and gender diverse people.

We recently submitted to two provincial bodies: Ontario’s Workforce Recovery Advisory Committee, which can be accessed here, and the provincial Task Force on Women and the Economy, which was led by our sector partner ONN. Our submissions highlight specific employment barriers for women and gender diverse folks, the necessity of strengthening labour standards across the board, and the need for enhanced funding for the non-profit sector – and a permanent wage enhancement for shelter, child care and housing workers.

We had the chance to meet with both bodies to express our views directly. Both conversations ended on encouraging terms. We were able to garner some media attention around the key issues as well, from placing an op-ed in the Toronto Star to securing CBC coverage of our submission.

Being able to work with our partners, staff, and media is key to ensuring our voices are heard. We remain hopeful that both bodies will come up with some strong recommendations to the Government in support of gender and racial equity and economic justice.
Helping Young Women Succeed in Today's Workforce

Our Employment and Training Department continues to provide training programs to bridge the gap to employment and further education. For women and gender diverse individuals between the ages of 16 and 29, the Success Ready (formally Future Ready) program provides a customized action plan, training, job placement and mentorship opportunities. We are thrilled to announce that the Association is offering this program once again with the generous support of RBC Royal Bank. 
Visit our website for more information.
Who will be the next inspirational Woman of Distinction? Nominate a woman committed to the radical transformation of our society. #YWCAWOD

For over 40 years, YWCA Toronto has applauded the remarkable lives and work of women who are changing the lives of women and girls in our community. They are your colleagues, teachers, friends, mentors, and neighbours. They are visionaries committed to creating a place at the table and shattering glass ceilings.

Nominate a woman who wears her intersectional feminism proudly on her sleeve and is driven to make the world a better place. Click to learn more.
Photo | Courtesy of YWCA Canada and YMCA Canada
Very few non-profits and national organizations are talking about the severe negative impacts of COVID-19 on Canada’s young people. This changed with YWCA Canada and YMCA Canada’s joint report ‘Preventing a Lockdown Generation - A plan to support Canada’s youth in post-pandemic recovery’, released August 12th. The report highlights the need for strong employment opportunities for youth and leadership training among other crucial investments. 

Check out the report and share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #PreventingALockdownGeneration.
Photo | Courtesy of OAITH
The Ontario Association of Interval & Transition Houses (OAITH) released femicide data for July. By providing a thorough overview of confirmed and suspected cases of femicide in Ontario, OAITH shines light on gender-based violence in our province and commemorates the victims lost. This data is critical to understanding the scope and impact of gender-based violence in Ontario, particularly in light of the pandemic and given the fact the Province does not collect this information.  

Photo | Courtesy of NFFTT
Toronto’s fruit picking and sharing project, Not Far From The Tree (NFFTT), in partnership with YWCA Toronto’s Women’s Shelter are currently supporting the provision of healthy and nutritious meals to women and their children fleeing gender-based violence.

NFFTT has made generous donations of freshly picked, locally sourced fruits to our shelter and staff have created delicious meals for our participants. This project exemplifies NFFTT’s overall community efforts in the Toronto region. We are so grateful for their support!

Photo | Courtesy of the Toronto Star
In a recent Toronto Star op-ed, our Director of Advocacy and Communications, Jasmine Ramze Rezaee, shares her thoughts on the future of work while addressing labour market disruptions and the many long-entrenched social and economic inequities affecting workers on the margins.  

The article also highlights the importance of strengthening labour standards and the economic empowerment of women as the province considers the future of our economy.
YWCA Toronto operates on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. We are grateful to work on this territory as we strive to build a more equitable and just city for women, girls, and gender diverse people.