Often non-profits are faced with a dilemma, to put our resources towards services supporting individuals and families most affected by systemic issues in our community OR to put our resources towards advocacy work to dismantle those systemic issues. Rarely are both a reality.
For a long time the YW Kitchener-Waterloo has met that dilemma daily, wanting to create long impacting change but also wanting to be accountable to the well being of of the people today. With the announcement of receiving Status of Women Funding for capacity building we partnered in with YWCA Cambridge to develop The Feminist Shift. The Feminist shift is a capacity building advocacy effort focused exclusively on building a Waterloo Region that acknowledges and rejects gender based violence. We plan to do this through high impact, organized ventures that tackle gender-based violence directly as well as the issues that inform it.
Our first official venture was to create a collaborative all candidates survey for hopeful MP’s running for seats in the 2019 federal election in Waterloo Region. The survey was comprised of questions submitted from a collaboration of agencies working in the realm of gender based violence and covered topics such as femicide, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, sexual assault, reproductive rights, housing and Islamaphobia. A total of 20 candidates completed the survey laying the ground work for a comparative analysis for voters as to how these potential leaders would advance these feminist issues in Ottawa.
For our next initiative we are doing a digital campaign around the 16 days of action against gender-based violence, bringing together initiatives from across Waterloo Region, providing thought leadership pieces and promoting more involvement in advocacy around this issue. The campaign runs from November 25th– December 10th.
Join The Shift- visit our website www.thefeministshift.ca and sign up for our newsletter or engage with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at the handle @feministshift.