Women Transforming Cities is a nonprofit organization that works to empower self- identified women and girls through community engagement, inclusive policies, and equitable representation.
Mission and Purpose
Mission: “To transform our cities into spaces that work for all people by empowering self- identified women and girls, in all their diversity, through community engagement, inclusive policies, and equitable representation. In order to work toward our mission, Women Transforming Cities advocates for the use of a Gender/Equity Lens on all policies and programming. Two documents that provide some background and information on equity and inclusion are the Equity and Inclusion Lens Guide, developed by the City of Ottawa and City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) and Advancing Equity and Inclusion, a How to Guide for Municipalities, a practical guide for everyone, developed in partnership with CAWI and others. We endeavour to always approach our work with integrity and hold ourselves to the highest ethical standards in every context.”[i]
Vision: “To live in cities where all self-identified women and girls, in all their diversity, have real social, economic and political power.”
Origins and Development
Women Transforming Cities was founded by Ellen Woodsworth.[ii]
Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding
Women Transforming Cities is a nonprofit organization. The organization has an internal and external chair, treasurer, and several members at large.[iii]
Specializations, Methods and Tools
Women Transforming Cities specializes in education that promotes awareness and takes action on issues such as affordable housing, violence against women, leadership electoral reform, aboriginal women’s priorities, and the environment.[iv]
Women Transforming Cities has five principles that guide the organization’s decision-making process.[v] These principles guide the organization’s activities and areas of specialization.
The five guiding principles are[vi]:
Intersectionality demands that factors such as gender, race, age, education, and other are interrelated.
Empowering refers to empowering citizens, decision-makers, and members by sharing information.
Intergenerational refers to bringing different generations together in order to promote communication across age groups.
Collaboration refers to creating partnerships with different organizations and various levels of government.
Ethical refers to approaching all work with integrity and the highest ethical standard.
Major Projects and Events
Women Transforming Cities has initiated and implemented numerous major projects and events.[vii] Below are two examples:
This campaign is urging municipal parties to prioritize gender equality ahead of the Vancouver fall election. The campaign recommends that all candidates and parties use a gender intersectional lens on city policies, programs, budget, funding, staffing, and governance.
This project is funded by Status of Women Canada. The project has two major goals:
1. To work with municipalities and citizens to “identify and institute on-going and permanent solutions to address barriers to the participation of diverse women in local government as elected decision-makers, as staff, and as committee members”; and
2. To enhance the understanding and awareness of the importance of using a “gender-based intersectional lens” to guide policies and actions, and to increase the use of such a lens throughout municipal departments and functions.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
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Women Transforming Cities has published a number of reports for the public. Additionally, Women Transforming Cities has created reading lists that provide interesting information. Reports, publications, and reading lists: http://www.womentransformingcities.org/resources
[i] womentransformcities | About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved July 26, 2018, from http://www.womentransformingcities.org/about-us
[ii] womentransformcities | About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved July 26, 2018, from http://www.womentransformingcities.org/about-us
[iii] womentransformcities | About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved July 26, 2018, from http://www.womentransformingcities.org/about-us
[iv] womentransformcities | Our Work. (n.d.). Retrieved July 26, 2018, from http://www.womentransformingcities.org/events
[v] womentransformcities | About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved July 26, 2018, from http://www.womentransformingcities.org/about-us
[vi] womentransformcities | Our Work. (n.d.). Retrieved July 26, 2018, from http://www.womentransformingcities.org/events
[vii] womentransformcities | Systemic Barriers. (n.d.). Retrieved July 26, 2018, from http://www.womentransformingcities.org/systemic-barriers
Lead image: Spacing Vancouver https://goo.gl/8Pvv1B