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Today, the Government of Canada announced a grant to YW Kitchener-Waterloo and YWCA Cambridge through the Women’s Program of Status of Women Canada, totalling $200,000 over four years. The grant will fund a joint project by the two YWCAs to address organizational capacity needs throughout Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge, and seek to ramp up the push for social and systemic change towards gender equality by facilitating a coalition of organizations and community members as well as collecting, analyzing and making public gender-based data to inform community programming.

“Women’s organizations know the importance of advocacy work,” said YW Kitchener-Waterloo CEO Elizabeth Clarke.

“We know that while the support we provide through our programs and services improves the lives of individual women, only large-scale social change can improve the lives of all women. But delivering our programs and services keeps us very busy, and uses up all our financial resources. The SWC grant gives YW Kitchener-Waterloo, and our sister agency YWCA Cambridge, the capacity to create and animate an advocacy campaign that will raise public awareness of issues affecting women and girls in Waterloo Region, and engage the broader community in advancing gender equality.”

Funding Announcement April 17 2019
Representatives from the seven organizations that received capacity building funding sit with The Honourable Bardish Chagger
(Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, MP for Waterloo), Raj Saini (MP for Kitchener Centre), Marwan Tabbara
(MP for Kitchener South-Hespeler), and Margaret Johnston (City Councillor for Ward 8 in Ktchener)

YWCA Cambridge Executive Director Kim Decker discussed the main push for the project: “According to a recent Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives report, Waterloo Region ranks near the near the bottom of the country’s large municipalities, at number 20, for women’s economic equality, with a relentless wage gap, women only bringing in 67% of what men earn; number 19 on women’s personal security, with high rates of domestic and sexual violence, and much higher rates than the country’s average of reported assaults being dismissed by police as ‘unfounded’ (27% compared to 19% nationally); and the Region only falls in the middle of the pack, at number 10, for women’s leadership, with women in only 36% of management positions.

“It’s time we all start working together to change the system that perpetuates these inequalities.”

This YW Kitchener-Waterloo and YWCA Cambridge project is one among six recipients of the Government of Canada’s Status of Women Canada capacity building grants, another being the programming centre of YWCA Cambridge (The W) which received a grant for discovery and research into developing an intersectionally inclusive social enterprise with the goal of increasing women’s economic security and inclusion through employment, volunteerism and business opportunities.


For more information, please contact CEO of YW Kitchener-Waterloo Elizabeth Clarke, 519-576-8856 x105, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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As a member agency of YWCA Canada, YWCA Cambridge is part of a national movement known as the country’s oldest and largest women's multi-service organization, the largest national provider of shelter, literacy, life skills, employment and counselling programs, and is the second largest provider of childcare services in Canada.

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