Women – and especially women from racialized groups – experience poverty differently from other people, and have particular concerns that should be addressed in the course of the Social Assistance Review.
In November 2011, a group of women wrote to Minister Meilleur and Minister Broten encouraging them to ensure that Ontario’s review of social assistance programs would be “guided by a gender and equity analysisâ€.
This group ofÂ women then reached out to others.
On February 25, the YWCA, the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies (Osgoode Hall Law School) and the Income Security Advocacy Centre (ISAC) jointly hosted a forum on what a “gendered equityâ€ review of social assistance might look like.
On May 6, theyÂ sent a letter to the Social Assistance Review Commission to urge them to ensure that four key concerns – raised at the February forum – are used to guide the review process:
1. Taking aÂ ‘gendered equity’ perspective;
2. Using a strong, evidence-based analysis;
3. Ensuring poverty reduction is the goal of any changes made to OW or ODSP; and
4. Paying attention to implementation and access at the ground level.
The letter is signed by:
Kate Bezanson, Associate Professor, Sociology and Social Justice and Equity Studies, Brock University
Sarah Blackstock, Director of Advocacy & Communications, YWCA Toronto
Josie Di Zio, Senior Director, Planning & Program Development, COSTI Immigrant Services
Shelley A.M. Gavigan, Associate Dean, Osgoode Hall Law School
Mary Marrone, Director of Advocacy & Legal Services, Income Security Advocacy Centre
Eileen Morrow, Coordinator, Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH)
Sonia Lawrence, Associate Professor & Director, Institute for Feminist Legal Studies, Osgoode Hall, York University
Janet Mosher, Associate Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
Emily Paradis, Research Associate, Cities Centre, University of Toronto
Lisa Philipps, Associate Dean, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
Rhonda Roffey, Executive Director, Women’s Habitat
Laurel Rothman, Director of Social Reform, Family Service Toronto; National Coordinator, Campaign 2000