Ensure that equity seeking organizations have consistent core funding and are meaningfully included to bring gender-based analysis to policy and program development.
What is the challenge?
In the Yukon, there are many organizations working towards creating equality and equity for women, Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ folks. Many of these organizations have served the community for 30-40 years while others are new and emerging. Collectively, they provide shelter services, drop-in programming, advocacy and other support to folks facing and escaping gender-based violence (GBV), experiencing discrimination, or seeking equality. In addition, these agencies do important education work in the community including school-based education on consent and healthy relationships and community campaigns that raise awareness about how to end violence and sexualized violence in our communities.
Currently all Yukon equity seeking organizations exist on shoestring budgets, many without enough stable funding to pay the Executive Director’s salary. They exist on project funding, which is extremely time consuming to apply for, manage, and report on. This results in wasted effort and capacity. Instead of focusing their efforts on solving the problem, and supporting folks in the community, time is spent managing funding agreements, reporting, and trying to maintain staff when the salaries they can offer are far below competitive rates locally.
In addition to providing front line services, and campaigns, these organizations bring a critical eye to the work that the federal and territorial government do in this sector. These organizations are the voice of folks with lived experiences, and are experts in women’s, Indigenous women’s and, 2SLGBTQQIA+ rights, barriers, and challenges.
Statistically, women, Indigenous and BIPOC women, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ folks face more poverty, violence, and mental health challenges than others in society. They also experience more barriers to accessing housing, employment, income support, mental health and addictions supports and much more. To serve them well and create equity and inclusion for all, it’s vital to assess policies, campaigns, and programs from a gender-based lens.
Equity seeking organizations can bring this wealth of expertise and lived experience to meaningful policy development. Instead, they are often either left out of the conversation, or are marginalized when included, leaving representative voices unheard in spaces where decisions are being made.
Imagine what could be accomplished if equity seeking organizations had sustainable funding to cover core expenses and to pay key staff competitive rates.
Imagine what we could achieve if the voices of those who live these challenges every day and the organizations that serve them were meaningfully engaged in creating solutions in our community.
On November 9th, 2022 the National Action Plan to End Gender Based Violence was launched by the federal government along with negotiations around the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars to the provinces and territories to implement this plan. The federal government identified 3 priority areas for use of national action plan (NAP) funds at the territorial level.
- Sustainability of GBV sector;
- Centering the most vulnerable; and
- GBV Prevention.
As of today, we have the strategies to guide the work including the National Action Plan to End Gender Based Violence, the Yukon’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-spirit+ People Strategy for Yukon and the Yukon Government LGTBQ2s+ Inclusion Action Plan. There are funds earmarked in both the federal and territorial budgets to implement this work.
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN:
It’s high time to ensure that the Yukon-based equity seeking organizations that do this front-line work are properly funded to take up a meaningful role in the implementation of these strategies in the Yukon.
Without representative voices at the table, the government will make decisions in the absence of those who are impacted. The involvement of Yukon’s equity seeking organizations is key to ensuring representation for women, trans, non-binary, two spirit, intersex and agender folks when it comes to implementing these strategies in the Yukon.
The only way that these strategies will be successful in the Yukon is if the Yukon government agrees to sign multi-year core funding contribution agreements with Yukon’s gender-based violence (GBV) organizations and to assure meaningful inclusion of GBV organizations in the planning and delivery of policies and programs designed to address the issue.
WHAT CAN YOU DO:
Talk to your local MLA and politicians about what steps they are taking to ensure Yukon’s equity seeking organizations have long-term, sustainable core funding. Challenge them to ensure that these organizations are able to take up a meaningful role in implementing these strategies by ensuring that they are funded and able to participate and influence decision-making.
Become a member or donate to Yukon women’s organizations.