Since 1972, the Yukon Status of Women Council has been working towards women's equity at the systems level, amplifying women’s voices, and mobilizing knowledge on the issues that most impact them.
Our work focuses on research, education, and systems advocacy and is grounded in relationships, responsiveness, relevance, and reciprocity.
WHAT WE DO
Through a community-based, participatory research approach (also known as Community-Based Research and Participatory Action Research), we conduct research to address the issues and concerns of Yukon women and mobilize knowledge into action for social change.
To research and provide accurate data on key issues that affect Yukon women, often filling in gaps that are left by more quantitative-heavy methodologies
To include diverse women’s voices through participatory research
We educate and raise awareness at all levels of the system, bringing women’s issues to the forefront.
To provide accurate and current information on women's equality issues
To act as a knowledge hub on Yukon women's issues and publish and promote research findings and resources in various ways (i.e., graphic summaries, technical reports, online articles, social media campaigns, etc.) in collaboration with Yukon women's groups
To share and acknowledge feminist successes and challenges and promote positive media coverage of women’s issues and events, inform Yukon women of events and issues of relevance to their lives, and write letters and press releases
To participate and lead training, workshops, symposiums, public awareness, and community events
We analyse policy and advocate for change at the systems level. We seek to identify and address key issues that impact women in the territory and areas requiring change to advance women’s equity. Systems advocacy helps tie the threads together, ensuring intention meets impact when it comes to public policy.
To provide intersectional, gender-based analysis in public policy work, programs, and services
To take the lead on emerging issues and mobilize for action on policy promotion that supports and provides options and choices for women
To work collaboratively with stakeholders and allied organizations on projects and programs to improve the social and economic conditions of Yukon women
HOW WE DO IT
Relationships are at the core of all our work. We strive to foster stronger, broader connections and enhance collective capacity where we can to improve the lives of women. We achieve this through having good relationships, including with the communities, organizations and individuals with whom we do research, and maintaining connections with our networks locally, territorially as well as across Canada's North. Our decision-making model is one that favours consensus and coalition-building.
Some activities include:
COALITIONS & COMMITTEES
We regularly participate in allied coalitions, steering committees, advisory boards, and organizations to advance women’s equity. This allows us to see patterns and engage in a way that enables better systems understanding/navigation, bridging the gap between policy and practice.
We strive to conduct research in ways that break down traditional power imbalance between the researcher and researched, uphold First Nations' rights to self-determination, and consider diversity and inclusion as fundamental dimensions of research quality. Research should cause no further harm to marginalized populations and we provide additional support for participants where needed. We also provide training to all our staff on OCAP and TCPS-2 and respect First Nation community-specific protocols, as applicable.
We support frontline work and women’s knowledge by identifying resources available to women that enable them to make informed choices. We work hard to promote and maintain close relationships with front-line service organizations, sharing resources and capacity, delivering training and workshops, and acting as a supportive and collaborative partner so that we can help advance our collective mission for women’s equity and gender justice in the territory. Through our projects, we find supportive and safe ways of amplifying the voices of People With Lived/Living Experience by providing opportunities for employment, creating peer groups, and providing mentorship opportunities to young feminists. This allows us to create inclusive and relevant policy recommendations that are informed by those most impacted.
Being responsive means acting from a place of knowing in a timely and thoughtful manner.
We do this through:
BOOTS ON THE GROUND
By prioritizing relationships and actively tuning into the issues that matter to people on the ground, we can stay informed and respond.
REGULAR ENGAGEMENT AND EDUCATION
From our on-the-ground knowledge, we educate the public on emerging issues through outreach, presentations, public awareness events, and regular media engagement/participation.
BRIDGING THE GAP
Our mandate allows us to straddle the divide between policy and practice. In this way, we are often looked at as leaders in mobilizing for action on emerging issues.
We believe that research should be shared in various ways so that the knowledge can be mobilized at different levels of the community. For knowledge to be acted upon, it needs to be relevant to the people who need to make decisions based on or shaped by that knowledge.
This comes down to:
ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
We ensure that the questions we ask are of interest to the people most impacted by a research issue and that the process for participation makes sense. Encouraging participation and inclusion of diverse women’s voices in every step of the research process from project conception to implementation, allows us to provide accurate and relevant information on women’s issues and increases uptake and use of that information. It allows us to better understand women’s experiences and actively respond. When research is grounded in community, is relational, and informed by lived experiences with the process and outcomes equally valued, deep lessons can be learned, social change is encouraged, and actions are sustained.
It also requires the understanding that all women’s experiences are not the same; rather they are influenced by a number of intersecting/overlapping identities like race, ethnicity, age, ableism, and sexual orientation, among others. The system does not impact people in the same way. This is why we take an intersectional feminist approach to our work and regularly advocate for the disaggregation of data so that we can see how issues affect people with differing identities and social backgrounds. Disaggregated data allows us to see a more detailed, accurate picture of people’s experiences, which differs from the condensed, diluted vision aggregated data represent. This helps target interventions/programming/recommendations of where more knowledge and action are needed so as to repair the holes in the net.
RAISING VOICES AND VISIBILITY
Based on our unique position within the Yukon’s women’s sector, we speak alongside and speak up for those who may face barriers to being effectively heard by systems and institutions. When we amplify voices, we work to address barriers to women’s equity.
Reciprocity is interwoven within each of the above principles. It means giving back and receiving in equal measure. The issues and barriers underlining women’s inequality cannot be solved by one organization alone. Advancing gender equity and justice takes the head, hands, and heart; collaboration, concentration and commitment all are necessary for capacity building. Our systems are made up of people and so it is people who transform systems. We need to do this work together.