Read more further on this page about each of the first five workshops:
- Pilot Workshop (April 28, 2005)
- Gender Budget Coalition (May 14, 2005)
- UNPAC (July 16, 2005)
- Crossways-in-Common (July 20, 2005)
- Wolseley Family Place (July 25, 2005)
The following ideas were generated by workshop participants as part of our gender budget consultations. Please note that this list does not represent the official position of the UN Platform for Action Committee Manitoba (UNPAC). Neither UNPAC nor all of the participants have endorsed these suggestions.
Suggested Ideas — For a full list of ideas generated from the first five workshops.
UNPAC conducted our Pilot Workshop at our office on April 28, 2005. A group of women, many of whom were already connected with UNPAC, were invited to attend the pilot workshop to give feedback and constructive criticism. There were several thoughtful ideas and suggestions that were taken into account. UNPAC is committed to providing participatory, creative and empowering workshops, therefore feedback and constructive criticism is welcome in order for us to offer the best possible workshop for groups of diverse women.
The common themes that arose during the discussion were housing and taxation. Women emphasized the importance of co-operative housing for single women of all ages with or without children. The housing would have adequate gardening and green spaces, healing programs and 24-hour child-minding services. Taxation was also an important theme discussed. Women came up with ideas on such as taxing on unhealthy foods, exotic vacations, hair loss replacement, pornography, exotic dancers, massage parlors, SUVs, sports cars, etc. Full list of Suggested Ideas.
Twenty-five women attended a Gender Budget Coalition Workshop in May 2005. The day started off with an introduction and education piece regarding the provincial budget process by Shauna MacKinnon Director of Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Manitoba office. Jennifer deGroot of UNPAC presented an overview of gender budget work around the world. UNPAC then led facilitated small group discussion groups out of which many great ideas were generated.
At this workshop the necessity of incorporating more women in the political decision-making process was a major theme: vote, be informed and question your MLA. Women’s large involvement in unpaid labour lessens their ability to participate in politics and economics. Women discussed the importance of demystifying Gender Budget Analysis so it does not seem so radical or intimidating. A suggestion was made to link Gender Budget Analysis approaches to Best Practices models within government. Get women who are bureaucrats to begin demanding Gender Budget Analysis. Enlist and offer to further support men in the bureaucratic and political arenas to support Gender Budget Analysis. Demand Treasury Board to use Gender Budget Analysis principles. Full list of Suggested Ideas.
Our first official workshop! Good energy despite the small group. It was a beautiful sunny summer day, therefore we were grateful that women came to learn and share their experiences.
We talked about the idea of the word “budget” and all the negative connotations it brings up: anxiety, fear, constraint, there is never enough money to go around, helplessness, resources are there —who is taking responsibility?
Women named many issues that were priorities in their communities along with suggestions that addressed these problems. One area of concern that was quite prominent was the lack of affordable, safe and decent housing for women. Many solutions and ideas were suggested: Increase public housing stock, conscious effort in development of community, create stability for neighbourhood residents, training for property managers — effective communication and knowledge of renters’ rights, rewrite legislation for rooming houses, reduce gentrification and urban sprawl, and increase co-op housing. Full list of Suggested Ideas.
The women at this workshop were passionate and came up with many ideas and suggestions to increase women’s equality regarding policies and decision-making processes.
We discussed difficult personal budget decisions that women had to make: whether or not to pay Autopac, taking early retirement and living off current funds, going to school instead of working 9-5, being the main earner in the family. These issues reflected the diverse and difficult economic concerns of women.
A key concern for women was Child Care. Suggested ideas to increase the quality and services of Child Care: every child should be entitled to high quality of childcare regardless of their situation, Child Care workers should be provided with appropriate education, and the wage should be increased. Full list of Suggested Ideas.
We had a fantastic and inspirational afternoon at Wolseley Family Place. We facilitated an hour and a half discussion group that could have gone longer as much discussion and ideas were being generated.
First we talked about personal budgets naming some of women’s thoughts and feelings: paying bills, making ends meet, never ending, always something to pay off, trapped, feel low, don’t belong in high society because you have to budget, feeling insecure, Social Assistance budgeted out already, someone else decides what your budget is, powerless, guilty, judged, every penny counted for.
A key concern for the women was the lack of preventative and empowering programs that are available to low income women and especially girls. Women talked about the need to educate teenage girls in the high-risk life path of becoming a young single mother. The suggestion was made to provide options and give incentives for girls to not become mothers. The perception is that that Social Assistance gives the idea that “the only way out is to have a kid.” Women were adamant about the necessity for self-esteem classes for girls and young women. Full list of Suggested Ideas.