“I had no idea that anyone was interested in
what women have to say.”
— Workshop Participant
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.
« Read the following article on this workshop,
that appeared in West Central Streets, March/April 2006 by Mary Ann Drazenovich.
1. What are key concerns for women in your community?
- Government accountability
- Who makes the decisions, why?
- Where does it go?
- Who to thank for good decisions
- WHY the decisions?
- Justice System
- Gangs/social causes
- Domestic violence
- Enforcing orders
- Social values
- Undermines value of human life
- Pedophiles – no justice, rehabilitation?
- What about the women and children?
- Where are the resources for sexual abuse survivors?
- Information – who is going to let you know?
- Alternative justice; circles, restorative
- Family structure
- Lack of positive role models; i.e., how to teach a boy to be a good man
- Child development
- Lacking in certain areas due to poverty
- Balance holistically
- Not enough focus on prevention
- Child suicide
- Age? Community – no hope? Why?
- Lack of love/respect for each other
- People as commodity
- So much emphasis on money = brake down of families
- Unfair/ deducted/penalized for CPP and welfare
- Food security (healthy food)
- Softwood lumber – USA superpower
Note: Given that we have heard housing expressed as the number one concern in each of are other workshops, following the workshop we asked one of the participants why it had not been expressed here. The participant responded, “Housing is such a big issue, it’s a given.”
2. a) What Government programs and services have really helped to meet women’s needs and concerns? How could they be expanded upon or made better?
- Allocate secure funding for women’s centres/family resource centres for long periods, rather than 1-2 years
- More funding and support for current family resources; i.e., West End Centre, Selkirk Avenue family drop-in
- Teen help: resources for sexual education resource centres to grow
- More traditional teaching and sharing centres
- West Central Women’s Resource Centre need a bigger space –could reach more people: empowerment program, community cupboard, clothing exchange, volunteer program
- Neighbourhoods Alive: mental health support worker program
- Winnipeg Foundation, status of women funding
- Women’s Enterprise Centre
- Adult Education: high school diploma
- EIA: uses Opportunities for Employment
- Expe work – related to Inter???
- Computer 6 weeks, work PT. cafeteria, 9 months
- Urgent Care Centres – long waiting lines
- Women’s Shelters
- Canadian Mental Health
- Spence Neighbourhood Association: youth, families and newcomers
2. b) What other ideas do you have for programs and services that could meet women’s needs?
- More exposure and awareness of community workshops
- Bringing all women together to share and group, support each other
- Hear women’s voices and consider information shared
- Places for women to meet, open 24 hours
- Support community radio
- Support to change stereotypes of women’s services and organizations
- Women's pension program: poverty – rates need to keep up with cost of living increases
- Ensure CPP is available in future for all who are contributing
- More programs that focus on the domestic violence and abusive situation that women deal with
- Safe houses
- Social gatherings for women and parents through resource centres, churches, schools, community centres
- Government support/women’s centre
- Employment services information: HRDC
- More time for women to attend activities outside of the centre (WCWRC)
- Peer support respite home for the women
- Resource circles-share information on where to access programs and services, health, employment, safety, housing, family
3. Women often do not have enough money to do the things they need to do and they often do not have enough time to do the things they need to do either. Where are you crunched for time? What could the government do to give you more time to do the things you need to do?
- More money to go to school, provide resources like grants (not loans)
- More rights for grandchildren/grandparenting; i.e., grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren like a working grandma who needs to take care of grandkids
- Legal custody of grandkids if parents die/have grandparents’ rights in custody, CFS, employment, etc.
- More respite childcare with government support and funding
- More drop-in childcare resources
- More access to childcare for families with special needs
- Need to be better “informed” about programs/projects for immigrants
- More community resourcescentres/women’s centres – open on weekends and evenings
- Funding for these centres
- Raise wages for women: “I have to work 5 days/week plus be a student”
- Raise EIA rates according to cost of living
- Raise housing/rent allowance: “I have to pay $58 extra to cover rent”
- If we had more money, we could do it
- Give moms time for themselves
- Reduce taxes on basic necessity items i.e., diapers, formula, other stuff for kids
- “If they’re so worried about where we spend our money, why not give vouchers for necessities?”
- Add 10 hours to the day
- Free childcare — universal
- Free education — universal
- Free prescription drugs
- We are crunched for time between 9-4
- Balancing school, work, family, etc.
- Have more lee-way for working mothers
- More flexible school
- Offer childcare during school hours
- Have kindergarten
- No lunch fees for schools
- Other healthy snack programs in schools at no cost
- Daycare at schools, flexibility
- Need more people helping people; i.e., older students helping younger
- Government should focus on community building; i.e., community events, meet your neighbour day
- Government should focus on more “family friendly” activities and cost-effective programmes
- Make forms less complicated and easier to access
- Acknowledgement of women’s responsibilities; i.e., mother, doctor, teacher, all “female” responsibilities
4. What ideas do you have on how the Government could earn more money? Use the creativity you have learned from your experience as a woman living with a tight budget.
- Stop the tax cuts: corporate, property, etc.
- Evaluate current spending; i.e., government employees
- Reduction review of current staff/utilize staff effectively
- Increase in certain sin taxes; i.e., alcohol, tobacco
- Business tax needs to be re-evaluated, focus on large businesses
- Federal government needs to evaluate trade agreements
- How it also affects producers within the province (private)
- Criminal cases: revenue, where does the cash and possessions go?
- Stop being “litigious”: when everything has to be handled by a lawyer
- Heavy fines on drug dealers/pushers: from their drug money
- More accountability for drug money from “busts”/drug seizure
- To fund programs for rehabilitation, etc
- More tax on junk food
- Stop wasting money on justice systems that don’t deter crime, and are called “club fed” vacations
- Stop employing public works employees to stand around: instead implement inmate ‘chain-gang’ type worker crews for free (debt to society)
- Increase fines; i.e., parking
- Greater enforcement of fines
- People waste water: pay for water, use less
- Make people pay for garbage
- Criminalize waste of natural resources
- Place more value on Nature/the Earth
- Operating fees for companies that pollute/make money off of polluters