Advocacy, particularly efforts to improve the lives of women and girls, has been integral to CFUW’s mission since 1919. All members of CFUW North Toronto are welcome to join our Advocacy Committee, an active, dedicated group working for social change in our community and beyond.
In recent years, our advocacy focus has included violence against women; early learning and childcare; education; long term care and home care; poverty; affordable housing and homelessness; pay equity; issues facing Indigenous women and girls; and climate crisis.
Members of the Committee learn about specific issues through research, speakers, and contact with local community advocacy groups and social service agencies. We pass on information to our club members, asking for their support, and encouraging them to also take personal action. We do this through our Newsletter, special e-blasts, reports at executive and general meetings, and special speaker events. We invite members of other clubs to hear our advocacy speakers.
We contact elected politicians at all levels of government, as well as candidates. We send letters, emails, postcards, have in-person meetings, and attend all-candidates meetings, and zoom meetings.
We participate in actions of local and national advocacy organizations by attending rallies, signing petitions and endorsing online campaigns. Groups include: Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); Ontario Coalition Against Poverty; Canadian Labour Congress; Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network; Equal Pay Coalition; Toronto Drop In Network; and Shelter Housing Justice Network.
Some actions involve collaboration with other women’s groups or CFUW clubs.
- Older Women’s Network (OWN) – “Living in Place” accessible housing campaign
- Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN) – we organized events for the United Nations Orange campaign for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: rallies at Nathan Phillips Square and a joint speakers forum for both CFUW clubs and the public
- We endorse and attend the annual Strawberry Ceremony to show solidarity in honouring the lives of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls and seek justice.
- Our club’s Current Issues group contributes to advocacy education by arranging speakers and site visits to community agencies such as Street Health; Jessie’s Centre; Covenant House; Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic; Toronto Native Women’s Resource Centre; Sistering; and Romero House.