YWCA Toronto advocates on important issues affecting the lives of women and girls, with a current focus on women’s access to safe, affordable housing. Browse this page to learn more about all of our advocacy priorities and campaigns.

Declare Intimate Partner Violence & Gender-Based Violence an Epidemic

As part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, our Home Free from Violence petition urges the Ontario government to declare intimate partner violence and gender-based violence an epidemic. More than 70 municipalities across Ontario have already taken this important step, it is time for the Ontario government to do the same. Join the over 1,300 Ontarians who have already sent letters urging the province to name this violence what it is: an epidemic.

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Show Up for a Better Toronto! #ShowUpTO

On June 26th, 2023, Torontonians will elect the next mayor of Toronto. We need a mayor who will prioritize gender and racial equity and invest in poverty and violence reduction. Our joint campaign #ShowUpTO, urges all candidates to show up for a better Toronto. This looks like investing in housing and shelter, transit and internet, decent work, community safety and community wellness. Join YWCA Toronto and more than 45 community organizations in pledging to show up for a better Toronto this election! 

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Vote for an Equitable Toronto #VoteEquityTO

Toronto’s municipal election is on Monday, October 24, 2022. We need greater municipal investment to address the systemic inequities growing in Toronto along racial, gender and neighborhood lines. Join YWCA Toronto and more than 35 other organizations in calling on city council and mayoral candidates to end gendered poverty and violence in our city.

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Choose Gender Equity

Women, girls and gender diverse people are disproportionately impacted by poverty, violence and systemic oppression. The COVID-19 pandemic has widened many of these existing inequities. It is time to choose gender equity! Join YWCA Ontario in urging all candidates in the provincial election to commit to a five-point feminist plan!

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We Need a Plan to End Ontario’s She-cession

The COVID-19 pandemic brought on the first ever global she-cession, which saw women’s workforce participation in Canada drop to the lowest levels in 30 years. While the economy is rebounding, women continue to be disproportionately impacted, working for low pay on the frontlines or not at all.

Ontario needs a plan to end the she-cession – and we need it now! Make sure to raise your voice and urge the Province to prioritize a robust she-covery plan. 

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Federal Election Campaign 2021  Your Voice Matters! 

Canada’s 44th general election will take place on September 20th, 2021. There is a great deal at stake: Economic recovery from the pandemic. Universal child care. The ever-rising cost of living. Reconciliation.

The time for action is now. YWCA Toronto is urging all federal political parties to prioritize gender equity in this election. Sign our petition and make a plan to vote on Election Day!

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The Shadow Pandemic – Gender-Based Violence

Every single night, roughly 3,000 women — alongside their 2,900 dependent children — seek out emergency shelter to escape intimate partner violence. Every six days, a woman is murdered by her intimate partner in Canada.

COVID-19 has only made this violence worse. The added stressors of the pandemic — lockdown, unemployment, uncertainty — have combined with sexism and financial inequality to create a Shadow Pandemic of violence against women.

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Federal Election Campaign – #YSpeakUp

Canada's federal election is scheduled on Monday, October 21, 2019. Our campaign, #YSpeakUp, calls on federal party leaders and Members of Parliament to prioritize gender equity. In specific, we are calling for a National Action Plan against gender based violence and for 50% of the Canada Housing Benefit to go directly to women, providing immediate financial relief to women in need of housing. Why do you speak up for women's and trans rights? Sign our petition today!

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YWCA on the Hill – #YWCADayOnTheHill

YWCA leaders from across Canada joined in Ottawa for our second annual YWCA Day on the Hill! This year, our ask was focused on demanding core funding to scale up YWCA services and programming that address women's economic security. Over 75 delegates from 18 teams met with over 60 Members of Parliament and Senators, as well as ministerial staff. We used our collective voice to proclaim proudly, "when women and girls win, everyone benefits!"

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Toronto Election Campaign – #WomenVoteTO

Toronto’s municipal election is scheduled on Monday, October 22, 2018. Our campaign, #WomenVoteTO, calls on city council and mayoral candidates to end poverty in our city once and for all. Together, let us advocate for full funding of Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. This means greater investment in affordable housing, shelters, child care, transit and good jobs. Sign our petition and vote on Election Day!

Ontario Election Strategy 

Ontario’s general election is scheduled for June 7, 2018. Women Vote for Action – a new campaign by a coalition on Ontario YWCA Member Associations – calls on Party Leaders to put issues of gender equity front and centre. Together, let’s advocate for investment in affordable child care, girls’ programming and safe, affordable housing. Act now, sign our petition and vote on Election Day! #WomenVoteON

YWCA on the Hill

Advocacy works! YWCA leaders from coast-to-coast-to-coast successfully lobbied the federal government for a gender-lens on the National Housing Strategy, and for 25% of funds to flow directly to projects and services for women, girls and their families. We used our voices – and the government heard our ‘ask’. Next, we have to hold them accountable for their promises.

#ActOnHousing Campaign 

YWCA Toronto’s #ActOnHousing campaign calls for a national housing strategy that uses a gender lens. We want to ensure that the federal government addresses the unique challenges that women face, especially Indigenous women, women of diverse backgrounds, and women who have experienced violence. Every woman has the right to a safe, secure place to call home.

#ConsentOnCampus Campaign

Just before Frosh week launched, YWCA Toronto hosted our first-ever Twitter Chat focused on ending sexual violence and creating a consent culture on university and college campuses. We partnered with the White Ribbon Campaign and the Canadian Federation of Students (Ontario). It was a great on-line discussion that engaged students, student organizations and other stakeholders.

#WomenVoteForAction — Federal Election Campaign

In 2015, YWCA Toronto launched our first on-line federal election advocacy campaign, #WomenVoteForAction. We highlighted issues that are core to our mission – violence against women, safe affordable housing, child care, and income inequality.