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Feds invest $1.7 million in southwestern Ontario women's agencies

At a time when provincial cuts are making daily news, the federal government was in Strathroy Thursday to announce funding for women's organizations and Indigenous agencies that serve women.

The Women's Rural Resource Centre says the money is much-needed for education and prevention

The Women's Rural Resource Centre in Strathroy is receiving $219,000 over four years from the federal government. (Submitted by Cara Campbell)

At a time when provincial cuts are making daily news, the federal government was in Strathroy Thursday to announce funding for women's organizations and Indigenous agencies that serve women. 

"By investing in the organizations that support women and girls, we also invest in Canada's future," said Peter Fragiskatos, MP for London North Centre. 

Nine agencies will share $1.7 million:

  • Canadian Federation of University Women London-Club
  • Hiatus House in Windsor
  • Huron Women's Shelter, Second Stage Housing and Counselling Services
  • Perth County Transition Home for Women (Optimism Place Women's Shelter and Support Services)
  • Réseau-Femmes du Sud-Ouest de l'Ontario in Windsor
  • Single Women in Motherhood Training (S.W.I.M.) in London
  • The Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women                                                                             
  • Women's Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor 
  • Women's Rural Resource Centre in Strathroy (WRRC)

Impact for rural women

The Strathroy-based WRRC will receive $219,000 over the next four years—money that Corey Allison, executive director at WRRC, said will largely fund the prevention and education side of the organization.

Although the WRRC's mission is to end violence against women, Allison said that, by necessity, most of their funding tends to go toward responding to the aftermath of violence.

"[This is] really critical and important work supporting women who've been impacted by violence, however it's not meeting the need of ending violence in the future," Allison said. 

"It's really important that the whole entire broad community understands women's gender equity," she said. "And now we have funds, for the first time in our history, to seriously invest in public education and engaging the public in this work with us."

Some priorities for the centre include training for staff, developing a volunteer and fundraising strategy and creating an educational curriculum around women's leadership, Allison said.

From left: Corey Allison, executive director, Peter Fragiskatos MP, Kate Young MP, board member Sekou Kromah and board chair Jane McGregor. (Submitted by Devin Munro)

The funding was part of the 2018 budget, which included $100 million over five years to support a viable and sustainable movement across Canada, Young said.

"Women's organizations and indigenous organizations serving women make real, tangible differences within our communities," said London West MP Kate Young.

"We intend to demonstrate our continual commitment to supporting the effective resources and solutions that pave the way toward gender equity," she said. 

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