Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Friday, June 1, 2018

Hi everyone, join us on June 18th from 6-7:30 for our AGM!


Monday, April 23, 2018


NEWS RELEASE

WHITEHORSE—The Yukon Status of Women Council is pleased to be hosting their second interactive film screening which will help raise awareness and support of women's equality, as well as funds to continue the Council’s important work.

This year's film is the 1996 Blockbuster hit starring Helen Hunt, Twister, which follows a scientist and her team as they chase a powerful tornado in an attempt to gather data with ground-breaking technology.

The event is a follow up to the successful one hosted last year and is designed to be an interactive experience with a feminist view. Attendees are invited to cheer, laugh and even boo as they see the good and the bad in the film.

“We are so looking forward to this interactive film event which is first and foremost an opportunity for the community to come together, have fun and celebrate women,” Charlotte Hrenchuk, Yukon Status of Women Council coordinator said. “We also want to use the event as another opportunity to share some of the important work carried out by the Yukon Status of Women Council and to raise much needed funds.”

The film will be shown at the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre in Whitehorse on Thursday, May 10. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the film will start at 7 p.m.

A silent auction will also be held which will include a range of items from local businesses.
Movie snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase.

Those interested are encouraged to RSVP to the Facebook event from the Yukon Status of Women page. Admission to the film is $12 online/$15 at the door. Visit the Facebook page for the most up-to-date information on the event. This is a licensed event, so everyone aged 19+ is welcome.

The Yukon Status of Women Council was founded in 1973 and works tirelessly to achieve women's equality through research, education and public policy work. Recent projects have included the Court Watch Yukon program which was aimed at improving the experience of women victims of sexualized and spousal violence in the legal system; as well as a research project Not Your Fantasy: Sex Trade and Trafficking of women and girls in Yukon.
All proceeds from the event will go directly towards supporting the Council in advancing a world of equal opportunity and access, respect and safety, and where all women have the opportunity to explore their own potential.

Contact:
Reem Girgrah
Yukon Status of Women Council
867-667-4637 | yukoncourtwatch@gmail.com  

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Court Watch Yukon Volunteer Training Videos




CWY Volunteer Training Video 1: Introduction to Court Watch Yukon Volunteering


This video provides an overview of why the Court Watch Yukon project exists, statistics in the Yukon, special focus on Indigenous, Immigrant, Refugee, and Racialized women, and the role of Court Watch Yukon volunteers


CWY Volunteer Training Video 2: Who’s Who


This video briefly outlines the roles and responsibilities of crown counsel, defence counsel, Judges, Justice of the Peace, sheriff, RCMP, court clerks, Aboriginal court workers, Crown Witness Coordinators, Victim Services.


CWY Volunteer Training Video 3: Navigating the legal system


This video provides an overview of the process from arrest to bail hearing, the Trial process, including publication bans, testimonial aids, and Rape Shield legislation, the sentencing process, including a brief description of section 718.2e which relates to the use of Gladue Reports


CWY Volunteer Training Video 4: Victim’s Rights


This video provides a brief overview of the Yukon Victims Bill and victims’ rights according the to the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (Rights to Protection, Information, Participation, and Restitution).


CWY Volunteer Training Video 5: Mutualizing and Minimizing Language


This video gives a brief overview of mutualizing and minimizing language, research conducted in relation to the correlation between mutualizing and minimizing language and lighter sentencing, and Examples of mutualizing and minimizing language observed by Court Watch Yukon.


CWY Volunteer Training Video 6: Gladue Reports


This video provides an overview of the story of Jamie Gladue, the over-representation of Indigenous people who are incarcerated in Canada, the section of the criminal code that relates to Gladue Reports.


CWY Volunteer Training Video 7: The Domestic Violence Treatment Option Court


This video gives an overview of the establishment of a DVTO court in Yukon and the court process.


CWY Volunteer Training Video 8: Legal Terms


This video provides an overview of some commonly heard legal terms while volunteers observe in court.


 The videos were made possible by funding from the Community Development Fund and were produced by Jessica Hall Productions. 

Friday, June 30, 2017



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 19, 2017
Yukon Status of Women Council
503 Hanson St
Whitehorse, YT
Y1A 1Y9

Court Watch Yukon program releases training videos

Court Watch Yukon, a project of the Yukon Status of Women Council, is releasing a set of training videos for volunteers interested in joining the program. These videos are publicly available on the Yukon Status of Women Council’s website.
The videos provide an overview of the Court Watch Yukon project, which observes court cases that involve violence against women, spousal violence, or sexualized assault and takes note of gender inequality in court. The training videos explain key players in the courtroom and how the legal system works. By watching these videos, volunteers will learn about victim’s rights, Gladue reports, minimizing and mutualizing language, the domestic violence treatment option, and commonly heard legal terms.
Volunteers for the Court Watch Yukon project take note of the court atmosphere, treatment of the victim, and language used to describe the violence. Court Watch Yukon volunteer training videos were generously funded by the Community Development Fund, and were directed and edited by Jessica Hall.
Court Watch Yukon started observing court proceedings in April 2014 in Whitehorse, Dawson City, and Watson Lake. Court Watch Yukon issued a report called  In Her Best Interest in January 2016, which contains findings and recommendations for observations made in Whitehorse courts. Court Watch Yukon is expanding its observations to Teslin, Haines Junction, Carmacks, and Carcross this year.
The Yukon Status of Women Council is a not-for-profit organization that strives to achieve women’s equality through research, advocacy, education, and public policy work. Yukon Status of Women Council has been actively working on equality issues including poverty, homelessness, mental health, violence against women, reproductive health, and improving the justice system since 1973.



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Have your say in the government consultations! This is a great opportunity for the public to share ideas and respond to questions that will inform the development of the national strategy


Thank you for signing on to the Dignity for All campaign! 

We know your organization is committed to ending poverty in Canada. Right now, there's an important opportunity for you to bring this goal one step closer to reality.

As a member of the Dignity for All community, we are asking your organization to join others calling for a strong anti-poverty plan that respects the rights and dignity of all people.

Here are three ways your organization can take action:
  1. Take a few minutes to sign our online form.
  2. Encourage each member of your Board and staff to sign-on.
  3. Send this form out to your organization’s membership, encouraging them to take action.
The public consultation process for the Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy (CPRS) will be open until June 30. Right now, we have an opportunity to ensure that the CPRS is strong, ensures accountability, and works to end the shocking rates of poverty in Canada. The Dignity for All campaign has long been calling for the government to develop a national plan, and now it’s happening! We need to continue insisting on a strategy that will make a difference.

Take action and sign on nowIt's your chance to be heard.

Thank you for being part of the movement to end poverty in Canada.    
           
Joe Gunn
Executive Director
Citizens for Public Justice
Leilani Farha
Executive Director
Canada Without Poverty  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A League of Their Own: An Interactive Film Screening



Join us for a fun, interactive screening of 'A League of Their Own' ! 


'THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL' but there WILL BE wine, jeers, cheers, and Winterlong beers as we watch this classic film through a feminist lens. We'll have drinks and food for sale, silent auction and prizes as we enjoy this woman-powered baseball film starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Lori Petty, Rosie O'Donnel, and Madonna. 

(Everyone Welcome!) (Ages 19+) (Cash Only Event)

TICKETS:
***Early-bird online tickets $12***
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/a-league-of-their-own-interactive-film-sceening-tickets-33866129505 
-or-
***$15 cash at the door***

This event is a fundraiser for the Yukon Status of Women Council. 
All proceeds from this event go towards supporting the Status' important work on reducing poverty and homelessness, advancing health and women's equality, as well as improving the justice system for victims of sexualized violence and spousal abuse in the Yukon. 

We are pleased to be partnering with ExCo2 Executive Coaching on this event and want to also 
thank our amazing and generous sponsors/donors so far:

  • Alkan Air
  • O'Riordan and Champs Tree Services
  • N60 Combative Arts
  • Blue Bin Recycling
  • The Gravy Train
  • Manitobah Mukluks
  • Winterlong
  • The Collective Good
  • Aroma Borealis
  • Arctic Star Printing Inc.
  • Wykes Your Independent Grocer
  • Well Read Books


If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, contact yswc@klondiker.com. More details: 
https://www.facebook.com/events/282306468877651/

Monday, November 7, 2016

Yukon Party response to YSWC questions

Thank you for sending us your questionnaire on women’s issues. The issues you have
outlined are of great importance to the Yukon Party and to all our candidates, and we
have addressed them in a number of ways in our campaign platform, which you may
find in full at www.yukonparty.ca.

We are proud of the work that Yukon Party governments have already undertaken
through the years to address these important issues but we acknowledge there is
more work to be done.

Below, we have provided highlights of what a re-elected Yukon Party government has
committed to do.

Question on child care:

Access to childcare is essential to ensure women can return to the workforce and
develop their careers after they have children. The most recent statistics show that
there are only spaces for 29.6% of the children aged 0-12 years available in Yukon,
and that monthly median daycare rates for infants is $739 and $649 for preschoolers,
per child. Even when families qualify for daycare subsidies, the largest available
subsidy falls short of these costs. What will your government do to increase
availability of quality, affordable childcare that works for Yukon families?

Answer:

Yukon families, women and children are top of mind for the Yukon Party. They are the
future of our territory and of our country. Our plan is to make it easier for Yukoners to
care for their children, build their careers and have happy, healthy lives.
The previous Yukon Party government enhanced the Child Care Subsidy Program to
reduce childcare costs for families, in recognition of the struggles that some families
face.

A re-elected Yukon Party government will:

● Implement a base-funding pilot project to help provide stability in staffing and
programming for children in Ross River, Watson Lake and Dawson City.

● Double the amount available to childcare facilities through the direct operating
grant, to $5 million per year, to incentivize increased childcare spaces.

● Review the childcare subsidy program every 5 years to ensure it is keeping pace
with current demand.

In addition, we have committed to implement permanent funding to purchase school
supplies for every Yukon student, building on the new initiative begun this fiscal year.
This will take financial pressure off families who have school-age children and are also
paying for child care. The Yukon Party has decreased taxes 15 times since forming
government. We are committed to keeping taxes low, and will not support new taxes.
We believe this is the best way to keep life affordable for Yukon families.

Question on violence against women:

Yukon continues to have violence against women rates that are three times the
national average. This is a crisis that needs to be addressed. How will your
government take a leadership role in addressing this pervasive issue in a
comprehensive way and what resources will you commit?

Answer:

The Yukon Party wants to ensure our communities are as safe as they can be for all
citizens, and we are deeply concerned about high rates of violence against women.
Our approach is to work collaboratively with citizens and partner organizations to find
a range of ways to address the root causes of crime and more effectively ensure our
communities and our families stay safe.

Yukon Party governments in the past have taken a number of actions, including
creating an advisory committee to guide a comprehensive integrated violence
prevention initiative aimed at addressing violence against women and girls, providing
$4.5 million as well as expertise, land and operational funding to Betty’s Haven,
providing funding for A Safe Place at Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre and
establishing the RCMP Specialized Response Unit for a more effective response to
domestic violence and sexualized assault. We also opened the Yukon Sexual Health
Clinic, offering sexual and reproductive health services.

The Yukon Party also implemented Project Lynx, a child advocacy initiative in Yukon
for child and youth victims and/or witnesses of crime. This service is aligned with
current national best practices for child advocacy centres. We established a new
RCMP 911 Call Centre, and expanded basic 911 service to all Yukon communities.

We have taken a number of significant steps to prevent violence against Aboriginal
women and girls, including:

● Investing $450,000 in Aboriginal women’s groups to address Yukon Aboriginal
Women’s Summit recommendations.

● Providing $222,000 to Yukon Sisters in Spirit and $1.7 million to the Prevention
of Violence Against Aboriginal Women Fund since 2004.

● Working toward the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission’s Call to Action.

● Establishing the Community Safety Committee with the Council for Yukon First
Nations, Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Association of Yukon Communities, Yukon
Women’s Coalition and RCMP to enhance services for children and youth, to
work to reduce violence against women, and to coordinate efforts supporting
vulnerable populations.

● Providing Kwanlin Dün First Nation $1.4 million for the Community Safety
Liaison Officer pilot project.
A re-elected Yukon Party government will:

● Continue to support Yukon families and Aboriginal women’s organizations
participating in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous
Women and Girls.

● Fund and fully participate in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered
Indigenous Women and Girls, while ensuring that Yukon initiatives are guided by
the leadership of Aboriginal women and the families that have been affected.

● Working collaboratively with Yukon First Nations, provide up to $3.5 million to
implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

● Support Yukon First Nations as they identify, design and develop culturally
relevant initiatives for collective action.

● Work with the RCMP to fund and improve community policing initiatives.

● Building on the successful pilot with the Kwanlin Dün First Nation, provide longterm,
stable funding to the Safety Liaison Officer initiative.

● Create a Missing Persons Act in consultation with women’s groups, First Nations,
the RCMP and the legal community to allow police to better respond to missing
persons cases.

● In consultation with women’s groups, increase core funding for women’s
shelters in Yukon.

● Work closely with the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre to extend funding for
the Safe Places program for five years.

We all want Yukon to be the best place to live, work, play and raise a family – and
part of that is ensuring our communities are as safe as they can be. The Yukon Party is
committed to an integrated approach that combines resources for fighting crime with
support for victims. We believe the best solutions in addressing violence against
women and children come from communities and front line workers. Our job is to help
activate those solutions. We are proud of the work that has been done to date by the
Yukon Party government and commit to continue our work collaboratively with
citizens and partner organizations.

Question on sexual assault centres:

Yukon does not have a designated sexual assault centre, while every other province
does. Given our high rate of sexual assault, one in every four women in the Yukon, the
community has been calling for the creation of a sexual assault crisis centre. Is this a
priority for you, and how and when do you plan to address this?

Answer:

While a designated sexual assault centre is not in our immediate plan, we are taking
several steps to ensure women have a safe place to go, and can access the health
care and justice they need in a crisis situation.

In addition to the commitments already mentioned above, a re-elected Yukon Party
government will:

● Work with the Yukon Support and Distress Line to explore ways to expand
services until 3am or later.

● Modernize the Emergency Department at the Whitehorse General Hospital with
almost $40 million over the next two years to ensure that our doctors and
nurses can provide the very best care to those who need it in a modern, stateof-
the-art emergency care facility.

● Increase operating funds for the new Sarah Steele Facility by $3.5 million per
year to ensure it can provide Yukoners with the alcohol and drug addiction
programs and services they need. This funding will support: 300 additional
detox admissions per year; increased in-patient capacity, from 90 clients per
year to more than 250; 50 beds, or double capacity, so that Yukoners as young
as 13 can access support.

● Continue to provide financial support to the Jackson Lake Healing Centre and
investigate opportunities to work with other First Nation communities to
provide similar healing and aftercare programs.

● Invest $5 million to support ongoing implementation of the Mental Wellness
Strategy, specifically targeting capacity-building initiatives, support in
communities and partnerships with First Nations.

Question on core funding:

Yukon women's groups have been operating much-needed programming on temporary
or project-based funding for decades. Staff of these programs must spend time that
could have been spent delivering programming writing reports or funding applications,
and cannot count on stability of employment. If your government is elected, will you
commit to sufficient core funding for NGOs who deliver these programs, and will you
commit to increasing that funding in pace with inflation, so that the staff may earn a
living wage, have job security, and provide consistency to their vulnerable clients?

Answer:

A re-elected Yukon Party government will:

● Increase core operating funds from $50,000 per year to $100,000 per year for
the Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society, the Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council
and the Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle an investment of $1.5 million
over five years).

● In consultation with women’s groups, increase core funding for women’s
shelters in Yukon.

● Work closely with Victoria Faulkner to extend funding for the Safe Places
program for five years.

Question on low-income housing:

"Affordable housing" has been classed as anything that is below or at the median rent
in Whitehorse. With our current lack of affordable housing, median rent is $900 per
month. This is not "affordable" for the most vulnerable in our population, many of
whom are women and children. 73% of lone parent mothers living below the low
income cutoff. Women are forced to endure abusive relationships or leave with no
assurance of a stable roof over their children's heads. Those in the rural communities
outside of Whitehorse have even fewer choices. What will your government do to
ensure that these most vulnerable among us have safe, secure housing that they can
count on?

Answer:

As a society we have an obligation to ensure that we care for our most vulnerable
members. The Yukon Party has made significant investments across the territory in
new housing units for low-income and high-risk groups, has increased the availability
of temporary shelter space and transitional housing and has worked to increase the
availability of land in Whitehorse, and the communities, for development.
Over the past five years, the Yukon Party government has invested millions of dollars
to make affordable housing more available for Yukoners.

While the number of initiatives we have funded are too numerous to list here, some of the major projects include:

● In 2012, committed five more years of funding to the Whitehorse Affordable
Family Housing project in Riverdale.

● Opened Betty's Haven 10-unit second-stage women’s transitional housing facility.

● In 2014 provided $1.5 million for new housing units in Carmacks and Carcross.

● Allocated $3 million to new Salvation Army housing project

● New 34-unit seniors’ residence opened on Alexander Street in 2014.

● Awarded contract to construct $11.5 million, 48-unit accessible seniors’ housing
complex in Whitehorse.

● In 2015 awarded funding for five new housing initiatives worth $6 million that will
improve quality and accessibility of rental housing.

A re-elected Yukon Party government will:

● Increase private sector participation in the rental market through rent
supplement agreements.

● Provide funding to the Klondike Development Organization to expand
affordable housing options in Dawson City.

● Explore opportunities to partner with First Nations and the private sector on
housing initiatives similar to the Da Daghay Development Corporation initiative.

● Make the necessary legislative and regulatory changes to better enable
construction of tiny homes in communities.

● Support efforts to increase the diversity of lending options available to
homeowners in the Yukon.

Sincerely,
Currie Dixon
Yukon Party Campaign Chair

Friday, November 4, 2016

Liberal Party response to YSWC questions

Thank you for your letter regarding the Yukon Liberals’ platform on issues important to Yukoners.  I apologize for the lateness of our response – as you can imagine, it has been incredibly busy with requests from many stakeholders. It is very encouraging to see so many Yukoners and organizations engaged in getting the various Parties’ platform positions on issues that are important to them.
In our platform, “Be Heard”, we understand that child care, development and education from birth to age eight must be co-ordinated to maximize the benefits to our children.

A Yukon Liberal Government will:
·         research, develop and implement a Yukon Early Childhood Strategy (childcare, development and education), in consultation with early childhood education and health care professionals, parents and First Nation governments, in order to improve developmental and educational outcomes, and
·         create structures that close the gap in responsibility between the Departments of Health and Social Services and Education.
The strategy will be comprehensive and will include funding and availability of child care.
The issue of violence against women and girls is a top priority for the Yukon Liberals and our candidates; especially those who work or have worked in the justice system, like Jeanie Dendys.
A Yukon Liberal Government will:
  • participate fully with Canada’s Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls;
  • restructure the Prevention of Violence Against Aboriginal Women Fund to make funding more readily available to communities;
  • work with RCMP, First Nations, the Yukon Police Council and communities to identify ongoing policing priorities and the funding required to implement them;
  • expand crime prevention through an environmental design approach to all interested rural and remote communities;
  • develop alternative correctional therapeutic environments for individuals with disabilities, mental health or addictions problems, and
  • develop programs to assist victims of violent crime and sexual assault in Yukon.
The request for a sexual assault centre will be reviewed as part of the development of programs to assist victims of sexual assault. We plan to consult with stakeholders on these programs, will definitely include the sexual assault centre as part of that review and look forward to working more with your organization on finding the best solutions.
Affordable and accessible housing remains an issue in the Territory and the Yukon Liberals will take crucial steps to address housing security, housing for vulnerable Yukoners, initial purchase requirements and the ongoing costs associated with home ownership through enhanced low income housing options across the Territory.
A Yukon Liberal government will:
·         implement a community-based housing retrofit program to upgrade existing housing stock;
·         modernize the Government’s approach to the provision of social housing and collaborate with the private sector to develop strategies for program delivery which support community economic growth;
·         work with communities to create available developed land banks to keep land prices affordable;
·         prioritize federal funding towards the creation of affordable housing;
  • work with municipalities and First Nations governments to implement the Housing Action Plan, and
·         adopt a Housing First Strategy for vulnerable populations such as those affected by poverty, addictions or mental health problems.

You asked about core funding for NGOs providing much-needed services. The Yukon Liberals have no plans to discontinue any existing programs or funds.
Thank you again for your interest in our platform and especially for the work you do for Yukoners.
Sincerely,

Sandy Silver                                                                                       
Leader