About Us

Economic security for every woman.

That’s our vision. That’s our goal.

Economic Security: What Does it Mean?

When we use the term “economic security,” we’re talking about the safety and security of people.

Economic security means having full access to the opportunities and resources that society should provide to everyone. It’s about empowerment and stability. When a woman has a stable income and is able to support a good standard of living into the future, she is economically secure and better able to provide for her family.

What We Do

We want to live in a world where all women are empowered and free to pursue life according to their plans and dreams. It’s what we work towards every day at WEC.

Our projects are all focused on our goal of economic security for every woman. And, since we began in 2002, we have made major strides towards achieving it. Still, there is much left to do.

Mission Statement

“To advance women’s community economic development to improve the lives of women, their families and communities.”

Though we focus on economics, our ultimate goal is broader. We want better lives for women in Canada, and we know that women-centred community economic development is one of the best means to bring about that reality. We help women achieve their goals by giving women the tools and resources they need and by working in closer partnership with their communities.

Putting it into Practice

How do we work to increase the level of economic security among women?

It is not enough to address the issue from only one angle. Instead, we adapt our strategies to the realities of the lives of Canadian women and their communities.

Holistic Approach

It’s important to remember that economic security is related to many things other than money. We would be providing a temporary fix if we helped enact change to only one aspect of the problem. To improve women’s economic security we also need to consider:

  • Social support
  • Community resources
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • And so much more

For this reason, WEC focuses on developing women-centred CED (Community Economic Development), which takes into account the many shifting factors of the Canadian economy. We work with organizations that take the same approach, helping to strengthen entire communities on a holistic level.

Strategies

To stay focused, we created a WEC strategic plan that has three main elements:

  1. Strengthening the women’s CED sector: We create resources and tools for organizations and liaise with mainstream CED organizations to promote a more women-focused approach.
  2. Sustaining the Council: We continue to strengthen our internal governance, build capacity and develop funding opportunities.
  3. Supporting systemic change: We document the economic issues impacting women’s lives, we engage the public on these issues, and we develop partnerships to enact change.

You can read the full plan here.

Who We Are

The Women’s Economic Council is the only national organization advocating for women-centred CED in Canada, and we’re the only organization that supports networks of like-minded organizations that help women-centred CED flourish across the country.

We formed in 2002 when several women and women’s organizations noticed barriers to the full participation of women in the growing CED movement.

Board of Directors

Our board is as diverse as the problems we tackle. It is made up of experts on women-centred CED from across Canada.

We use a decentralized method of communication and problem solving, and harness the latest technology to come together online.

Our Values

Women-centredness

We operate from a perspective of women’s lived realities and use gender-based impact analysis as a way to ensure that our work addresses what women actually experience.

Community

We support a grassroots, community-based approach to community economic development.

Sustainability

We believe in the sustainable livelihoods model that builds on individual, organizational and community assets for social and economic change.

Diversity and Inclusiveness

We believe that working for all women means respecting women’s diverse lived realities and valuing the unique contributions each individual woman brings to our work.

Respect

We respect and recognize the experience and expertise that women and women’s organizations bring to their CED work and to their communities.

Courage

We have the courage to make systemic change for women’s lives and work.

Advocacy

We believe that to truly change women’s lives for the better we must operate at two levels: by directly supporting women and by working to change public policies that disadvantage women and prevent equality.

Transparency and Accountability

We are open and follow through on commitments we make to women, to communities and to funders.