About Us

Who are we?

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.

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. 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 the many shifting social factors of the Canadian economy

Our main strategy is 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. We work to strengthen our internal governance, build capacity and develop funding opportunities. We also document the economic issues impacting women’s lives, we engage the public on these issues, and we develop partnerships to enact change.



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.

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.


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


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


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.


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

Transparency and Accountability

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


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