The JCA’s Women’s Committee was initially established in 1975 as the Women’s Auxiliary, in response to social changes in the larger community. In 1988 the group was re-established as the Women’s Committee and has developed into a respected advocate, promoting women’s social progress and equality. Our mission is to strengthen the social and economic well-being of all women and their families.
To this end, the Committee is dedicated to mentoring, empowering and educating people on the evolving role of women in society. Each year we host conferences, workshops/roundtable discussions and a health fair to open discussion and bring awareness to issues that impacts the lives of women everywhere. We have addressed topics such as environmental impact on healthily living, legal and financial planning, caregiver stress and violence against women (VAW), political advocacy and how to build leadership skills, to name a few. In 1993, the Women’s Committee was the first in Ontario to host a Health Fair focused on women’s health. This event attracted hundreds of participants who continue to support us, while providing suggestions on topics they want addressed.
The following events are hosted annually:
March: International Women’s Day (IWD) and Person’s Day” each March we host IWD to coincide with the global celebrations. During the programme there is a special feature entitled; “Women Recognizing Women”. Many of the honourees have spent their vacations and retirements travelling overseas with groups such as Doctors without Boarder and other global missions to care for the destitute in developing countries. Each woman is awarded with a Certificates of Recognition for their work.
June: We host a conference, lead by industry leaders from an extensive range of professions to educate and mentor women of all ages. This event also provides networking opportunities for participants.
October: The Health Fair is held with the assistance of an array of professionals from the Healthcare industry: Heart and Stroke Foundation, CNIB, Toronto Public Health, Trillium Gift of Life, The Diabetes Foundation, CAMH, Sickle Cell Foundation, The Olive Branch of Hope, etc. These professionals provide information on a wide range of diseases and illnesses with guidance on prevention and care to assist attendees make positive lifestyle changes.
In November 2006, the committee established a “community gifting” event. Every year at this time, committee members purchase personal gifts which are presented to a selected agency. Past recipients include: The York Community Clinic that provides care for women and their new born; Eva’s Place that provides shelter and counselling to at-risk youth; Juillette’s Place provides temporary shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence.
The Women’s Committee uses the JCA’s news letter, InFocus to highlight women’s causes and the social strides women are making internationally. Articles that address global issues and feature trailblazers are submitted every three months to the magazine, which is distributed throughout the community.
The Women’s Committee is determined to continue to encourage and support all women in their growth towards becoming the leaders, builders, motivators and nurturers they are destined to be. We continue to promote social equality and well-being and focus on leaving a foundation on which the next generation can build.