Community Matters: March 2022

March 30, 2022

Note: this is excerpted from the March 2022 edition of our Community Matters publication. 

Welcome to our new publication, Community Matters!

In our efforts to continually find new ways to inform the community about social issues that impact citizens, the Edmonton Social Planning Council will produce a quarterly report to connect the dots between social issues, evidence, and policy.

This new publication, Community Matters, combines elements of our two legacy publications, The fACTivist and Research Update. These publications kept readers apprised of ESPC activities and projects as well as educated them on a wide range of social issues and perspectives for positive social change. The new endeavor will build on this work, giving voice to local agencies, ESPC volunteer writers, and staff members alike.

Each edition will spotlight a specific social issue and demonstrate the intersectional nature and impact on equality. Our goal is to use evidence as we continue to inform on the issues affecting individuals and families. We will collect and share a diverse range of facts, experiences, and challenges framed by a particular theme. This edition focuses on gender (in)equity and the various ways that women and gender-diverse individuals are impacted by issues such as:

  • Income and employment,
  • Food (in)security,
  • Social inclusion,
  • Mental health, and
  • Housing.

While gender equality aims to ensure equal treatment for people of all genders, gender equity goes a step further, aiming to provide equal treatment according to an individual’s unique needs. Equality guarantees that a person’s rights, responsibilities, and opportunities are not impacted by their gender. Equity offers the means to get there, which may be experienced as “treatment that is different but considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations, and opportunities” (UNESCO, 2000).

We chose this topic as our first theme in part to highlight that the month of March is Women’s History Month and celebrates International Women’s Day (March 8), but also in recognition that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected women and exacerbated existing inequities. Women and gender diverse people face high rates of poverty, unemployment, gender-based violence, and poor health. As we emerge to new social and economic realities, we must ensure that policies address these inequities—to support women and gender diverse individuals as fully engaged members of society.

– Susan Morrissey, Executive Director

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