Policy Initiatives

Feminist Alliance for International Action - FAFIA


As a member of FAFIA, an umbrella organization comprised of women’s organizations, RIWC is involved in lobbying for policy initiatives at levels from the international to the local. Participation with FAFIA adds a wealth of domestic and international knowledge and experience for RIWC to integrate into its programs and services and strengthens our commitment to combating violence against women and seeking women’s equality.

Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women - CRIAW


CRIAW is a research institute which provides tools to facilitate organizations taking action to advance social justice and equality for all women. RIWC has been working with CRIAW to promote an intersectional analysis of women’s equality.

International Women & Health Meeting (IWHM)


RIWC co-chaired (and was a trustee of) the 9th International Women and Health Meeting (IWHM) at York University that brought together 450 participants from 62 countries. RIWC actively worked with global and national coalitions to develop a women’s health agenda based on equity and social justice from the ground up.
Following the success of the 9th IWHM, RIWC was invited to be a member of the international advisory committee for the 10th IWHM. RIWC initiated a process for a Canada-wide rapid electronic needs assessment of diverse Canadian women’s health priorities and their involvement in women’s health campaigns and networks nationally and internationally.

Status of Women Canada


In working collaboration with Status of Women Canada, RIWC has participated in external committees and consultations on their Gender Equality Strategy to ensure the collection of gender disaggregated data at the Municipal level.

National Network for the Environment and Women’s Health


The National Network on Environment and Women’s Health is a Centre of Excellence committed to producing knowledge of the social, economic and physical environments that affect women’s health in order to facilitate policy change that will improve the lives of all Canadian women.
RIWC worked with NNEWH to prepare a paper on racialized and immigrant women in cities.

Beijing + 10


In March 2005, RIWC was selected as part of the NGO delegation to participate in the review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly (BFA) entitled “Women 2000 Gender Equality, Development, and Peace for the Twenty-first Century.” The meeting provided international NGOs with a forum to review the implementation of the BFA and identify challenges and forward-looking strategies for the advancement and empowerment of women and girls.

Toronto Women’s City Alliance – TWCA


Toronto Women’s City Alliance has been committed to organizing to end the growing silence and invisibility of girls' and women's voices and issues on the political agenda in the city of Toronto. RIWC was a part of the steering committee involved in bringing gender equality issues to the attention of the city government.

World Urban Forum – WUF


In partnership with Women and Cities International, RIWC participated in a panel discussion on governance and gender mainstreaming to identify tools, strategies, and action by diverse women’s groups in integrating a women’s equality agenda within the city of Toronto.

A Tribute to Grassroots Organizing


In 2005, RIWC also worked with the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women to put together a publication as a tribute in recognition and celebration of the efforts of grassroots women organizers who attended the 9th International Women and Health Meeting and who continue to work in the areas of gender equality and health around the world. The book was published in English, French and Spanish and has been distributed to community groups locally, nationally and internationally.

Health, Equity and Diversity Conference


In collaboration with 25 organizations across the city of Toronto, RIWC participated by presenting a paper on the elimination of the three-month waiting time for heath cards for immigrants as well as facilitating group sessions by our Board members.

Barriers to access for foreign-trained teachers
In 2005, an advisory committee comprising representatives from a number of stakeholders in the education sector and several internationally trained teachers was formed. This committee worked collaboratively to identify and overcome systemic barriers to access the public education system for internationally trained professionals. A report was generated and distributed both regionally and nationally to bring to light the barriers encountered by internationally trained teachers in the labour market.

Canadian Committee on UN reform


As part of the Canadian Committee on UN reform whose objective was to inform and engage women’s groups and equality-seeking organizations in Canada and internationally to create new gender architecture at the United Nations, RIWC supported the call by Stephen Lewis and women’s groups from around the world to establish a fully resourced women’s agency at the UN that will gender mainstream and introduce gender budgeting in all UN programs and departments, both in the operation and policy arenas.