Equity and Inclusion in Our Cities

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As social inequalities and as cities become increasingly diverse, cities for all have become imperative. As a result, municipalities and citizens are finding ways to actively participate in inspiring cities for change and belonging.

CAWI has had a long history in equity and inclusion work through its partnerships with the City of Ottawa, municipal and community partners from 5 cities in Canada, and 2 community agencies in Ottawa. CAWI has developed tools and training on gender, equity and inclusion.

CAWI and its partners have aimed to strengthen the capacity of municipalities, women leaders, and community agencies to address diversity, equity and inclusion. See our tools and training to learn more about our recent work.

Equity and Inclusion Lens

Upon evaluation and pilot of the Gender Equality Guide, it was found that city staff did find it useful and there was an impact on decisions made in the creation of city services. However, it did serve as a reminder, even for staff who were well-informed on gender issues, that the intersectionality of women's lives had to be taken into account (i.e., I, as a woman, am a composite of multiple factors, such as gender identity, ethnicity and race, language abilities, and age that shape how I experience and navigate the city").

Considering this learning, other key discoveries led to the decision to transform the Gender Equality Guide into the Equity and Inclusion Lens, in which the reality of women's lives and the subsequent gender analysis is one of the 11 equity groups (see Snapshots  for more information).

Thanks to a partnership grant between Status of Women Canada and City of Ottawa, more than 200 community leaders and City staff contributed to the development of the Equity and Inclusion Lens, and the 11 Snapshots.

The Equity and Inclusion Lens (EI Lens) is currently being implemented in the City of Ottawa. In 2010, Hire Immigrants Ottawa presented the City of Ottawa with the Employer Excellence Award for applying the E I Lens to human resource practices. In November 2010, CAWI presented the E I Lens at the Third International Women’s Conference on Safety and Inclusive Cities, Delhi, India. In 2012, the Equity and Inclusion Lens is one of several initiatives that resulted in the City of Ottawa receiving a national award for being among Canada’s Best Diversity Employers.

CAWI continues to work with the City of Ottawa in the roll out of the Equity and Inclusion Lens across departments.  CAWI provides training and works with community groups who have specific equity and inclusion concerns they would like to see the city address.  In that way, CAWI plays a role of being a bridge between community and city in the application of the E I Lens.

Currently, CAWI is working with two community partners to pilot an adapted version of the Equity and Inclusion Lens for community agencies, in particular on Health Equity.  CAWI has trained approximately 200 staff, managers and board members at Western Ottawa Community Resource Center (WOCRC) and Somerset West Community Health Center (SWCHC).