It is high time we unleashed on our communities (and on the field of community economic development) all the skill, commitment, and insight that women have to offer. The Canadian Women's CED Council offers a 4-point framework that would reintroduce gender analysis to Canadian social and economic policies and programs: in the labour market, in social assistance and welfare, in the funding of women's initiatives in CED and Social Economy, and in enterprise development.
"... the trend in Canadian public policy and programs to promote a 'gender neutral' approach to social and economic development is disturbing. This 'gender neutrality' renders invisible women's struggles to achieve economic independence, as well as the barriers that impede their efforts to achieve it. In particular, systemic constraints limit women's ability to conduct research, advocate for policy change and promote women's economic activities on a national level. There is a wealth of expertise among women CED practitioners across this country. It is high time to recognize, foster, and develop it to the benefit of our communities.
"This article is based on a paper developed by the Canadian Women's Community Economic Development Council for Status of Women Canada as an inventory of the most pressing policy issues facing women's CED in Canada. It is part of the Council's policy, advocacy, and research strategy to promote greater understanding of the value of women-centred CED, and to make women's voices and perspectives heard in all the decisions that affect them."