There's a serious mismatch between the needs and aspirations of young, Aboriginal women in Winnipeg's inner-city and the services that community organizations have to offer them. This article profiles the CED programming that will help empower this coming generation of leaders - and shows how the participatory research model itself can begin to identify these leaders and their community allies.
"Young women work in their homes, in our communities, in schools, with other youth, and in the labour force. But for young women who live in poverty, work is a struggle. Struggling to stay in school, working for low wages, confronting teen pregnancy, and lacking childcare, they find it difficult to make their lives work for them. They are working, but our economy and society are not working for them.... These are some of the results of recent action research by and about young women in two of Winnipegâ€™s inner-city neighbourhoods.
"These young women are at a critical time in their lives: receiving an education and making a transition to the labour force are vitally important to their future well-being and financial security. Yet many issues threaten to keep them from achieving their goals.... To what extent does current inner-city programming address these issues? How might it be improved? These matters were explored in depth by the Young Women Work project. The results have very real implications for the practice of CED here and across Canada."