Be the Change and Pay it Forward- Promoting Economic Equality for Women
March 1, 2013 marks the nation’s first Day of Big Change. This is a Canada-wide day of action dedicated to empowering young women by celebrating their achievements and inspiring engagement. The day will be marked by random events held by different communities all over Canada. This movement falls just before March 8th, International Women’s Day, a time known for embracing the advancement of women.
YWCA St.Thomas-Elgin’s Y Act Up is taking the lead role for our community’s Day of Big Change. Newly formed, Y Act Up is an all-female group of youth dedicated to creating social change in the community of St. Thomas-Elgin. We are going to be celebrating the first ever Day of Big Change in our community by “being the change and paying it forward.”
Committee members will be “Paying it Forward” and delivering care packages to local agencies that serve individuals in need. The focus is on supporting women’s economic security in Elgin County by not only providing them with a care package but also information about economic awareness and the importance of equality and security.
“We are learning that economic security for women is really important. In Elgin County, if not working, men are 23% more able to use savings and investments to access money than women. Women are using credit, loans or relying on a partner. Women need their independence. This can mean the difference between freedom and safety;” remarks Michelle Gilbert, 22, Y Act Up member.
Y Act Up chose the topic of Economic Equality based on community need. The YWCA is taking the lead on the “Pathways to Prosperity” project, promoting economic security for women in St.Thomas and Elgin County.
“Financial and economic awareness for female youth is imperative. Girls need to be more aware of the impact of their education level on their earning potential, be aware of positive and negative sources of debt, be aware of politics, and strive for equality with men. According to Stats Canada, 2006, Women are still only making approximately 71% of what men earn. We have a long way to go, but we are committed to making change;” Gilbert concludes.
For more information about the Pathways to Prosperity Project or Y Act Up, please contact Lindsay Rice, at (519) 631-9800 ext.25