Every day on the Sunshine Coast, women are actively engaged in the production of goods, provision of services, child-rearing and caregiving within the household and community. Never before had the economic contributions by women and their daily well-being needs ever been studied on the Lower Sunshine Coast.
After an intensive three-year engagement process funded by Status of Women Canada, the Resource Centre released The Progress Plan in 2015, which brought to light an overarching theme of the importance of financial security for women, and the need for improvement in the following five interwoven areas. It also spurred incredible action in the community.
Priority areas identified
- Better transportation options
- Income earnings proportionate to the cost of living
- Adult care for women
- Affordable childcare
- A sense of belonging in the community helps promote financial security.
- The introduction of a new network on the Coast called, SEWN (Self-Employed Women’s Network), which today offers a way for local businesswomen to connect.
- The launch of the BC 211 – a 24-hour information and referral helpline – for the Sunshine Coast!
- The inception of The Seniors Planning Table, which encourages inter-agency collaboration and communication for the safety of seniors and vulnerable adults.
Both projects were organized and supervised by the Resource Centre Board of Directors and had specialized advisory committees. The Progress Plan was completed in partnership with Sunshine Coast Community Services, managed by Michelle Morton, and edited by Heather Conn with the contributions of women across the Coast.
CSEWS was managed by Cheryl McNicol, an experienced entrepreneur, coordinated by Donna McMahon, with special youth and diversity/ inclusion projects led by Maria Hampvent and Jen McParland, respectively.
*The Government of Canada’s Status of Women Canada department is now called Women and Gender Equality Canada.