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Policy Matters: Anjum Sultana

Later this year, Canadians will vote in the 43rd federal election. Many non-profit organizations, networks, and coalitions see elections as a critical opportunity to raise relevant public policy issues. Recently, the rules for charities engaging in public policy have become a prominent source of debate and discussion in government and the sector. As we countdown to the next election, The Philanthropist is asking non-profit leaders what public policy issues are top of mind for them.

Name and organization: Anjum Sultana, YWCA Canada

What current election issues might impact your work? 

This election, YWCA Canada is concerned with the lack of dedicated discussion on the needs of women, trans, and non-binary people. We are alarmed with the scapegoating of migrants, the rising unaffordability of housing and childcare, and the climate crisis, which is magnifying existing gender inequities in Canada and globally. At YWCA Canada, our 32 member associations work across nine provinces and two territories in distinct geographies and with diverse equity-seeking communities. Through our work, we see what gets missed and who falls through the cracks when you don’t apply an intersectional gender-based analysis (GBA+) to programs, policies, and practices.

What issues would you like to bring more attention to in the election? 

Women and non-binary people are not projects and gender equity cannot be achieved through piecemeal funding. The only way to address the gender gap is by working upstream to break apart systems of patriarchy and sexism, one policy at a time. Our work across Canada highlights the policy gaps we need to tackle to ensure everyone is able to achieve their full potential. That’s why we are calling for a GBA+ lens to be applied to every component of the National Housing Strategy, a National Action Plan to Address Gender-Based Violence, and investments to establish Affordable Child Care for All.

Where can we learn more about these issues?

Join the Up for Debate coalition and ask for a federal leaders debate on women’s rights and gender equality. Sign our petition calling on all federal leaders to address housing affordability for women! Read the Blueprint for a National Action Plan on Addressing Gender-Based Violence

Anjum Sultana, MPH, is the Manager of Public Policy & Strategic Communications at YWCA Canada. Anjum is the Founder of Millennial Womxn in Policy, a community of practice that connects over 1500 women and non-binary people working in policy across North America and Europe in civil society, politics, private sector and public service.