Women lead the Community Foundation North Okanagan. From Left to right, Lisa Deargle Communications Director, Leanne Hammond, Executive Director, Leanne Edwards, Finance and Administrative Assistant

Women lead the Community Foundation North Okanagan. From Left to right, Lisa Deargle Communications Director, Leanne Hammond, Executive Director, Leanne Edwards, Finance and Administrative Assistant

Building a future grounded in equality

The unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic have widened gaps and deepened inequities. Women in particular have faced disproportionate impacts ranging from significant job losses to increasing rates of domestic violence. It’s clear that BC’s future will depend on a recovery that’s grounded in justice and equity.

Through the Better Together – COVID 19 Community Response Fund and Emergency Community Support Fund, Community Foundation North Okanagan (CFNO) has supported charities across the North Okanagan with response and relief through the pandemic.

“While we may not know what the pandemic holds next for our region, we do know that inequities worsened by COVID will only deepen if we don’t take action.” Leanne Hammond, Executive Director, CFNO, explains, “As a community foundation, we see the importance of recovery and long-term community resiliency and we commit to supporting organizations at the forefront of advancing gender equality.”

Community Foundation North Okanagan (CFNO) has joined a national initiative called the Communities for Gender Equality, led by Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) and supported by the Government of Canada to advance gender equality through three calls to action: grantmaking, institutional changes, and gender-lens investing.

“As we reflect and look ahead, we’ll explore ways we can fulfill our commitment to making institutional changes within our organization and implementing practices and policies for equality and creating an environment where no one is left behind.” Hammond describes the foundation’s commitment to gender equality, “This will require us to hold a mirror to our own practices and policies, and consider ways that we can bring a gender lens to our initiatives to ensure we support women and families in the best way possible.”

Community Foundation North Okanagan is proud to be part of creating a sustainable source of funding for women’s organizations advancing gender equality and the empowerment of all. “Removing barriers to women’s economic stability and independence helps to break the cycle of poverty for them, their children, dependents, and future generations. When women do well, everyone does well.”

Communities for Gender Equality is supported by a collaboration between Community Foundations of Canada and the Equality Fund, with support from the Government of Canada. Through this funding initiative, CFNO is pleased to support these projects:

Archway Society for Domestic Peace

Project: What Gender Equality Means in the Workplace

Workshops that focus on unseen issues, misconceptions, and actual facts of gender equality for businesses and non-profits.

HOPE Outreach Society

Project: Stop Sexual Exploitation

Street level work offering support, resources and supplies to help women and others who are being exploited in the sex trade.

Learn more at www.cfno.org/equalityfund. For more information, contact Leanne Hammond at 250-542-8655 or email Leanne@cfno.org.

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