Mission and Vision

“If the community women move forward, the whole community will advance”—SAWRO motto

Since being created by a group of immigrant women living in the Oakridge-Crescent Town neighborhood in 2007, the South Asian Women’s Rights Organization ((SAWRO) has had two objectives:

1)      alleviating the poverty widely experienced by people in the community

2)      increasing the participation of the community’s women and girls in Canadian economic, social, cultural and political life

From the beginning, the SAWRO women saw these two objectives as being integrally related. The relationship was reflected in the motto they adopted at their organization’s founding meeting:   “If the community women move forward, the whole community will advance.”

Today the organization is operating as SAWRO Community Services with the same overall objectives. It is carrying out two streams of program activities to achieve these objectives:

1)      To bring about a direct and immediate reduction in community poverty, programs are provided which enable increased labour force participation by women from the community’s low-income families

2)      To bring about increased participation by community women and girls in Canadian economic, social and civic life, programs of education, counseling and support are provided which enable increased gender equality, increased civic engagement of women and girls  and reduced vulnerability to gender-based abuse

The work in these program areas programs recognizes the operation of a feedback loop in the community between poverty and gender inequality. Gender inequalities experienced by immigrant women, both before and after emigration, can create barriers to their employability and to achieving economic security in Canada. Lack of employment can create dependence and compound gender inequality and isolation. Overcoming these barriers and finding a job, on the other hand, immediately reduces poverty of a woman’s family while at the same time increasing her possibilities for personal agency and for her fuller integration into the flow of Canadian life.

 

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