"No cherries grow on our trees:" Social Policy Research Paper for the Take Action Project, a public policy initiative to address women’s poverty and violence against women

This is a project about women, not as a homogeneous and objectified category, but about women as agents whose lives are shaped by the multiple dimensions of their identities, including their Aboriginal status, age, class, disability, race, sexual orientation, gender identity and status (be it family, immigration, or health). It is a project that speaks to the realities of women’s lives, in particular the harsh realities of poverty and violence. It is also a project about you. Given the high rates of both poverty and violence, many of you will share these experiences. Many of you may be one job, one accident, one separation, one lucky day, away from poverty and/or violence. In the current context of consumer-based citizenship, heightened individual (and diminished state) responsibility and the cultivation of fear of the “other,” it is all too common to blame individuals for their poverty, to widen social distancing through stigmatization and criminalization, and to utterly fail to acknowledge and respect our common humanity. That is, it is all too common for many of us to think that this is not a story about us, but a story about someone else, someone “other,” far removed and easily blamed and ignored. We ask that you read this report with a spirit committed to understanding, and to action.

Publication Date: 
Ontario, Canada