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Cities around the world are exploding with larger and larger populations of diverse peoples. The crisis facing cities such as climate change, affordable housing, violence, childcare, and income impact women and girls differently and often have much more significant and far-reaching effects. Cities and urban planners usually fail to apply an intersectional lens to their policies, data collection, programmes, budgets, and staffing. An intersectional lens means creating a measurable, time sensitive grid to reflect the multidimensional lives of citizens. People are paid workers but they are also unpaid workers, invisible workers and volunteers, women, men, and transgendered people, who are seniors, youth, children, indigenous, refugees, immigrants, differently-abled, LGTTBQ2S, heterosexual, etc. who may or may not speak the national language. They all access cities and city services in different ways. In order to address their needs for good governance, housing, schools, healthcare, roads, public transit, emergency services, etc., cities must examine and understand who needs what and where. Using an intersectional lens, cities and nongovernmental organizations can understand and create solutions to problems before they erupt into crisis.
Ellen Woodsworth’s presentation will explain what an intersectional lens is and how to apply it to the collection of disaggregated data, creation of policy, programmes, budgets, and staffing to address the challenge of inequity and diversity in creating “The City We Need.” She will share the practical applications and Best Practices in the document “Advancing Equity and Inclusion a Guide for Municipalities.”
Ellen Woodsworth is the founder and Chairperson of Women Transforming Cities International Society (WTC), a participant in the World Urban Campaign Urban Thinkers Campus “The City We Need,” and partner with Huairou Commission for UN Habitat III. WTC is a non governmental organization partner with the City of Vancouver and five other cities in creating the new “Advancing Equity and Inclusion Guide for Municipalities.” She is just back from speaking at the UN Habitat 3 EU/North American Conference in Prague. Ellen was a keynote speaker at the 2015 UN International Women Friendly Cities Conference in Ankara, Turkey, and as a former elected Vancouver City Councillor, cochaired the “Gender Equality Strategy for the City of Vancouver” and set up the Women’s and LGTBQ2S (Lesbian, Gay, Transgendered Bisexual, Queer Two Spirited) Advisory Councils for City Council. Ellen represented the City of Vancouver on the Executive of the Union of BC Municipalities, Lower Mainland Treaty Advisory Committee, and as an Alternate on the Greater Vancouver Regional District. She spoke on behalf of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to present the “Cities Tailored to Women” Project and also launched the Femmes et Ville “Safer Cities” Project at the World Urban Forum in Barcelona. She has spoken at conferences in many other international cities about how to creating diverse and equitable cities.