Young Women's Leadership Network (YWLN) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building civic and political leadership capacity in young women and non-binary people.
We take an anti-oppressive, trans-inclusive feminist approach toward identifying the issues and bridging the gaps in support networks and opportunities for young women leaders. We support young leaders through leadership education, advocacy, and community building.
We have reached 1000 young women and non-binary youth from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, York Region, and Ottawa Region since 2017.
WHY IT MATTERS
From calling for legislative change and community mobilization to developing support mechanisms for marginalized communities, young women are moving our society forward everyday. At the same time, their leadership is often inadequately recognized or supported and does not always translate into the number of women who run for democratic office or lead civic and political institutions.
Further, research and anecdotal reports show that women who face racism, violence, etc. often exit their organizations as a direct result of such experiences. Racialized and Indigenous women continue to face multiple forms of violence and barriers at various stages of civic engagement, as we’ve learned directly from our networks. The gender wage gap and workplace discrimination, for example, disproportionately affect women who are Black, Indigenous, or racialized, queer or disabled or at the intersections of multiple of these identities.
YWLN aims to give young Black, Indigenous, and racialized women and non-binary individuals the skills and the community they need to accelerate their leadership both within institutions and in their communities. It is critical to support marginalized young women and non-binary individuals in overcoming these barriers for the purpose of their own success, but also because they are best positioned to eradicate gender-based oppression as leaders in politics and policy.