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Gateway Women’s Centre receives crucial funding

The Gateway Status of Women Council (GSWC) is a feminist organization that supports gender equality on the Southwest Coast of Newfoundland. – René J. Roy – Wreckhouse Press

ST. JOHN’S — On Friday, Sept. 16, the Office of Women and Gender Equality announced that the approval of over $2.6 million in continued funding has been allocated for nine Status of Women councils in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The announcement was made by Minister of Women and Gender Equality, Pam Parsons, at the Status of Women Central’s ‘Take Back the Night’ event held in Grand Falls–Windsor.

The Office of Women and Gender Equality allocated $1,200,338 in funding to eight Status of Women Councils, while Newfoundland and Labrador Housing has allocated $1,402,313 to two Status of Woman Councils who also offer housing and housing supports.

Each of the councils are regionally based and they are funded by the Provincial Government in order to help advance the status of women across the province. Numerous operational activities take place at these organizations in order to achieve that goal.

Operational activities can include providing counselling to women in crisis or in need of support, engaging in community outreach and advocacy as a voice for women, and offering programs, information, and resources to members of the community.

The following councils received $142,625 in funding from the Office of Women and Gender Equality:

• Labrador West Status of Women Council

• Gander Status of Women Council

• Gateway Status of Women Council

• Bay St. George Status of Women Council

• Status of Women Central

• Norpen Status of Women Council

• St. John’s Status of Women Council

Corner Brook, St. John’s, and Mokami Status of Women Council received additional funding amounts for supportive housing that they offer.

Minister Parsons said the government understands the importance of these organizations and what they do for their communities across the province.

“Status of Women Councils provide valuable supports and services to women throughout our province. Our government recognizes their integral role to supporting women to find stability, set and achieve goals, and overcome challenges.”

Megan Bateman with Gateway Status of Women Council in Port aux Basques said the funding provided will be for their main operating budget.

“The $142,625 is our core annual funding that has to be approved by the Office of Women & Gender Equality each year. These funds then make up our main operating budget that pays for two full-time permanent employees, the costs related to maintaining our Women’s Centre (e.g. electricity, internet, insurances, office supplies, furniture, equipment, etc.) and costs related to running our numerous events and programs targeted towards empowering women, gender-diverse folks, and their families and putting an end to gender-based violence in our Southwest Coast communities.”

Even though this amount is significant, Bateman said that it is necessary in order to continue to provide the services that Gateway Women’s Centre offers.

“While this seems like a large sum of money, the ever-increasing cost of living and growing needs of our community require us to also seek funding support through fundraising and applying for other grant opportunities to maintain quality and effective programming. We are also incredibly fortunate that our organization has had trailblazing women leaders throughout our history who have ensured that we own the building our Centre operates out of, which means we do not have monthly rent costs. We recognize this as a privilege that other Women’s Centres both provincially and nationally may not have.”

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