ASOs are uniquely posed to understand and respond to the complexities of epidemics and were created through a long history of resiliency. WHAI’s community capacity building and community development objective is an important component of this context. As we all work to respond to this rapidly changing reality, we will continue to work together to foster an intersectional approach, recognizing that structural factors such gender, race, economic stability, Indigeneity and other social determinants of health will affect how people are impacted by COVID-19. Collectively, we are committed to working together to
engage in gender-inclusive, intersectional emergency planning.
To date, WHAI Coordinators across Ontario are doing some of the following to help:
● Coordinating virtual meetings with community partners to share service updates, identify service access points and gaps and strategize about how to address and integrate these gendered realities
● Creating lists of community services and programs accessible to WHAI’s priority populations of women and distributing these through street outreach, harm reduction kit distribution, foodbanks, community drop-off points and partner networks
● Supporting colleagues and partners to find new and innovative ways to deliver services with these populations of women while maintaining important public health measures, including moving social and health-based support services to phone and online supports where possible
● Organizing for community capacity building and community development initiatives in response to this current public health emergency through a gender-inclusive lens.