Project

Older Women’s Dialogue Project

Project Status: Work in Progress
Project Contact: Krista James
Telephone Number: (604) 822-0564
Email Us About this Project

Overview

UPDATE! – Phase 2 Report, We are not All the Same, released in March 2017

The full PDF of the Phase 2 report is available for download.

Law and social policy reform often moves forward in a way that ignores gender. This is true of the experiences of older women, which remain remarkably invisible from aging policy analysis.

This project is a collaboration with West Coast LEAF.

The Older Women’s Dialogue Project explores:

  1. What are the pressing law and social policy issues impacting older women?
  2. What can we do to address these barriers to quality of life for older women?

This project aims to:

(a) Empower older women to influence law and social policy;

(b) Enhance the capacity of professionals and practitioners to understand issues through a lens that considers both aging and gender; and

(c) Increase public awareness of issues facing older women.

PHASE 1: Consultation and Report (2012-2013)

In 2012-2013 we met with over 300 older women from around the Vancouver Lower Mainland. We held 22 consultation events in 9 different languages. We asked women about the barriers to their well being, and published a report describing what they told us.

The full project report is available: Your Words are Worth Something

We have published a series of eight-page versions of the report in the following languages:

  1. English
  2. French
  3. Spanish
  4. Simplified Chinese
  5. Traditional Chinese
  6. Punjabi
  7. Farsi/ Persian
  8. Dari
  9. Polish
  10. Russian

PHASE 2: Including the Voices of Harder-to-Reach Women—Consultation and Tool Development (2014-2016)

Process

Over a period of two years we have:

  • Conducted 12 additional consultation events. The goal was to include women we found harder to reach in phase one, such as Aboriginal women and women with disabilities.
  • Worked with 4 groups of older women to develop resources that take action on the legal and social policy issues they identify as most pressing to them:

1. Older women of the Downtown Eastside Women Centre

2. The Grandmothers group of the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre (Mandarin)

3. Latin American women with the South Granville Seniors Centre (Spanish)

4. Elders of the Aboriginal Mother Centre Society

Project methodology followed a participatory action research approach. For more information see Community Engaged Research Literature and Methodology Review.

Results

  • A series of tools developed by older women on the issues that matter to them: discrimination and security in housing, access to affordable prescription drug coverage, and oral hygiene and dental care. Visit the Tool page for more information and to view the videos developed by older women.
  • A report, entitled We Are Not All the Same: Key Law, Policy and Practice Strategies for Improving the Lives of Older Women in the Lower Mainland, was published on International Women’s Day 2017, and explores ways to reduce the challenges older women face in their daily lives.

The Advisory Committee

The work of this project is being guided by a project advisory committee. The Advisory Committee members are:

  • Shashi Assanand, Executive Director, Vancouver & Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Services Society
  • Anne Beveridge, retired lawyer, faculty member at Thompson Rivers University, Open Learning Division, and board member/secretary, BC Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support
  • Elsie Dean, Past President, 411 Seniors Centre and seniors’ advocate
  • Donna Dickison, Aboriginal Women’s Action Network member and Elder, Stl’atl’imc Nation
  • Jill Hightower, researcher and former Executive Director, BC Institute Against Family Violence
  • Linda Light, social policy analyst and researcher in the area of domestic violence
  • Bella Maud, retired health sector union member, Metis Nation, British Columbia
  • Gertrude Pierre, Elder, Sechelt Nation
  • Andrea Rolls, retired provincial community justice policy and program planning, and board member, BC Law Institute and CCEL
  • The Honourable Lynn Smith Q.C., Supreme Court of British Columbia (retired)

View a list of committee members’ biographies.

Project supporters

The Older Women’s Dialogue Project is funded by the Vancouver Foundation and the Government of Canada, through the New Horizons Program for Seniors.

Past work was funded by United Way Lower Mainland.

The 2016 National Seniors Day event featuring the tools developed by older women was made possible due to a Multiculturalism Grant provided by the Department of Heritage Canada.

Keywords: Women and Aging, Older Women, Gender Issues, Canadian Conference on Elder Law, International Women’s Day

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Reports

We Are Not All the Same: Key Law, Policy and Practice Strategies for Improving the Lives of Older Women in the Lower Mainland – 2017

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Older Women’s Dialogue Project Report 2013

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Study Papers

Older Women Fleeing Violence and Abuse in Canada: Bringing Together Separate Spheres of Practice

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Backgrounders

Backgrounder: Older Women’s Dialogue Project

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Other Publications

Older Women’s Dialogue Project Mini Report 2014 Russian

Download document (1126 KB)

Older Women’s Dialogue Project IWD 2014 Event Program

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Older Women’s Dialogue Project Mini Report 2014 Dari

Download document (1126 KB)

Older Women’s Dialogue Project Mini Report 2014 Polish

Download document (1126 KB)

Older Women’s Dialogue Project Mini Report 2014 Punjabi

Download document (1126 KB)

Older Women’s Dialogue Project Mini Report 2014 Farsi

Download document (1126 KB)

Older Women’s Dialogue Project Mini Report 2014 Trad Chinese

Download document (1126 KB)

Older Women’s Dialogue Project Mini Report 2014 Simp Chinese

Download document (1126 KB)

Older Women’s Dialogue Project Mini Report 2014 Spanish

Download document (1126 KB)

Older Women’s Dialogue Project Mini Report 2014 French

Download document (1126 KB)

Older Women’s Dialogue Project Mini Report 2014 English

Download document (1126 KB)

Older Women’s Project, Advisory Committee Members’ Biographies

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Older Women’s Dialogue Project: Story No. 3

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Older Women’s Dialogue Project: Story No. 2

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Older Women’s Dialogue Project: Story No. 1

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Event Program – Woman and Aging: Stories about the Widening Gender Gap

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Media Release, August 30, 2012: CCEL to Conduct Public Consultations with Older Women

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Media Releases

Media Release March 2017- New report identifies barriers to the well-being of older women in British Columbia that require action

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