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Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence

 
 
  Rural Women's Action Workshops
Nipawin and Swift Current, Saskatchewan

   
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Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence
56 The Promenade
Winnipeg, MB
R3B 3H9


The research and publication of this study were funded by the Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence (PWHCE). The PWHCE is financially supported by the Women's Health Contribution Program, Bureau of Women's Health and Gender Analysis, Health Canada. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the PWHCE or the official policy of Health Canada.


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N. Johns and J. Havelock

Introduction
This document reports on Rural Women's Action Workshops held on April 25th and 26th, 2005 in Nipawin, Saskatchewan and on May 17th and 18th , 2005 in Swift Current.

This work began as a follow-up to the Rural Remote and Northern Women's Health report, and was moved forward by the creation of the Rural Women's Issues Committee

Rural, Remote And Northern Women's Health Report
In June 2004, the Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence (PWHCE) and the Centres of Excellence for Women's Health (CEWH) released the report Rural, Remote and Northern Women's Health: Research and Policy Directions. This was a comprehensive, national project on the health concerns of women who live in rural, remote and northern Canada. As requested by the community women involved in the project, a plain language community kit was developed shortly afterwards. PWHCE also committed to providing other follow-up to the research report and its recommendations.

In September 2004 PWHCE began working with rural women in Saskatchewan as one step in carrying forward the Rural, Remote and Northern Women's Health report's recommendations.

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A Rural Women's Health Workshop was held November 17, 2004 at the Christ Lutheran Church in Young, Saskatchewan. The purpose of the workshop was to offer women the opportunity to become familiar with the national Report's recommendations and determine follow-up action for Saskatchewan. Some of the participants had participated in focus groups as part of the initial research for the national project. New participants included rural women, Métis women and Francophone women.

The women at the workshop identified a wide range of factors affecting the well-being of rural women in their local communities, and began determining actions to address these factors. It was evident that more time was needed to move from ideas to actions. The Rural Women's Issues Committee of Saskatchewan (RWICS) was formed at that meeting, to determine how this group might meet again, and also how to involve other rural women in similar events.

RWICS Workshops
RWICS held a second workshop in Young, Saskatchewan on March 15, 2005, sponsored by PWHCE. To address the issues identified at the November meeting the women produced detailed action plans and made personal commitments to move the actions forward.

RWICS received a grant in April 2005 from the Women's Program of Status of Women Canada. The grant, combined with continued support from the Prairie Women's Health Centre of Excellence, the Centre for Rural Studies and Enrichment in Muenster, Saskatchewan and the volunteer support of its enthusiastic volunteer committee members, enabled RWICS to propel its work.

As a result, workshops were held on April 25th -26th, 2005 in Nipawin, Saskatchewan and on May 17th -18th, 2005 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.

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RWICS Goals

Saskatchewan has a strong history with women and women's organizations leading the way to many policy improvements and important social reforms. In recent years changing demographics, reductions in funding to women's organizations and the triple workload rural and farmwomen carry, have made it more difficult for rural women's organizations to remain active and present their views.

In its work RWICS hopes to link with individuals and organizations working to improve the situation of rural women and to help to bring the recommendations of rural women forward to decision-makers. Our goal is to support and encourage rural women to name their own issues, create their personal action plans and achieve their own visions.


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