A model for a feminist future

YCI's HerStart initiative drives global equality by developing pathways for women to become social entrepreneurs and create a lasting economic ripple effect.

Equality for economic growth is at the centre of the HerStart initiative

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It's going to take the power and potential of youth, especially young women, to realize gender equality and sustainable economic development. That's why YCI works with a network of global partners to create inclusive opportunities for young people to improve their lives and advocate for change in their communities.

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Our Core Pillars

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At the center of HerStart’s Innovate the Future program are 3 pillars that align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, reflecting pressing issues that require resources and action.

Gender Transformative

Young women are at the centre of HerStart. We work with them to listen and understand their current realities, building opportunities and an enabling environment that address and transform gender norms, enhance access to resources and promote leadership for gender equal solutions among young women and men.

Climate Resilient
Economic Inclusion

Why focus on women’s economic power?

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Around the world, women still face discrimination, gender inequalities and barriers to meaningful work. Yet we know that when women are given the opportunity to thrive, everyone benefits. We still have a long way to go and HerStart is a bold step forward.

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Globally, over 2.7 billion women are legally restricted from having the same choice of jobs as men.

– UN Women

IN 5
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More than 1 in 5 young people are not in employment, education or training. 75% of which are women.

ILO 2020

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Currently 40% of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa are women-operated but only 2% of them successfully access funding and there is a financing gap of $42 billion between men and women entrepreneurs.

- FinDev Canada

A bold commitment from Canada

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Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy affirms that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is critical to shifting the economic reality for young women. It acknowledges that, despite recent reductions in global poverty, women and girls still face unique barriers to build a sustainable income. Focusing on helping women and girls thrive is the best way to address the root causes of poverty.

“Canada has adopted a feminist approach because we firmly believe that women and girls have the ability to achieve real change in terms of sustainable development and peace, even though they are often the most vulnerable to poverty, violence and climate change.” – Government of Canada

A feminist approach makes sense and we are committed to empower women globally too.

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