About Us |
We at the Vancouver Women's Health Collective are a non-profit organization helping self-identified women foster health, wellness and equity through feminist approaches to advocacy, shared knowledge and low-barrier programs and services.
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About Us

Our Mission Statement

We are a non-profit non-profit organisation helping self-identified women foster health, wellness and equity through feminist approaches to advocacy, shared knowledge and low-barrier programs and services.

Our Collective

We value shared information and experience over authoritative knowledge, especially when it comes to our own bodies. We support a woman’s right to make informed choices about her health and health care.

 

Volunteers are the foundation of our collective. They are interested in ensuring that all women get appropriate and equitable health care. They provide one-on-one support for women who contact our Women’s Health Resource Centre, maintain the VWHC’s women’s health information resources, take part in community outreach, participate at forums, rallies, and community events, co-facilitate VWHC workshops, fundraise for the VWHC, and help shape the direction of the VWHC through collective participation and/or committee work.

 

To fill out a volunteer application, click here

Members select up to 7 board members at VWHC’s annual general meeting. Board members work on developing policy and determining the future direction for the organization. Many board members are former Resource Centre volunteers who wish to continue supporting the collective in a different capacity.

 

Our 2018-2019 board members are:​

 

Amanda Pollicino, chair
Essya Nabbali, vice-chair
Dianne Henshaw, secretary-treasurer
Alaina Chun, member-at-large
Bina Salimath, member-at-large
Lena McFarlane, member-at-large
Sanzida Habib, member-at-large

 

​View our 2017-2018 Annual report here.

Our Position Statements
Gender Inclusive

Our programs, services and activities are open to all people who self-identify as women (cis and trans), gender non-conforming, or non-binary. We welcome individuals with diverse gender identities, expressions and sexual orientations, and strive to provide gender-affirming health and wellness support.

 

Pro-choice and reproductive justice

VHWC is committed to promoting sex education and access to contraception to help prevent unwanted pregnancies while ending discrimination against women based on their role in reproduction. Access to safe, legal and fully-funded abortions is a key feature of women’s health equity and is essential to women’s abilities to access educational, social, and economic opportunities. VWHC is committed to reproductive justice and works to support our clients in all aspects of sexual health and reproductive choices, through direct services or referrals.​

 

Cultural Safety

Vancouver Women’s Health Collective is located on the unceded and ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish peoples, including xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), skxwú7mesh (Squamish), Tsleil-Waututh and Sto:lo peoples. The Collective strives to support, collaborate, and build connections with Indigenous communities whose territories we reside on. We recognize the ethno-cultural diversity of Vancouver and aim to provide programs and services based on relationships of mutual trust, respect, and humility. Moreover, we aim to increase participation and representation of racialized (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) communities in our staff, volunteer, partnership, and client base.

Supporting survivors of violence

Many women who have experienced different forms of violence report discriminatory treatment in the healthcare system and other institutions. At VWHC we are committed to helping prevent and supporting survivors of violence and work continually address the societal, emotional, mental, and physical factors that impact each unique client’s health and well-being.

 

Sex work

VWHC values all women’s rights to live, work and make informed choices about their health and health care. While recognizing the exploitation that is all too common in sex-work, we support the rights, health and wellness of sex workers in our community, which includes being free from violence, discrimination and stigma, being able to live and work safely, have their choices be respected, and/or be supported to leave unsafe conditions in their own ways.

 

Harm Reduction

VWHC endorses the definition of harm reduction as defined by the Canadian Harm Reduction Network, “Harm reduction is a health equity perspective that focuses on reducing the adverse social, economic, and health consequences associated with the use of drugs”. We recognize that substance abuse is influenced by a variety of social, physical, and structural factors, and aim to provide non-judgmental and respectful care that supports the dignity and autonomy of all of our clientele, as well as referrals to appropriate services and organizations. Our goal is ultimately to mitigate harmful impacts of substance abuse, and promote and support rehabilitation and recovery.