CAWI Decision Making

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CAWI is a unique collaboration of women from diverse communities, organizations, academics and municipal decision-makers in the City of Ottawa. Decisions are made through various participatory consensus-based processes including: a Steering Committee composed of women of diverse ethno-cultural backgrounds, Aboriginal and francophone representation, two academics, two city managers and staff.

Steering Committee  Women's Action Sub-Committee


Terms of Reference:


Steering Committee  

(From Left to Right) 
Top Row: Clara Freire, Patricia Harewood, Caronline Andrew, Manvitha Singamsetty, Andrea Balfour, Jill Wigle, Jessica Lambert
Bottom Row: Fathiya Warsame, Jenny Gullen, Sado Ibrahim, Suzanne Doerge, Tong Zhoa-Ansari
Absent: Valerie Assoi and Delores Peltier-Corkey

Inclusion Values:

We value the knowledge, experiences, and perspectives of the full diversity of women - of all races, cultures, languages, religions, sexual orientations, gender identities, levels of income, ages, and disabilities, and other women under-represented among our city's decision-makers.

  • We believe that building upon diversity can help us create a more inclusive and equitable city.
  • We work together in ways that are responsible and supportive to each other.
  • We create an environment where every woman feels safe, welcomed, and respected at all times.
  • We make decisions that are open and inclusive in the way they are made, communicated and implemented.

Peer Mentoring

We each have something to learn and to teach. Women work as co-chairs and committee members sharing our ideas and learning from each other. In this way, we support each other in taking action, in contributing and in our professional development.

CAWI’s Steering Committee:

Community members:
Valerie Assoi
Andrea Balfour
Jenny Gullen
Patricia Harewood
Sado Ibrahim
Anita James
Kelsey Lemon
Zainab Muse
Delores Peltier-Corkey

1 City Manager:
Clara Freire, Partner and Stakeholder Initiatives Branch, Community and Social Services

2 Academics:
Caroline Andrew, Centre of Governance, University of Ottawa
Jill Wigle, Carleton University

Valerie Stam, Executive Director
Suzanne Doerge, Director

Women’s Action Sub-Committee

The Women’s Action Sub-Committee of the City for All Women Initiative will listen to women and be aware of what is happening in the City of Ottawa so as to identify women’s concerns to be addressed and ways for addressing them. This will be done in keeping with CAWI’s strategic directions, principles and philosophies, mission and mandate.

Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Plan and facilitate Women Action Forums;
    • Extend invitation to women to participate in forums;
    • Create a welcoming and inclusive environment;
    • Identify guest speakers and presenters for Women's Action forums;
    • Participate in Women Action Forums on regular basis as a place for learning from the community;
  • Listen to the concerns women are raising and develop an action plan to address the concerns;
  • Keep informed about issues arising at City Hall that are of interest to women and their communities;
  • Send communiqués to City council on behalf of the Women’s Action Forum.

Join the Action Sub-Committee!