Systemic Change, One Step at a Time


The genius of the PARO Centre for Women's Enterprise lies in its ability to develop programs that channel public and charitable funds towards the diverse needs of women in northern Ontario. PARO is the quintessential (and essential) intermediary. It connects up resources with the know-how peculiar to front-line practitioners and to the community sector's research institutions.

"Women-centred CED programming is absolutely essential to help rural women achieve sustainable livelihoods. By failing to acknowledge the fundamental role that gender continues to play in shaping the lives of women and men, initiatives and policies render both the problems and the promise of women invisible. The PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise plays an important role in the lives of women like Jeanne, using collaboration, holistic programming, and community-based decision-making to help them face the challenges thrown at them by geographic isolation and by current government policies.

"What sets PARO apart is its record for shaping and managing programs that link various sources of funding with one segment or another of a diverse population of un- and under-employed women. Moreover, PARO does this with reference to an increasingly sophisticated understanding of asset development. PARO doesn’t ask a woman, 'What are your business goals?' We ask, 'What do you need to be a whole, satisfied person, a person who is more resilient and less vulnerable to the stresses of life?"

Building Sustainable Livelihoods in Northern Ontario
Lockyer, Rosalind
Milne, Maggie, & Robinson, Marina
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