OFA was one of the earliest organizations in Toronto to work with women actively using the feminist model of counseling.

In the early 70’s when OFA first began, little was known about the feminst model of services and what it meant for women living on welfare trying to set and achieve life goals.

While feminism was an important concept, OFA developed a way of maintaining the principles of feminism and delivering these principles in a way that was meaningful and relevant for the women coming to our programs.

When we say we work from a feminist prespective we mean that we are guided by these central principles:

  • We work from an approach that recognizes accepts, and values differences, acknowledging women’s many roles in and contributions to society.
  • We promote empowerment. We acknowledge the existence of systemic forms of oppression and work to eradicate these while promoting the growth of individual self-esteem, motivation, skills, and authority.
  • We promote a participatory environment. We strive to remain open and accessible and to encourage the participation of staff, board, group participants, and volunteers in all programs and activities.
  • We promote individual change, recognizing that this happens in a social context.
  • We acknowledge the systemic inequalities that affect the life choices of the women we serve.
  • We serve individuals who choose to participate. Participation in all programs is voluntary.