Gender equality achievements

Banner for Gender Equality Week 2018

Advancing gender equality is one of the Government’s most important priorities.

From appointing the first gender-balanced federal Cabinet to unparalleled investments in women and girls, we continue to make progress to advance gender equality in Canada and around the world. This ongoing commitment is upheld through important initiatives in a number of areas.

Economic prosperity

When women succeed, Canada’s economy thrives. That’s why the Government is:

  • Increasing the number of women in STEM, the skilled trades, and other well-paying fields;
  • Investing in women-led businesses to provide women entrepreneurs with access to financing, talent, networks and expertise;
  • Launching a new parental sharing benefit to support a more equitable distribution of child care within the home;
  • Taking action to address the gender wage gap through pay transparency measures in the federally regulated sector and moving forward with a proactive pay equity regime;
  • Including a gender statement in the federal budget to examine the gender impact of budget measures;
  • Strengthening the Canada Child Benefit so that it continues to help families that need it most and supporting affordable child care across Canada; and
  • Investing $40 billion on a National Housing Strategy to help reduce homelessness and improve housing for Canadians in need, with at least 25% supporting women, girls and their families.

Gender-Based Violence

Gender-based violence continues to be a significant – and preventable – barrier to gender equality. That’s why the Government is:

  • Passing legislation to ensure that federally regulated workplaces, including Parliament Hill, are free from harassment and sexual violence;
  • Invested over $200 million across government to prevent gender-based violence, support survivors and their families, and create more responsive legal and justice systems;
  • Women and Gender Equality Canada is investing over $13 million in over 100 commemoration initiatives to honour the lives and legacies of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, including LGBTQ2 and Two Spirit people. This responds to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ interim report, issued in November 2017. On June 3, 2019, the commission submitted its Final Report. The Government of Canada is examining its findings in order to establish a holistic path.
  • Investing in Canada’s network of shelters and transition homes to help ensure that those fleeing domestic violence have a place to turn; and
  • Launching the first national gender-based violence survey to collect information on safety in public and private spaces, at work, or online and collect data on intimate partner violence.


The Government is committed to advancing gender equality. That’s why the Government is:

  • Appointing a Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 issues and a Secretariat in the Privy Council Office to coordinate the government approach to LGBTQ2 issues;
  • Changing gender designation in Canadian passports to support LGBTQ2 rights and permit people who do not identify as female or male to acquire passports that better reflect their gender identity;
  • Enshrining gender identity as a protected right under the Canadian Human Rights Act and amending the Criminal Code to include violence motivated by gender identity as a form of hate crime through Bill C-16, which received Royal Assent in June 2017;
  • Becoming the co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition, the first inter-governmental network to promote and protect human rights of LGBTQ2 people around the world.
  • Women and Gender Equality Canada will invest $20 million as announced in Budget 2019 to support capacity-building and community-level work of Canadian LGBTQ2 organizations;
  • Global Affairs Canada has announced over $30 million to improve socio-economic outcomes for LGBTQ2 people in developing countries;
  • The Federal Tourism Growth Strategy includes major investments in Pride events across Canada;
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has announced increased support for LGBTQ2 refugees fleeing violence and persecution through the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership, and;
  • Canadian Heritage has set aside $2 million over two years under the Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program for Pride and LGBTQ2 events.


Canada is proud to be recognized as a world leader in advancing gender equality. That’s why the Government is:

  • Participating in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW), where we help shape the work being done to advance the rights of women and girls around the world;
  • Making the issue of gender equality front-and-centre in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);
  • Launching Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy to respond to the needs of local women’s organizations in developing countries;
  • Investing in organizations supporting sexual and reproductive health and rights as part of Canada’s comprehensive $650-million approach to closing existing gaps in reproductive rights and health care services for women;
  • Investing nearly $3.8 billion to support quality education for women and girls living in crisis, conflict-affected and fragile states and expand training and education programs for women and girls in STEM; and
  • Supporting peace operations to help protect vulnerable groups such as women and children.


When women are underrepresented in leadership roles, we miss out on their ideas, talents and expertise. That’s why the Government is:

  • Putting into place a new merit-based, open, and transparent approach to selecting high-quality candidates for approximately 4,000 Governor in Council and Ministerial appointments on commissions, boards, Crown corporations, agencies, and tribunals across the country.
  • Modifying the corporate governance laws to support the increase of women’s participation on corporate boards and in senior management positions.
  • Appointing women to key leadership positions such as Government House Leader, RCMP Commissioner, Commandant of NATO Defense College and Judge Advocate General.
  • Creating an Indigenous Women’s Circle (advisory forum) to discuss ways of addressing systemic inequalities that disproportionately impact Indigenous women and girls.
  • Investing $100 million over five years in Women and Gender Equality Canada to fund projects to promote women in leadership, end violence against women and girls, and improve women’s economic security and prosperity.
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