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Theme 1: Building Partnerships to Address Systemic Barriers

Theme 1: We are no longer accepting applications for this theme. The deadline for applications was November 27, 2017. Applications are currently being assessed.

To advance gender equality, Status of Women Canada (SWC) has opened a new call for proposals for projects to address the economic security of women in Canada.

“Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities.”

United Nations

The Government of Canada is committed to furthering its partnership with civil society and recognizes the important role of advocacy in furthering our shared goals. Through this call for proposals, organizations will receive funding to implement projects to address the range of institutional barriers (e.g. accessibility of childcare, wage gap, pay inequity) that limit the economic security of women in Canada.

Call Description

With this call for proposals, organizations across the country will implement projects designed to address some of the root causes of economic insecurity for women in Canada (e.g. accessibility of childcare, wage gap, pay inequity).

Achieving gender equality requires the participation of a wide range of actors. This call for proposals is a call to action to equality-seeking organizations to mobilize and work together to find sustainable solutions that meet the lifelong economic security needs of women in Canada.

Projects under this call will engage key stakeholders* across various sectors to implement systemic solutions to improve the economic security of women. Recognizing that systemic issues often intersect, projects that address women’s economic security as it relates to other issues will also be considered (e.g. women’s economic insecurity is both a cause and an outcome of violence against women).

*(e.g. civil society, private sector/sector leaders, professional or industry associations, economic development organizations, training institutions, leading experts, governments, and other relevant partners.)

Is Your Organization the Right Fit?

To be eligible, organizations must have experience working on gender equality issues within the areas of focus of the SWC Women’s Program — increasing women’s economic security and prosperity, encouraging women’s leadership and democratic participation and ending violence against women and girls.

Private sector organizations are not eligible to apply for SWC funding under this call for proposals but are encouraged to participate by partnering with a non-profit organization.

Proposed projects must reflect your organization’s areas of expertise in gender equality issues. Applicants will be assessed on organizational capacity, experience, expertise, and ability to work in partnership.

Potential applicants should read the document Is the Women’s Program the right match for me? and the Eligibility Requirements for additional criteria.

What Your Project Must Do

Over the course of three years, proposed projects must address relevant economic security gender equality issues within the areas of focus of the Women’s Program*. Projects must include – and will be assessed on – the following points:

  • Transforming the environment (e.g. institutions and systems) and addressing systemic barriers that limit the economic security of women in Canada ; and
  • Developing and maintaining active and effective partnerships.

Work in partnership with other organizations/stakeholders to implement solutions to address systemic barriers to women’s economic security, taking into consideration opportunities and the sustainability of the measures being implemented.

Examples could include but are not limited to:

  • Working with partners to develop and implement alternative child care delivery models.
  • Working with an industry/sector to develop an action plan to establish and implement pay equity standards.

For Theme 1, priority will be given to organizations that take a collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach. Applicants are expected to create or build on partnerships that strengthen project outcomes through their reach, expertise, and financial or in-kind support.

Note: The following types of activities will not be eligible under Theme 1 of this call for proposals:

  • Activities focused exclusively on enhancing women’s economic prosperity rather than economic security;
  • Delivering training (e.g. financial literacy, leadership, mentorship, occupational or otherwise) to women;
  • Recruitment and/or awareness activities related to employment opportunities (e.g. job fairs) or entrepreneurial start-up or expansion opportunities (e.g. providing financial literacy training to women to assist them in starting or expanding a business);
  • Supporting existing and/or ongoing activities or programs, providing direct services or direct access to existing services/supports;
  • Developing new economic programs and services;
  • Development of products that will be used by one organization only.

*Please consult Women’s Program staff to determine whether a proposed project corresponds with the focus of the Women’s Program and the call for proposals.


Up to 36 months

Funding Available

Up to $350,000 (regional projects)

Up to $500,000 (national projects)

Planned Call Results

  • Increased visibility and greater recognition of institutional barriers to women's economic security.
  • Action-oriented, projects implemented across the country in support of gender equality and economic security for women in Canada.
  • Stakeholder collaboration to identify gaps, priorities and opportunities and to implement effective solutions to advance women’s economic security.
  • Effective collaborative strategies that leverage current efforts and advance the economic security of women have been developed and implemented with key stakeholders.


The following deliverables will be required for projects (post approval):

  • Planning tools
  • Progress reports
  • Final Reports

Performance reporting and specific timelines will be determined after the initial application has been approved. Depending on the nature of the proposed projects, additional requirements may apply.

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