Walking the walk and breaking new ground
Breaking new ground with historic investments in the Canadian women’s movement
Women’s organizations provide essential services to our communities, supporting women and girls to be financially secure, free from violence, and able to fully participate in all aspects of our economy and society. Yet for far too long they have been chronically underfunded, underestimated and undermined. The Government of Canada recognizes that women’s organizations are the lifeblood of the women’s movement and that maintaining and growing their ability to do this important work is the most effective way to advance gender equality.
That’s why on International Women’s Day, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality together with the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Member of Parliament for York South–Weston, announced that the government is investing in over 250 projects from women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women across Canada under the Capacity-building Fund
You can learn about some of the organizations whose capacity we’re elevating on our website.
Curbing campus violence
Working to end gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions
Graduating high school and taking the next step toward a post-secondary education is an exciting time in the life of any young Canadian. And when they get there, it’s important students can feel safe, respected, and heard on campus so that they can focus on what matters most: making memories, and getting a good education and developing skills that will prepare them for the next stage in their lives.
In 2014, 41% of all sexual assaults in Canada were reported by students. That’s why so many grassroots survivor-led organizations, student unions, and faculty have advocated for change on Canadian campuses.
Thanks to their work, many great strides to curb violence have been made, but we know there’s much more work to be done—and that’s why we’ve introduced Canada’s first ever Framework to prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence at Post-Secondary Institutions. Building on the important work already underway, and in partnership with key stakeholders and survivors from across Canada, this framework is aiming to capture best practices, policies, and guiding principles on gender-based violence from across the country.
Our Advisory Council, led by Farrah Khan, is comprised of feminist advocates from a range of sectors who have long been leading the feminist charge and who were selected to reflect expertise in prevention, supporting survivors and justice and other system responses. Be sure to stay tuned for the Advisory Council’s first official update coming early summer 2019.
Launch of MMIWG Commemoration Fund
The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will complete its final report on June 3, 2019. No relationship is more important to Canada than the relationship with Indigenous peoples. This is why the Government examined the Inquiry’s interim report and is taking action on its recommendations.
On February 2, 2019, the Department for Women and Gender Equality launched a new call for proposals funded through the two-year $10 million MMIWG Commemoration Fund. The Fund will support Indigenous organizations and governments (band councils, tribal councils and self-government entities) to work with families and communities to develop and implement commemorative initiatives to honour the lives and legacies of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, including LGBTQ2 people.
International Women’s Day 2019: #InnovateForChange
On March 8, 2019, to commemorate International Women’s Day, the Minister announced that the Government of Canada will invest in over 250 projects from women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women across Canada under the Capacity Building Fund, stemming from the Budget 2018 commitment of $100 million over five years to support a viable and sustainable women’s movement across Canada.
The theme for International Women’s Day 2019 was #InnovateForChange, celebrating the women and girls who are thriving in fields where they are under-represented and who find innovative solutions to the challenges they face in their communities, their work, and the world. We need to explore and advance the participation of women and girls in male-dominated fields like science, technology, engineering, math, aviation, information technology, and manufacturing. Currently only one-third of STEM graduates are women.
United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW 63)
The Honourable Maryam Monsef led the Canadian delegation to the 63rd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The Canadian Delegation was comprised of Parliamentarians, representatives of provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous leaders and representatives, and members of several non-governmental organizations.
UNCSW 63 was held in New York City from March 11 to 22, 2019. Canada took an active part in various meetings and events during the UNCSW 63 session. Canada co-hosted a panel discussion with the U.K. on challenges faced by LGBTQ2 individuals in gaining access to public services and supports, and also held discussions on the need to increase space for civil society to promote the human rights of women and girls, the importance of encouraging more women leaders, and empowering women and girls with disabilities.
Canada was a founding member of the United Nations. In times of global uncertainty, it remains an important institution in which Canada can play a vital role, advancing and protecting human rights for everyone, especially women and girls. Canada was elected to hold a seat on the UNCSW Commission for the 2017–2021 term. This provides Canada with a valuable opportunity to shape the Commission’s work on issues that affect women and girls globally.
For more information, read the Minister’s statement.
Daughters of the Vote
Equal Voice hosted its third annual DOTV conference in National Capital this April.
As Canadians, we’re fortunate to have the opportunity and freedom to participate in a thriving democratic society. But as studies and stats have shown, our political landscape and public institutions aren’t always a welcoming place for women or marginal identities.
That’s why Equal Voice has selected 338 dynamic young women – one from each and every federal riding in the country – to represent their home community, and communicate their vision for Canada at Daughters of the Vote.
All delegates ‘took their seat’ in Parliament during an historic sitting of the House of Commons on April 3, 2019. They were addressed by every federal party leader, and engaged with an array of Ministers, critics and advocates.
Did you miss the first installment of this popular initiative? Check out the first ever Daughters of the Vote which took place in Ottawa back in 2017.
Canada Youth Summit
The Department for Women and Gender Equality has partnered with the Privy Council Office and Global Affairs Canada to deliver the Canada Youth Summit, a two-day event targeting 300 youth on May 2-3, 2019, at Carleton University in Ottawa.
Our Department lead gender equality programming and the Minister opened the Summit by launching the initiative, National Conversations on Gender Equality with Young Canadians, and introduced the Youth Working Group on Gender Equality members. The inaugural meeting of the working group took place May 1, 2019 in Ottawa.
The Summit provided an opportunity for young Canadians to engage in conversations on multiple topics, including on gender equality, and support peer-to-peer engagement on this prominent issue.
Facilitating youth capacity towards building leadership skills and supporting social change toward more inclusive and equitable attitudes and behaviours, the Summit showcased ways to gender-mainstream content across the programming led by the Privy Council Office.
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