Women and gender equality Canada programming


Women’s Program

Through the Women’s Program, Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) invests in projects across Canada that address systemic barriers to gender equality in three priority areas: ending violence against women and girls; improving women’s and girls’ economic security and prosperity; and encouraging women and girls in leadership and decision-making roles. The objective of the Women’s Program is to achieve the full participation of women in the economic, social, and democratic life of Canada.

Funded projects are collaborative in nature, involving non-governmental organizations in partnership with public institutions, other levels of government and the private sector to create opportunities for systemic change in communities across Canada to address persistent barriers to equality in a sustainable way. Funding recipients are primarily not-for-profit organizations, from local grassroots organizations to large national organizations. The program accepts applications for funding through calls for proposals (CFPs) for projects to respond to emerging or pressing issues, as well as on an ongoing basis in order to offer customized responses to issues impacting women.

Since 2007, the Women’s Program has had annual Gs&Cs funding of $19M (ongoing). Budget 2019 included an additional $160M over 5 years, starting in 2019-20, to enable further community action to tackle systemic barriers impeding women’s progress, while recognizing the diverse experiences of gender and inequality across the country. 

Capacity-building Fund

Budget 2018 announced $100M over five years, starting in 2018-19, to support women’s organizations to ensure a strong sustainable women’s movement. The objective of the Capacity-building Fund is to increase capacity of organizations to strengthen the women’s movement in Canada and help organizations work collectively to address gender equality issues. Funding is flexible to allow organizations to address their own needs and enhance the unique contribution they can make to strengthen the women’s movement.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Commemoration Fund

In response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Interim Report recommendation, WAGE received $10M over two years, starting in 2019-20 to establish the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Commemoration Fund. The objective of the Commemoration Fund is to support Indigenous governments and organizations to work with families, survivors and communities to develop and implement commemoration initiatives to honour the lives and legacies of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and LGBTQ2S individuals.

Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Program

WAGE’s GBV Program is population-specific and its objective is to supports organizations working in the GBV sector in developing and implementing promising practices to address gaps in supports for Indigenous and other underserved groups of survivors in Canada. WAGE received funding through Budget 2017 ($29M over five years, starting in 2017-18, with $6M ongoing) and Budget 2018 ($25.5M over five years, starting in 2018-19, with $6M ongoing) for the GBV Program. In December 2018, $50M in funding was approved for nearly 60 projects.

Budget 2018 announced $5.5M over 5 years, starting in 2018-19 to work with stakeholders, including provincial and territorial governments, to develop a framework to prevent and address gender-based violence at post-secondary institutions.

Human Trafficking: Prevention and Continuum of Care Intervention

The new National Strategy led by Public Safety to Combat Human Trafficking was announced on September 4, 2019 and provided WAGE with $10M over four years, starting in 2020-21, and $2M ongoing to:

LGBTQ2 Community Capacity Fund

Budget 2019 included $20M over two years, starting in 2019-20, to help address the unique needs and persisting disparities among LGBTQ2+ Canadians by investing in capacity building and community-level work of Canadian LGBTQ2+ service organizations.

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