Minister Monsef announces more than $2.2 million for gender equality projects in British Columbia

Projects will engage local women leaders in pan-Canadian network to support a thriving gender equality movement

VANCOUVER, Sept. 8, 2017  /CNW/ - As Canada marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, it is important to reflect on our legacy for the future. Despite the important milestones witnessed in these 150 years, women, girls, and gender-non-conforming people still face hardships. There is more work remaining for gender equality to become a reality in Canada. By investing in a strong and thriving women's movement today, we are laying the foundation for gender equality tomorrow.

Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, along with the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, announced Government of Canada funding for seven projects that will help advance gender equality in British Columbia.

The following organizations are receiving funding of more than $2.2 million for projects that will challenge barriers to gender equality:

  • Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) ($290,000): to improve the way workplaces in BC respond to gender-based violence and support survivors.
  • Inform'elles Society ($270,000): to improve support for francophone women who experience violence in British Columbia and Yukon.
  • Minerva Foundation for BC Women ($337,076): to increase women leaders in B.C.'s technology sector.
  • Multilingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities (MOSAIC) ($275,132): to increase gender diversity in Vancouver's news media.
  • Rise Women's Legal Centre ($375,000): to improve women's access to legal services.
  • Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST) ($345,190): to increase and promote gender diversity in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields in Vancouver.
  • WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre ($320,000): to improve the response of the B.C. justice system to survivors of sexual violence.

These initiatives are part of an investment of over $18 million by the federal government to support grassroots organizations and engage 150 women leaders across the country. These leaders will work together as part of a pan-Canadian network to support feminist action for gender equality at the national level. The network is being convened by the Canadian Women's Foundation.

As a digital partner with Status of Women Canada, Instagram offered participants at the event a learning session on social media best practices to create communities and maximize audiences.

Quotes

"Strong, dynamic leaders are the heart of the women's movement and their passion and engagement are the key to achieving gender equality. Today's panel discussion shows the power of these leaders and their organizations to catalyze change and inspire action that benefits all of us, here and in the entire country. I am proud to support their efforts and of our government's ongoing commitment to gender equality."

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women

"Gender-based violence can affect every aspect of a woman's life, including her work life and career. We are excited to work on this project with our partners, including professional associations, to improve the way that gender-based violence is addressed in the workplace and to provide employers with support to effectively prevent and respond to this violence."

Tracy Porteous
Executive Director
Ending Violence Association of BC

"We are pleased to work with the Government of Canada on this project to ensure that francophone women in British Columbia and Yukon have access to the support they need. This project will allow us to better coordinate the French-language services offered to survivors of gender-based violence in the region."

Marie Dussault
President
Inform'Elles Society

"Women continue to be under-represented in leadership positions in many workplaces and the technology sector is no exception. Through this project we will work with the technology industry to support the advancement of women into executive positions and ensure that the sector is equipped to retain and develop their talented women leaders."

Jennifer Murtagh, Chief Executive Officer
Minerva BC

"The news media plays a powerful role in our culture and the way that women are portrayed in the news influences the way they are seen in society. Through this project, we will address issues like discrimination, stereotyping, representation and coverage of gender-based violence in the news media. This work will help news media organizations ensure gender diverse, culturally sensitive broadcasts. "

Chany Chea, Coordinator of Innovative Projects
MOSAIC

"We are excited to work with the Government of Canada on this project to improve women's access to legal services in British Columbia. Women who have experienced violence need support when navigating the family law system. This project will allow us to work with our partners in the community to streamline and enhance the way we work together to serve our clients."

Kim Hawkins, Executive Director
Rise Women's Legal Centre

"Women have the education, skills and drive to succeed in every field, yet they remain under-represented in STEM. Through this project, we will take a hard look at the barriers in STEM workplaces that prevent women from advancing and work with the sector to find solutions that allow women to thrive."

Dr. Christin Wiedemann, President
Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology

"There continues to be a lack of confidence in the criminal justice system among women survivors of sexual assault, including a pervasive concern that participants are not treated fairly by the justice system and are re-victimized by the process and by criminal justice professionals."

WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre

Quick Facts

  • In October 2016, Status of Women Canada invited organizations to propose projects that advance gender equality across Canada. As of June 2017, some 50 projects have been approved for over $18 million in Funding to Advance Gender Equality with the goal of empowering great Canadian women and enabling their good work to set the stage for the next 150 years. This is the most funding to ever be approved through a Status of Women Canada call for proposals. Approved projects will take place over a period of three years.
  • The Women's Program at Status of Women Canada supports eligible organizations to carry out projects to advance equality by addressing systemic barriers that contribute to gender inequality in Canada.

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Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) — $290,000

EVA BC works to coordinate and support the work of victim-serving and other anti-violence programs in British Columbia through the provision of issue-based consultation and analysis, resource development, training, research and education.

Through this three-year project, EVA BC will work to improve the way workplaces in BC respond to gender-based violence and support survivors. The organization and its partners will collaborate to design and implement policies to prevent and respond to women who experience sexual violence and harassment. The results of the project will be shared with stakeholders, including professional associations.

Inform'elles Society — $270,000

Since 1998, Inform'elles has provided British Columbians French-language information, awareness and support services on violence against women and girls.

This three-year project will improve the coordination of support for francophone women who experience violence in British Columbia and the Yukon. An advisory committee will identify best practices and make recommendations to address current support gaps. Working with its partners, the organization will design, test and share a framework to ensure that francophone women of diverse backgrounds have access to culturally appropriate French-language services.

Minerva Foundation for BC Women — $337,076

The Minerva Foundation is a registered, non-profit charitable organization that supports women and girls throughout British Columbia to gain the confidence and skills they need to reach their leadership potential through initiatives like leadership programs, education awards, and culturally relevant programming developed in partnership with Indigenous women.

This three-year project will increase the representation of women in leadership roles in British Columbia's technology sector. The organization will work with industry stakeholders to address the representation of women executives in the sector by identifying barriers, adopting promising practices to address them and creating a gender diversity assessment tool.

Multilingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities (MOSAIC) — $275,132

MOSAIC is a registered charity serving immigrant, newcomer and refugee communities in Greater Vancouver for the past 40 years.

Through this project, MOSAIC will work to increase gender diversity in Vancouver's news media by addressing such issues as discrimination, stereotyping and lack of representation of female experts. It will develop and pilot a culturally sensitive gender framework for media content and coverage for news media organizations when reporting on violence against women, which will include a self-assessment standards booklet and a gender equality charter for the media.

Rise Women's Legal Centre — $375,000

Rise Women's Legal Centre is a community legal centre striving to create accessible legal services that are responsive to the unique needs of self-identifying women, particularly those who are victims of violence, abuse and unequal power dynamics.

Through this three-year project, the organization will work to improve women's access to legal services in British Columbia, particularly in a family law setting. The organization will work with partners in the community, including women who have experienced violence, to identify and implement promising practices for providing legal assistance to survivors of violence. Findings will be shared with community organizations and policy makers.

Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST) — $345,190

SCWIST is a non-profit association that promotes, encourages and empowers women and girls in science, engineering and technology.

This three-year project will increase and promote gender diversity in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields in Vancouver. Working with its partners, SCWIST will address barriers to women's inclusion and advancement in the sector, such as human resources and workplace practices that do not meet the diverse needs of women. Results will be shared broadly among sector stakeholders.

WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre — $320,000

WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre works to end all forms of violence against women. It provides all women who have experienced any form of sexualized violence with support and healing, and engages with youth to develop leadership for prevention of future violence.

Through this three-year project, the organization will work to improve the response of the B.C. Justice System to survivors of sexual violence. The organization will bring the voices of survivors and those that work with them forward and work with partners to develop a strategy to increase survivors' confidence in the justice system.

Call for proposals: Funding to Advance Gender Equality in Canada – Over $18 million

In October 2016, Status of Women Canada invited organizations to propose projects that advance gender equality across Canada. As of June 2017, some 50 projects have been approved for over $18 million in Funding to Advance Gender Equality.

Over the course of 36-months, the projects will address systemic barriers in Status of Women Canada's three areas of focus: increasing women's economic security and prosperity; encouraging women and girls to be better represented in leadership and decision-making roles; and ending violence against women and girls.

The Canadian Women's Foundation will convene a strong, independent, pan-Canadian network of women leaders to support feminist action for gender equality at the national level. These leaders have been chosen for their remarkable efforts at the local level to advance gender equality with women, girls and gender non-conforming people. By creating a network of visionary women, we will broaden the reach of their efforts beyond their communities – inspiring others from across the country to add their voices and contribute their ideas towards achieving real progress.

It's Time: Canada's Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence

It's Time: Canada's Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence is the Government of Canada's response to gender-based violence (GBV). It builds on current federal initiatives, coordinates existing programs and lays the foundation for greater action on GBV.

The Strategy is based on three pillars:

  • Prevention;
  • Support for survivors and their families; and
  • Promotion of responsive legal and justice systems

 

SOURCE Status of Women Canada

For further information: Inquiries: Célia Canon, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Status of Women, 613-862-3270; Léonie Roux, Public Affairs Officer, Status of Women Canada, 819-420-6821


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