SCARBOROUGH, ON, May 21, 2019 /CNW/ - Women's organizations provide vital services in 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 today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced that the Government of Canada is investing over $1.2 million in six women's organizations in Scarborough, Ontario.
Minister Monsef highlighted the organizations that will receive funding (please see the Backgrounder for more information and testimonials):
- Groupe Artisanal Féminin Francophone de l'Ontario;
- Heritage Skills Development Centre;
- Homeward Family Shelter (Julliette's Place);
- La maison d'hébergement pour femmes francophones;
- Réseau des Chercheures Africaines; and,
- South Asian Women's Rights Organization.
These organizations are six of the more than 250 women's and Indigenous organizations serving women across Canada receiving funding under the Government of Canada's Capacity-building Fund. This investment stems from the Budget 2018 announcement of $100 million over five years to support a viable and sustainable women's movement across Canada.
"With this historic investment, we recognize the women and women's organizations breaking through barriers and express our gratitude to those who have been doing this work for decades on little more than a shoestring budget. The women's movement across Canada has been asking for a reliable, predictable and accessible source of funds to ensure the sustainability of their work. Our government listened. With this stable and flexible funding, we are helping organizations in Scarborough grow and endure, because we know that investing in women's organizations is the most effective way to advance gender equality. By supporting a movement that has achieved amazing results, we are growing the middle class, strengthening families and communities, and creating lasting change that benefits everyone."
The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality
"Our government has been working hard to ensure that marginalized people across the country and in Scarborough have the resources and support they need to succeed and build truly inclusive communities. It is especially important to invest in organizations that support women because every dollar invested returns significant benefits to our community not only in gender equality, but in increased employment, entrepreneurialism, and self-sufficiency."
The Honourable John McKay, P.C., M.P.
Member of Parliament for Scarborough—Guildwood
"The HSDC works with a diverse community of women in Scarborough. It's so uplifting to know this funding will lead to capacity building initiatives that will allow it to broaden its reach and have even more of a positive impact on the lives of the women they serve."
Salma Zahid, M.P.
Member of Parliament for Scarborough Centre
"As a government, we have made a commitment to support women and children in need of emergency services including shelter and support following traumatic events. The additional funding from WAGE through the Capacity Building Fund, received by organizations in my riding of Scarborough-Rouge Park, La Maison d'hébergement pour femmes francophones de Toronto, and the Homeward Family Shelter also known as Julliette's Place, is a welcome support. The work that these organizations provide for women and children serve as a pillar in our community for those who need it most. This, along with funding provided to a range of organizations across Scarborough, represents $1.4 million in investment into essential services."
Gary Anandasangaree, M.P.
Member of Parliament for Scarborough—Rouge Park
- Budget 2018 announced $100 million over five years to support a viable and sustainable women's movement across Canada. Adding to this historic investment, Budget 2019 proposes to invest a further $160 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, in the Department for Women and Gender Equality's Women's Program. This means that by 2023–24, the Women's Program, which supports eligible organizations to carry out projects to advance equality by addressing systemic barriers, will total $100 million annually.
- This funding will enable women's organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women to tackle systemic barriers impeding women's progress, while recognizing and addressing the diverse experiences of gender and inequality across the country.
- Gender-based violence can have lifelong impacts on an individual's physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health. Additionally, the effects can be serious and costly. Annually, the economic impact of intimate partner violence and sexual assault is estimated to be more than $12 billion.
- Canada will host the Women Deliver 2019 Conference from June 3 to 6, 2019, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Held every three years, it is the world's largest gathering on gender equality and the health, rights and well-being of women and girls.
- The conference is part of a global movement to promote gender equality worldwide and give voice to a broad spectrum of people, including Indigenous peoples, youth and those living in conflict and crisis settings. It will bring together more than 7,000 individuals—world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists, youth and journalists—from more than 160 countries, with an additional 100,000 people joining virtually.
Department for Women and Gender Equality – Women's Program
One of the ways the Department for Women and Gender Equality advances gender equality in Canada is by providing funding to eligible organizations through the Women's Program. Projects are selected via calls for proposals on specific themes, as well as through a continuous intake process that allows the Women's Program to address emerging issues as they arise.
The Women's Program funds projects that address systemic barriers to women's equality in three priority areas: ending violence against women and girls; improving the economic security and prosperity of women and girls; and encouraging women and girls in leadership roles.
Capacity-building Call for Proposals
In October 2018, Minister Monsef announced a Call for Proposals under the Capacity-building Fund of the Women's Program. Projects at the local, provincial, and national level were eligible for different amounts of funding, based on their specific need and reach.
On March 8, 2019, International Women's Day, Minister Monsef announced that over 250 women's organizations across the country would receive funding from the Capacity-building Fund.
The objective is to fund proposals that will increase the capacity of eligible women's organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women, whose initiatives contribute to a viable women's movement in Canada that advances gender equality. Funding will increase the ability of organizations to grow, meet the increasing demands for their services, and continue to work collectively to address gender equality issues. The fund stems from the Budget 2018 announcement of $100 million over five years to help support a viable and sustainable women's movement across Canada.
Today's announcement in Scarborough, Ontario, profiled six projects selected for federal funding:
Groupe Artisanal Féminin Francophone de l'Ontario (GAFFO)
Project title: A Social Enterprise by and for Women
Funding amount: $228,680
GAFFO seeks to improve services to women in the Scarborough area by strengthening the organization in terms of income diversification, sponsorships and partnerships. With a focus on economic empowerment through social enterprise, GAFFO will engage a marketing professional to prepare a sponsorship and partnership plan that will help them become more sustainable while supporting and expanding the scope of their activities offered to immigrant women.
GAFFO is a non-profit arts organization, founded in Toronto in 2000. They combine creating crafts and the manufacturing of art objects in workshops centered on improving women's economic development. They also work closely with women who are victims of violence and support them to regain self-confidence and return to the labour market.
"Our passion for combining art and economics is our way of supporting and empowering women who want to return to the labour market and become more independent. With today's investment in our organization from the federal government, we can explore the options of using social enterprise in our own business and program models to make us less susceptible to funding shortfalls. This will also provide an in-house training platform to help our clients gain the confidence, skills and business expertise they need to achieve more economic security."
Felicite Dibi, Executive Director
Groupe Artisanal Féminin Francophone de l'Ontario
Heritage Skills Development Centre (HSDC)
Project title: HSDC Organization Capacity Building Project
Funding amount: $222,177
HSDC has been preparing a sustainability plan that will build capacity and strengthen the organization's ability to improve program outcomes. This initiative will develop a series of connected strategic management plans to improve the program implementation process and create long-term community impact. It will include results-based management plans for human resources, partnership development and sustainability. This system will provide the framework for strategic planning, risk management, performance monitoring and evaluation to improve project implementation. The plan will also include a revised recruitment and retention strategy that fosters the inclusion of marginalized women to deliver programs and services.
HSDC is a grassroots non-profit organization that was established in 1993 by a group of women who wanted to close a gap in the integration services available to immigrants, refugees and minorities in the Greater Toronto Area. Since then, HSDC has expanded to include serving at-risk, low-income children and youth, seniors and marginalized groups.
"We're very thankful for the federal government's support. Like any organization, we require dedicated financial resources to strengthen our capacity. With this new funding, we can improve our organizational capacity to provide services and recruit more marginalized women with lived experience to work with us. This will enhance our work and help extend our reach in the community."
Charity Lebeanya, Executive Director
Heritage Skills Development Centre
Homeward Family Shelter (Julliette's Place)
Project title: Diversification of Funding Sources
Funding amount: $232,000
Homeward Family Shelter is committed to implementing a fundraising strategy to ensure future service delivery. With this investment, the objective is to develop and diversify the funding sources of the organization to ensure the continuation of services to abused women and children for years to come. Over the course of the project, a fundraising plan will be designed and implemented with testing and adaptations built in. The key focus of the new plan will be a review and revision of how the organization conducts advocacy, community engagement, and collaborations with existing and potential partnerships.
Homeward Family Shelter was an initiative spearheaded by a group of community-minded individuals and opened its doors in 1990. In 1997, the organization was granted the legal right to operate as Julliette's Place in memory of Juliet Reynolds, a former-resident who was murdered by her estranged partner and abuser. The corporate name of the organization, however, remains Homeward Family Shelter.
"Like most not-for-profit women's organizations, our financial resources often fall short of our operational costs and our human resources are stretched to the point of exhaustion in fundraising efforts, leaving us with less time to focus on the provision of much-needed services and programs. Thanks to this new support from the federal government, we will be able to enhance and diversify our donor base and generate much-needed revenue, thereby focusing our resources on the continued delivery of our services to vulnerable women and children."
Margaret C. Haynes, Executive Director
Homeward Family Shelter (Julliette's Place)
La maison d'hébergement pour femmes francophones
Project title: My House, My Commitment: An Effective Strategy for Community Involvement
Funding amount: $220,920
La maison d'hébergement pour femmes francophone is seeking to expand its community engagement and outreach. Part of this goal will be achieved through raising its profile by offering a wider range of services to the community and new remedial programs. It will also promote and introduce activities into the community with a view to improving the safety of women, such as arranged transportation, secure emergency shelter, and unfunded legal support in the area of family law or immigration.
La Maison is a feminist organization in the Toronto area run by and for Francophone women. They assist women 16 years of age and older, and their children or dependents, who are victims of spousal and family violence. La Maison d'hébergement pour femmes francophones was incorporated in 2009 and granted charitable status in 2019.
"It is important for our organization to increase the promotion of the services we provide to Francophone women in Toronto so that we can better serve those in need in our community. We're thankful for the Government of Canada's support which will help us do just that and ultimately improve the safety of women."
Jeanne Francoise Mouè, Director General
La maison d'hébergement pour femmes francophones
Réseau des Chercheures Africaines (RECAF)
Project title: RECAF's Renewed Commitment to Francophone Immigrant Women and Girls
Funding amount: $141,316
RECAF wants to upgrade its program and service delivery by incorporating more Gender-based Analysis Plus into its existing operational plans. To reorganize and strengthen organizational capabilities, RECAF will integrate the concept of "gender" into its daily operations to improve responses to service requests and to ensure gender issues are considered along with socio-economic needs. This will advance gender equality for Francophone women and girls from ethnocultural backgrounds and contribute to RECAF's capacity to provide appropriate responses and services to women in need of assistance.
Founded in Toronto in 2000, RECAF is a non-profit organization dedicated to the integration of professional racial minority women to enable them to work and prosper in their chosen profession.
"We have been operating for almost 20 years but to better serve our clients we need to include greater considerations of gender in our work. With the federal government's support, we can put our plan in motion to better accommodate the needs of Francophone immigrant women and girls who come to us for assistance."
Dr. Mueni Malubungi, Director General
Réseau des Chercheures Africaines
South Asian Women's Rights Organization (SAWRO)
Project title: Accessing External Resources for Internal Strength
Funding amount: $162,000
SAWRO assists isolated immigrant women to get a foothold in the paid labour force. While it has established a strong community presence and a network of women supporters and clients, it lacks the professional structure required to expand and build sustainable capacity. This investment will help ensure the sustainability of the organization through the implementation of a long-term evaluation and business management strategy. With stronger governance and more planning competence, the organization plans on reinventing its approach to fundraising, administration and preparing initiatives. Becoming a more professional organization is expected to result in better services and programs for South Asian women in Scarborough and an agency that can better sustain itself through professional management and planning.
SAWRO is a community-led association of immigrant women living in Scarborough. Since 2007, is has worked for the empowerment and integration of immigrant women and for the reduction of poverty within the community. SAWRO's employability and employment programs are conceived and delivered by women from the affected community.
"We are very pleased with the Government of Canada's multi-year investment in our project. It is an opportunity for us to become an organization that can bring more economic security to South Asian women in Scarborough and be a more powerful advocate for change and for gender equality."
Sultana Jahangir, Executive Director
South Asian Women's Rights Organization
- Capacity-Building Fund Call for Proposals
- Groupe Artisanal Féminin Francophone de l'Ontario (only in French)
- Heritage Skills Development Centre
- Homeward Family Shelter (Julliette's Place)
- La maison d'hébergement pour femmes francophones
- Réseau des Chercheures Africaines (only in French)
- South Asian Women's Rights Organization
- Women Deliver 2019
Follow the Department for Women and Gender Equality:
SOURCE Department for Women and Gender Equality
For further information: Braeson Holland, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality, 343-549-8825; Valérie Haché, Senior Communications Advisor, Department for Women and Gender Equality, 819-420-8684