OTTAWA, May 2, 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, at an event honouring founders of Canada's first women's shelters, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced that the Government of Canada will invest close to $1.5 million in Women's Shelters Canada to increase its capacity, and the capacity, resilience and longevity of 14 provincial and territorial shelter associations to advocate for the end of violence against women and address the needs of women fleeing violence. The funding will also help the organization bring together service providers to create survivor-led, customized safety and support plans for those affected by gender-based violence.
This funding stems from historic Budget 2018 investments in the Capacity-building Fund to support a sustainable women's movement and the Gender-based Violence Program to address gaps in support for underserved groups in Canada who experience gender-based violence.
"The shelters movement, and the women who founded it, opened the door to survivors of domestic violence and helped them on the road to rebuilding their lives. They also opened the door for hundreds of women's groups, volunteer agencies and governments to follow in their footsteps, and open more and more shelters in every part of this country. With this investment in Women's Shelters Canada, we are providing stable and flexible funding that will help them grow and endure, and continue providing essential supports to survivors of gender-based violence. Our government recognizes 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
"This funding from the federal government will enhance the capacity of Women's Shelters Canada to further develop its role as a connector, facilitating exchanges amongst Provincial and Territorial shelter organizations, and between the federal government, and Provincial and Territorial shelter associations and individual shelters. It will lead to enhanced services and supports for women fleeing violence and provides us with the potential to help many more women in need. It will make a real difference."
Lise Martin, Executive Director
Women's Shelters Canada
- 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.
- To date, the Government of Canada has invested over $200 million to prevent gender-based violence, support survivors and their families, and create more responsive legal and justice systems.
- Some populations are more likely to experience violence and may face unique barriers and challenges that put them at particular risk. According to the 2014 General Social Survey on Victimization, women are at a 20% higher risk of violent victimization than men when all other risk factors are taken into account. Indigenous women are more likely to experience violence and reported having been the victim of a violent crime at a rate 2.7 higher than that reported by non-Indigenous women (219 incidents per 1,000 population versus 81 incidents per 1,000).
- 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 over $12 billion.
Department for Women and Gender Equality's 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.
Gender-Based Violence Program
Following the June 2017 announcement of It' s Time: Canada' s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence, the Department for Women and Gender Equality (formerly Status of Women Canada) launched the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Program in January 2018.
The GBV Program complements the department's Women' s Program, and helps organizations working in the GBV sector to develop and implement promising practices to address gaps in supports for survivors and their families.
While violence affects people of all genders, ages, cultures, ethnicities, geographic locations, and socio-economic backgrounds, some populations are more at-risk and face additional barriers to accessing services. The GBV Program responds to this need by providing funding to eligible organizations at the local, regional and national levels for projects that address gaps in supports for specific groups of survivors, including Indigenous women, and other underserved populations, such as children and youth, LGBTQ2 communities, non-status/refugee/immigrant women, seniors, women living in official language minority communities, women living in northern, rural and remote communities, and women living with disabilities.
Women's Shelters Canada
Today's announcement profiled two projects selected for federal funding, the first through the Capacity-building Fund, and the second from the Gender-based Violence Program:
- Project title: Building Resilience and Increasing Impact in the VAW Shelter Sector
Funding amount: $941,319
Women's Shelters Canada will use this investment to increase its capacity, resilience and the longevity of its 14 provincial and territorial shelter associations to advocate for the end of violence against women and address the needs of women fleeing violence. It will help them create sustainability plans and advocacy strategies to improve the way shelters operate across the country.
- Project title: Community Safety Circles: Women-Led Interagency VAW Safety Support in Rural and Remote Communities
Funding amount: $548,670
With this investment, Women's Shelters Canada will implement Circles of Safety, a trauma-informed and survivor-centered approach to safety planning that brings together survivors, service providers, and informal support networks to generate customized safety and support plans. The organization will then examine this promising practice to provide greater safety to women living in rural, remote and northern communities throughout Canada who do not have access to an emergency shelter.
Women's Shelters Canada (formerly the Canadian Network of Women's Shelters and Transitional Houses) is a network of 14 provincial and territorial shelter networks representing over 400 shelters across Canada. It works as a unified voice to collaborate, educate, and innovate for systemic change that ends violence against women, making Canada a model for safety in the world.
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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