Minister Monsef announces more than $2 million for gender equality projects in Atlantic Canada

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

SAINT JOHN, NB, Aug. 31, 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 Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint JohnRothesay, announced Government of Canada funding for projects that will help advance gender equality in Atlantic Canada. 

Organizations in the Atlantic region are receiving funding of more than $2 million for projects that will challenge barriers to gender equality, including:

  • Antigonish Women's Resource Centre & Sexual Assault Services Association ($395,000): to prevent sexual violence against women and girls in the rural County of Antigonish, Nova Scotia.
  • Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre ($283,000): to improve women's access to the justice system when reporting sexual violence to police in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
  • Saint John Women's Empowerment Network ($313,000): to enhance access to childcare for low-income women in Saint John, New Brunswick.
  • Women's Network PEI ($352,000): to improve women's access to childcare in Prince Edward Island.

Other gender equality projects in the Atlantic region will be announced at a later date.

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, in Atlantic Canada, as well as 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

"Sexual violence can happen anywhere, in communities both big and small. We look forward to working with our partners to ensure that Antigonish is equipped to address this problem. Together, we will take action to prevent sexual violence against women and prepare ourselves to support survivors effectively when it does occur."

Lucille Harper, Executive Director
Antigonish Women's Resource Centre & Sexual Assault Services Association

"Choosing to report a sexual assault to police is a difficult decision and, sometimes, the criminal justice system itself can seem like an obstacle. Through this project, we will work to identify and address the systemic barriers that prevent survivors' from seeking justice. Improving conditions for women reporting sexual assault is an important step toward preventing these crimes in the future."

Lorraine Whalley, Director
Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre

"Access to quality childcare is essential for working parents and can be instrumental in helping women to get ahead financially. Finding affordable childcare can be difficult, especially for those who need it most. We are proud to work with the Government of Canada on this project, which will explore ways to improve access to childcare for women with low incomes, unconventional work schedules or special needs children."

Brenda Murphy, Executive Director
Saint John Women's Empowerment Network

"We are very excited to work with the Government of Canada on this project to improve access to childcare in Prince Edward Island. Inadequate childcare services can make it difficult for women to balance career and family and this affects economic growth. Through this project, we look forward to removing some of the barriers that prevent women from achieving their full potential."

Jillian Kilfoil, Executive Director
Women's Network PEI

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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Backgrounder

Antigonish Women's Resource Centre & Sexual Assault Services Association — $395,000

The Antigonish Women's Resource Centre & Sexual Assault Services Association provides services to individual women and adolescent girls in Antigonish and Guysborough counties, Nova Scotia. Services include crisis and ongoing problem-solving support, information, advocacy, accompaniment and referrals.

This three-year project will work to prevent sexual violence against women and girls in the rural County of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The organization will work with the Paqtnkek Mi'kmaw Nation, St. Francis Xavier University, and the Strait Regional School Board to establish policies and practices to better recognize and address sexual violence. Community stakeholders will be engaged and will develop and implement action plans to sexual violence against women and girls.

Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre — $283,000

For more than 40 years, the Fredericton Sexual Assault Centre has provided information, support, and counselling to those affected by sexual violence in New Brunswick.

This three-year project will improve women's access to the justice system when reporting sexual violence to police in Fredericton. The organization will work with stakeholders to identify barriers faced by sexual assault survivors in the criminal justice system and develop a strategy to address them.

Saint John Women's Empowerment Network — $313,000

Since 1994, the Saint John Women's Empowerment Network (originally "The Urban Core Support Network") has worked to empower women to live sustainable lives and contribute as full partners in society.  

Through this three-year project, the organization will enhance access to childcare for low-income women in Saint John, New Brunswick. They will work with partners to develop and implement strategies that address barriers to women's participation in the labour force. This will include examining issues like daycare subsidies, the accessibility of childcare for special needs children and the availability of child care for women who work outside of normal business hours.

Women's Network PEI — $352,000 

The Women's Network PEI is a not-for-profit organization that works to strengthen and support the efforts of women in Prince Edward Island (PEI) to improve the status of women in society.

This three-year project will improve women's access to childcare in PEI. The organization will work with partners in the community to understand the local context and identify barriers to childcare on the island. It will then develop and share an action plan for family-friendly work policies.

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: 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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