Minister Monsef announces more than $3.2 million for gender equality projects in Toronto

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

TORONTO, Aug. 16, 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, announced Government of Canada funding for nine projects that will help advance gender equality in Ontario. 

The following organizations are receiving funding of more than $3.2 million for a range of projects that will challenge barriers to gender equality:

  • Barbra Schlifer Clinic ($365,789): to decrease the rate of criminalization of newcomer women seeking protection from violence in Ontario.
  • Ontario Society of Professional Engineers ($385,000): to address barriers that contribute to the under-representation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
  • COSTI Immigrant Services ($248,487): to address the barriers to stable employment and workplace advancement facing racialized newcomer women.
  • Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services ($375,855): to improve the economic security of unemployed and precariously employed racialized immigrant women employed in Toronto's public sector.
  • Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity ($398,470): to advance gender equality for women in sport in Ontario.
  • Ontario Non-Profit Network ($360,000): to reduce barriers to stable employment and increase advancement opportunities for women working in Ontario's not-for-profit sectors.
  • Woman Abuse Council of Toronto (WomanACT) ($363,149): to address barriers that prevent women survivors of violence from accessing services, social benefits and safety measures when they leave emergency shelters.
  • Scarborough Women's Centre ($360,000): to improve the economic security of women living with disabilities in Scarborough.
  • YWCA Hamilton ($362,780): to address barriers in the secondary education system in Hamilton to increase the representation of women in the trades and technology sectors.

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. 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

"Leaving a violent situation is never easy, but for many women, their cry for help can turn into criminal charges against them. Our goal with this project is to ensure that all women, including immigrant survivors of gender-based violence, can get the help they need without fear of being penalized based on their immigration status or other factors."

Amanda Dale, Executive Director
Barbra Schlifer Clinic

"Women continue to be under-represented in the STEM professions and our organization is determined to change this. We are proud to work with the Government of Canada on this project, which will bring together students, educational institutions, employers and governments to find ways to overcome the systemic barriers that keep women from advancing in STEM."

Sandro Perruzza, CEO
Ontario Society of Professional Engineers

"Precarious employment is a major barrier to economic success for many newcomer women. Through this project, we will work with the South Asian Women's Rights Organization, community representatives, employers and policy makers to identify key policy changes – such as affordable day care and fair employment practices – that can help newcomer women get ahead."

Mario Calla, Executive Director
COSTI Immigrant Services

"We are pleased to work with the Government of Canada on this project, which will address systemic barriers and improve opportunities for racialized women working in the broader public sector in Toronto. We will work with our partners to create a plan that addresses the employment challenges faced by racialized women and sets out actions and best practices for public sector employers."

Axelle Janczur, Executive Director
Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services

"Like so many other sectors, women in sport are under-represented at the leadership level. Through this project, we will work with sport organizations in Ontario to identify and address the systemic barriers that keep women out of the top positions. By sharing our findings widely, we will ensure that organizations have the tools they need to fully benefit from the talents and contributions of women leaders."

Allison Sandmeyer-Graves, CEO
Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity

"Women workers make up the majority of the not-for-profit sector's labour force and experience unique challenges that impact their economic security and prosperity.  We are proud to work with the Government of Canada on this project to identify and address economic barriers that face all women working in Ontario's not-for-profit sector."

Cathy Taylor, Executive Director  
Ontario Non-Profit Network

"Leaving an abusive relationship can be a difficult and dangerous transition. This project will analyze the impact of policies in place to assist survivors of violence in rebuilding their lives. By working with our partners in the community and supporting policy dialogues, the project will strengthen longer term partnerships for systemic change. We will broadly share our knowledge and support the implementation of suggested recommendations."

Harmy Mendoza, Executive Director
Women Abuse Council of Toronto (WomanACT)

"Stable, well-paying employment is essential to economic success. Through this project, we will work with our partners to address the systemic and cultural barriers that affect women with disabilities and identify practices to support them in securing stable, fairly paid jobs."

Lynda Kosowan, Executive Director
Scarborough Women's Centre

"The trades and technology sectors are lucrative fields with excellent opportunities for women. Through this project, we will work with local school boards to change how the trades and technology are taught in schools, to ensure that young women see these sectors as viable career options."

Denise Christopherson, Chief Executive Officer
YWCA Hamilton

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.  

Related Product

 

Backgrounder

 

Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services - $375,855

Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services is a Toronto organization that provides services and addresses system inequities to improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable immigrants, refugees, and their communities.

Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services is receiving $375,855 for a three-year project to improve the economic security of unemployed and precariously employed racialized immigrant women employed in Toronto's public sector. It will conduct a gender-based analysis to determine the systemic barriers and policy gaps that affect the career advancement of racialized women and will engage decision-makers and sector leaders to strengthen collaboration.

Barbra Schlifer Clinic - $365,789

The Barbra Schlifer Clinic offers legal representation, professional counselling and multilingual interpretation to women who have experienced abuse.

The Barbra Schlifer Clinic is receiving $365,789 for a three-year project to decrease the rate of criminalization of newcomer women seeking protection from violence in Ontario. The organization will work with its partners to research, pilot and advance promising practices to reverse the identified trends toward penalizing immigrant and refugee women seeking protection from violence.

Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) - $398,470

CAAWS is a national non-profit organization dedicated to creating an equitable sport and physical activity system in which girls and women are actively engaged as participants and leaders.

CAAWS is receiving $398,470 for a three-year project to advance gender equality for women in sport in Ontario. It will look at the current practices of Ontario sport organizations and identify the systemic barriers that prevent women from accessing leadership positions in this sector. The organization will develop resources and tools, pilot them, and share them widely among stakeholders.

COSTI Immigrant Services - $248,487

COSTI Immigrant Services is a community-based multicultural agency providing employment, educational, settlement and social services to all immigrant communities, new Canadians and individuals in need of assistance.

COSTI Immigrant Services is receiving $248,487 for a three-year project to address the barriers to stable employment and workplace advancement facing racialized newcomer women. Through this project, the organization will work with its partners to identify key policy reforms to address the need for stable employment, affordable child care, fair wages and benefits, fair employment practices and equality rights.

Ontario Non-Profit Network - $360,000

The Ontario Non-Profit Network (ONN) is an independent network focused on policy, advocacy, and services to create positive change for Ontario's nonprofits and charities.

ONN is receiving $360,000 for a three-year project to reduce barriers to stable employment and increase advancement opportunities for women working in Ontario's not-for-profit sectors. The organization will work with partners to determine the systemic conditions that contribute to precarious work in the sector. The organization will then develop and promote new practices and policy solutions to address these conditions.

Ontario Society of Professional Engineers - $385,000

The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) represents and advocates for the engineering community in Ontario, including professional engineers, engineering graduates and students.

OPSE is receiving $385,000 for a three-year project to address barriers that contribute to the under-representation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The organization will work with students, educational institutions, employers and governments to develop promising practices and policy recommendations for overcoming systemic barriers.

Scarborough Women's Centre - $360,000

The Scarborough Women's Centre is a community-based non-profit organization serving women and their children.   The Centre delivers free programs and services to promote positive change for women in a safe, inclusive and welcoming environment.

The Centre is receiving $360,000 for a three-year project to improve the economic security of women living with disabilities in Scarborough. Employers and women will examine and identify solutions to the attitudes and systemic barriers preventing women with disabilities from achieving stable and fair wage employment. Based on this examination, an action plan and tools will be developed and tested, and the results shared widely.

Woman Abuse Council of Toronto (WomanACT) - $363,149

The Woman Abuse Council of Toronto ("WomanACT") is a policy development and planning body that coordinates an efficient and effective approach to providing services for assaulted women and their families. The Council identifies gaps in service; supports and facilitates policy development and pilot projects; and undertakes research and actions that promote institutional and systemic change.

WomanAct is receiving $363,149 for a three-year project to address barriers that prevent women survivors of violence from accessing services, social benefits and safety measures when they leave emergency shelters. Working with stakeholders, the organization will analyze the impact of policies related to social security, landed immigration status, child custody, affordable housing and post-secondary education grants on women experiencing violence. This will inform the development of an action plan to maximize safety and opportunities for survivors rebuilding their lives.

YWCA Hamilton - $362,780

YWCA Hamilton is a multi-service, community based organization providing programs and services for women and girls. It currently provides multiple programs and services including: transitional housing, childcare, employment programs, health and wellness programs, developmental services and a seniors active living centre.

The YWCA Hamilton is receiving $362,780 for a three-year project to address barriers in the secondary education system in Hamilton to increase the representation of women in the trades and technology sectors. The organization will work with local school boards to explore how curricula changes and best practices could better engage young women in technical fields and skilled trades.

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

Associated Link

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For news releases and information on Status of Women Canada, go to women.gc.ca.

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SOURCE Status of Women Canada

For further information: Inquiries: Philippe Charlebois, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Status of Women, 613-618-8546; Léonie Roux, Public Affairs Officer, Status of Women Canada, 819-420-6821


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