April 12, 2019 – Toronto, Ontario – Department for Women and Gender Equality
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 Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Toronto-St. Paul’s, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced that the Government of Canada is investing in $200,000 in Working Skills Centre for their project Building Innovation and Growth-Women Empowerment. This two-year project will help the Centre create social and systemic change to empower newcomer women. By building community partnerships with both the private and non-profit sectors, the Centre will help women gain skills, professional experience, and ultimately employment.
Working Skills Centre is one of the more than 250 women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women across Canada in which the Government of Canada is investing under the Capacity-building Fund. Funding stems from the Budget 2018 announcement of $100 million over five years to support a viable and sustainable women’s movement across Canada.
“With our 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 the Working Skills Centre scale up so they can 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
“The Building Innovation and Growth-Women Empowerment at Working Skills Centre will help to better address the needs of vulnerable women in our community. Through programs like this, we can foster a more positive environment that is equitable for all. We must use our voices and concentrate our efforts to ensure that all women continue to succeed.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
Member of Parliament for Toronto-St. Paul’s
“For over 40 years, the Working Skills Centre has helped provide innovative, community-based programs to help improve the employment prospects for women immigrants. We are thankful for financial support from the Government of Canada as our new project will help empower even more women throughout the Greater Toronto Area.”
Marina Nikova, Executive Director
Working Skills Centre
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 a year.
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.
Women continue to be disproportionately affected by economic insecurity. In 2015, women in Canada earned on average just 88 cents for every dollar earned by men. They are also much more likely to work on a part-time basis, making up 76% of all part-time workers, with 25% of women reporting childcare responsibilities as their reason for working part-time.
Some populations are more likely to experience violence and may face unique barriers and challenges that put them at particular risk (Statistics Canada, 2015).
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 that gives 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 6,000 individuals-world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists, youth and journalists-from more than 160 countries, with an additional 100,000 people joining virtually.