Canada announces investment in Northwest Territories’ women’s organizations

From: Status of Women Canada

Four projects from the Northwest Territories are receiving funding to ensure women’s organizations can continue providing essential supports to women and their families

April 15, 2019 – Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – 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, Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced that the Government of Canada will invest over $1.6 million in women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women in the Northwest Territories under the Capacity-building Fund. The funding stems from the Budget 2018 announcement of $100 million over five years to support a viable and sustainable women’s movement across Canada.

Four organizations based in Yellowknife will receive funding:

  • Dechinta Initiatives will receive $363,966 for their project Dechinta – Indigenous women and education, which will provide support to develop more effective policies to better serve First Nations women;
  • FOXY will receive $371,526 for their project Capacity Building for Advancing the Equality of Northern Indigenous Women, to expand their service capacity to advance the equality of Indigenous women in the North;
  • Yellowknife Women’s Society will receive $268,800 for their project Yellowknife Women’s Society Capacity and Sustainability Revitalization, to improve the organization’s human resources capacity, financial stability, and advocacy strategy; and
  • YWCA NWT will receive $603,415 for their project Building northern capacity to advance gender equality in the NWT, to build their capacity and strengthen advocacy which will help advance gender equality across the territory.

“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 Dechinta Initiatives, FOXY, Yellowknife Women’s Society and YWCA NWT 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

“These four organizations are doing incredible work on the advancement of women and gender equality in the Northwest Territories. With the federal investments announced today, they are better prepared to continue making progress in our territory, now and over the long-term.”

Michael McLeod

Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories

“Our goal is to reduce and eventually eliminate the barriers faced by Indigenous women in northern communities who are seeking post-secondary education. Our organization continues to respond to the changing needs of communities. This important support from the federal government will provide the financial stability and targeted support to revise and evaluate our current capacity and governance to continue to support Indigenous women to achieve post-secondary success.”

Glen Coulthard, Chair, Board of Directors

Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning

“We are pleased the Government’s new funding model for women’s organizations recognizes the need for more stable, long-term commitments. With this investment, we will strengthen our capacity to serve our community, and reduce our dependence on government funding over time. This transition will allow us to become more effective and efficient as we maintain our focus on advancing equality for Indigenous women in Northern Canada.”

Candice Lys, Executive Director


“Our new project will help sustain our organization over the long-term and revitalize our work throughout Yellowknife. We are very thankful for the federal government’s support, which we know will help improve the wellbeing of women and their families in our community.”

Bryany Denning, Executive Director

Yellowknife Women’s Society

“With our new project, and our organization’s increased capacity, we have a real opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. Thanks to the Government of Canada, we’ll be able advance gender equality in Yellowknife and across the Northwest Territories.”

Cherish Winsor, Board Chair


Quick facts

  • 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.

  • Women continue to be disproportionately affected by economic insecurity. In 2018, women in Canada earned just 88 cents for every dollar earned by men, based on median earnings of full-time workers. The gender pay gap is worse when considering Indigenous women, who earned only 82 cents for every dollar earned by men (Indigenous and non-Indigenous men). Women are also much more likely to work on a part-time basis, making up 75% of all part-time workers aged 25-54, with 27% 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. 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). Women living in the territories were also at a higher risk of violent victimization than women living in the provinces (182 versus 85 per 1,000 population).

  • 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.

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