Dear reader, please accept Status of Women Canada’s Departmental Results Report for the fiscal year 2016-17.
While we can all take pride in the progress we have made in advancing gender equality in Canada, important work remains: from our workplaces to our homes, from the streets of our cities to our rural and more remote communities. I am passionate about this work, and it was an honour to be asked by the Prime Minister to serve as Minister of Status of Women, and to build on the progress made by my colleague and predecessor, the Honourable Patty Hajdu.
Over the past year, Status of Women Canada maintained its focus on four priorities: addressing gender-based violence (GBV); increasing the representation of women in leadership and decision-making roles; ensuring women’s economic security and prosperity; and, playing a leadership role in the government-wide implementation of Gender-Based Analysis+.
Work on the first priority began as soon as our Government took office, with Status of Women Canada leading the development of a strategy on GBV. To inform this strategy, we consulted experts, advocates, survivors, provincial/territorial governments, and service providers from across the country in 2016. We actively worked to engage the voices of Indigenous women, individuals from LGBTQ2 and non-binary gender communities, sex workers, young women, women with disabilities, newcomers, men working to end violence, survivors of human trafficking, and members of the ministerial Advisory Council on GBV. We listened at roundtables, face-to-face meetings, and expert panels. An online survey also resulted in over 7,600 responses from Canadians. The valuable report provided by my colleagues within the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women, entitled “Taking Action to End Violence Against Young Women and Girls in Canada”, also helped inform the strategy.
While these were often difficult consultations, this active engagement enabled us to better understand the realities of those who experience GBV, as well as those who commit these acts. We identified key issues and cultural barriers that make ending GBV so challenging. We were also able to acknowledge the current gaps in services that support those who survive GBV, while also learning about some truly promising practices in the field.
These consultations ultimately led to the announcement of It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address GBV, the first federal strategy to prevent and address GBV. It builds on many important federal initiatives in the areas of prevention; support for survivors and their families; and, promotion of responsive legal and justice systems. It also coordinates existing programs while laying the foundation for greater action.
To increase the representation of women in leadership and decision-making roles, we continued to support action at the national, regional, and local levels through the Women’s Program at Status of Women Canada, which supports eligible organizations to carry out projects to advance equality by addressing systemic barriers. With our Government’s belief in active dialogue between stakeholders and decision-makers to improve decisions, we reinstated, in June 2016, the eligibility of advocacy activities to obtain funding. Since forming government in 2015, more than $50 million have been committed through grants and contributions.
In 2017, it is critical that we recognize that issues that affect women are not singular. We must ensure that consideration is given to how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people may experience policies, programs and initiatives differently. That is why we enhanced the use of Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) in the development of federal policies, programs, and legislation. This includes ongoing implementation of the Action Plan on Gender-based Analysis (2016-2020) through the collaboration of Status of Women Canada, the Privy Council Office and the Treasury Board Secretariat. We also achieved a major milestone with Budget 2017 by including a ground-breaking gender-based analysis of the Budget itself – the first Gender Statement for a federal budget. These initiatives improve the development of policies and programming while helping us adopt appropriate mitigation measures.
To mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation and to build the foundation for the work ahead, we invited organizations, via a call for proposal, to put forward projects that advance gender equality across Canada. By June 2017, some 50 projects had been approved for over $18 million in funding with the goal of engaging 150 women leaders in various sectors, organizations, and communities. In addition to working on local projects, these women leaders are taking part in a pan-Canadian network that supports collaborative action to advance gender equality at the national level. Strong, dynamic, independent women are the heart of the women’s movement.
I am proud of all these initiatives, our Government, and our country. Despite the enormity of the work that lies ahead, we can say Canada has made major steps toward gender equality for all. What’s more, the world is looking at us, ready for us to provide an example for other nations. The feminist commitment of this government, combined with the important work of our stakeholders, will lead to even more progress for women and girls from coast to coast to coast. Together, we can show the world how gender equality benefits us all.
Thank you for your passionate commitment. Together, we are making our mark.
The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women
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