Results: what we achieved

Programs

Program name: Strategic Advice, Expertise and Promotion of Gender Equality

Description

This program undertakes communication activities to promote Agency initiatives and key commemorative dates (i.e. International Women’s Day, Women’s History Month, International Day of the Girl, Persons Day, and the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women) to increase awareness/build knowledge about the status of women in Canada, as well as to engage Canadians in efforts to advance gender equality. To further advance gender equality, the government requires federal organizations to take gender considerations into account in legislation, policies and programs. The Program plays a lead role in building the capacity of federal organizations to use Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) by providing information, tools, training, expert advice and access to networks. GBA+ informs decision-making and increases the likelihood that legislation, policies and programs meet the needs of diverse groups of women and men. This Program acts as a knowledge broker, exploring gender gaps/issues, providing strategic analysis and advice and facilitating collaboration among key stakeholders, including federal organizations and others, in order to influence decision making and action.

Results

In 2016-17 the entire agency was engaged in a comprehensive process to consult on and develop a strategy to prevent and address gender-based violence (GBV) that is responsive to survivor’s needs. This included receiving input from hundreds of people across the country through:

  • The establishment of an Advisory Council Endnote ii comprised of 18 experts in prevention, LGBTQ2 (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirited) issues, engaging men and boys, cyberviolence, sexual violence, violence against people with disabilities, criminal justice system and violence against Indigenous women and girls. The council was created to provide advice and serve as a forum to exchange views, promising practices, and research on issues related to gender based violence.
  • An expert panel convened to study the prevention of GBV, which contributed to the identification of research priorities. Their work underscored the need for: information about protective factors which may prevent exposure to GBV or mitigate its impacts; effective practices to address GBV, and a standalone survey to capture the nature and extent of GBV among diverse populations.
  • 18 round table meetings in communities across Canada. Three hundred people from over 175 organizations participated, including survivors of gender-based violence, advocates, front-line service providers and academics. In addition, SWC co-hosted a roundtable on shelters and transition housing with the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
  • An online survey that elicited over 7,600 responses on  priorities related to GBV and the effectiveness of current initiatives to address GBV.

Preventing and addressing violence against Indigenous women and girls was an integral part of SWC’s engagement process. Representatives from national and regional indigenous organizations were invited to all of the roundtable meetings, with one being devoted to preventing gender based violence against Indigenous women and girls. Learnings from these meetings were combined with what was heard during the Government’s 2015-2016 public engagement process in advance of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, in order to ensure that indigenous women’s voices and viewpoints were fully integrated into the strategy.

A report on key issues, challenges and best practices raised from the consultations was released in May 2016. This extensive engagement process paved the way for the launch of It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence in June 2017.

SWC took additional measures to address violence against women that included:

  • Supporting the development of the Government’s National Housing Strategy, by working with key stakeholders, including those with knowledge of needs in the north and rural and remote regions, to provide data and analysis on shelter needs. SWC’s expertise informed the funding of the construction and renovation of shelter spaces off-reserve and of shelters on-reserve, to help address the serious shortage of accommodation for women and children fleeing violence.
  • Supporting efforts by the Minister of Employment, Workplace Development and Labour and the President of the Treasury Board to address violence and sexual harassment in both the federally regulated private sector and the federal public service, respectively. This included participating and contributing to consultations on possible changes to the Canada Labour Code.

In 2016-17, SWC also led and supported various initiatives in the Minister’s mandate to enhance opportunities for women’s leadership and increased economic prosperity. This included:

  • Continuing to work closely with ISED to develop tools and resources that support business development and growth for women entrepreneurs. SWC made a financial contribution to support ISED’s Canadian Women’s Entrepreneurship Conference in November 2016, to promote business development supports, networking opportunities, and facilitate engagement on future policy and program initiatives. 
  • Supporting efforts across the federal government to promote inclusive procurement practices, including opportunities to leverage federal procurement practices in order to increase the participation of women and other under-represented groups.
  • Supporting the Government’s commitment to an open, transparent, and merit-based selection process, by working with the Privy Council Office in the development of processes which encourage gender parity for appointments on commissions, boards, Crown corporations, agencies and tribunals across Canada. In its outreach and communications to stakeholders, SWC also encouraged women to apply for these positions.
  • Supporting the Labour Program in holding consultations which were committed to in the Government’s response to the House of Commons Special Committee on Pay Equity Endnote iii . These consultations were designed to support the development of proactive pay equity legislation for federally regulated private sector workplaces, expected to be introduced in 2018.
  • Contributing expert advice to ensure that a gender lens was integrated in the development and implementation of the National Early Learning and Childcare Framework Endnote iv announced in June 2017.
  • Contributing to a gender-based analysis of Budget 2017, which for the first time devoted one of five chapters Endnote v to gender equality issues. Budget 2017’s Gender Statement set out measures aimed at reducing the gender wage gap, encouraging greater workforce participation among women, and helping to combat poverty and violence.

In order to advance gender equality in Canada, SWC engages with other levels of government continually throughout the year, including in an annual meeting with the provinces and territories. In September 2016, the 34th Annual Meeting of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Ministers responsible for the Status of Women was held in Edmonton. At this meeting Ministers agreed to identify opportunities for complementary actions to prevent and address gender-based violence, including data collection, developing a monitoring and reporting framework, and exploring opportunities to address low reporting rates and appropriate response mechanisms to sexual violence. They also agreed to identify actions, including data collection, which can address the gender wage gap.

In March 2017, the Minister for Status of Women led the Canadian delegation to the United Nation’s 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (UNSWC) Endnote vi . Held in conjunction with a meeting of the Youth Commission, the meeting focused on the theme of women’s empowerment in the changing world of work. Having secured a seat on UNSWC in March 2016, Canada actively participated in the session, focusing on priority issues, including on: preventing and eliminating violence against women and girls; engaging men and boys; promoting youth issues; sexual and reproductive health and rights; and promoting diversity and inclusion as a means to women’s economic empowerment. Throughout the negotiations, Canada worked to maintain constructive and balanced text in the Agreed Conclusions and, where possible, to advance international commitments consistent with Canadian domestic and foreign policy. Canada’s contribution shaped the Commission’s work to advance the rights of women and girls around the world, in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals Endnote vii for 2030.

In 2016 SWC also led a delegation which appeared before the United Nations to report on Canada’s implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Endnote viii . Following Canada’s appearance, the CEDAW Committee published its Concluding Observations (COs) on Canada’s periodic reports on November 18, 2016. The COs provide recommendations on how the Committee suggests Canada can improve and address issues relevant to the Convention. Budget 2017 makes a number of commitments that help address some of the key recommendations of the Committee and SWC will continue to work with other government departments, and with the province and territories in the coming years to act on them.

Throughout 2016-17, SWC led initiatives to mark commemorative dates on progress toward gender equality and to raise awareness of issues related to gender equality.

  • For the first time, the three commemorative events - Women’s History Month, International Day of the Girl and Persons Day - featured a common theme, “Because of Her”, to build awareness and create momentum throughout the month of October. The theme was amplified by a strong social media campaign, viewed by over 790,000 people, that encouraged users to share stories of inspiration of the women and girls who have shaped their personal histories.
  • In response to calls by Canadians for action to be taken to support attitudinal and behavioural change around GBV and gender equality, especially among youth, SWC launched the social media campaign #ActionsMatter to mark 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Materials were shared on how to prevent GBV, including statistics related to populations who disproportionately experience gender-based violence, including Indigenous women and girls. Infobites addressing issues such as demeaning sexist jokes and gender norms were viewed over 468,000 times on social media during the campaign.
  • International Women’s Day provides an opportunity to take stock of our progress towards gender equality and to honour the contributions women have made and are making both in Canada and around the world. In March 2017, SWC marked the occasion by releasing tools for educators, gender equality “Mythbuster” graphics – to highlight stereotypes about gender equality that still need to be broken – and a social media campaign #equalitymatters, that was viewed by over 1 million people.
  • Six outstanding Canadian women received the annual Governor General’s Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case Endnote ix , at a ceremony held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to coincide and celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in that province. Persons Day honours Canadians who advance gender equality and pays tribute to legal decision when women won the right for women to be legally recognized as “persons” in Canada in 1929. In connection with the awards ceremony, SWC also partnered with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to engage local students in the Winnipeg area on gender equality issues at a daylong event.

All of SWC’s initiatives are informed by analysis that ensures that the work of government is sensitive to the different impacts that decisions can have on diverse women and men - Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+).

In 2016-17, SWC took strides, in collaboration with the Privy Council Office and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS), to further implement its action plan Endnote x to strengthen GBA+ across federal organizations. To better incorporate GBA+ across all federal initiatives, SWC provided advice on numerous major policy initiatives including the Defence Policy Review, the Government’s Innovation and Skills Agenda, the Investing in Canada Plan (Infrastructure), and the National Housing Strategy. In response to the Minister’s mandate, SWC worked with TBS to incorporate GBA+ into the Government’s Policy on Results to ensure that departments considered GBA+ in the development of their new results frameworks.

Close to 60,000 federal public servants completed SWC’s online course, Introduction to Gender-based Analysis Plus Endnote xi , and 70 designated gender advisors from 30 departments and agencies attended an in-depth two-day GBA+ training to support the practice of GBA+ in those organizations.

In support of the Minister’s mandate, SWC strengthened partnerships with public safety organizations including through the establishment of the GBA+ Public Safety and Security Network comprised of federal organizations across the public safety, security, immigration, corrections and defence sectors. This forum enables information sharing and collaboration on the design of GBA+ tools and training that reflect unique operational environments. SWC continued to engage with the RCMP and other partners to ensure that training for law enforcement incorporates gender and diversity considerations in its design and delivery throughout the career learning cycle, and to ensure that recruitment processes are inclusive and free from bias. In partnership with Global Affairs Canada’s Centre for Intercultural Learning, advanced GBA+ training tailored to security sector was delivered in February 2017, for both policy and operations RCMP personnel.

During GBA+ Awareness Week 2016, the Minister of Status of Women challenged Parliamentarians to complete the online course through social media. More than 460 Parliamentarians and staff completed the course during the week.

A full update on the status of the implementation of the GBA Action Plan was provided to the House Standing Committees on the Status of Women Endnote xii and the Public Accounts Committee Endnote xiii , on 31 March 2017.

Results achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 Actual results 2014–15 Actual results

Key stakeholders Table note 1 have access to advice and information to address issues relating to equality between women and men.

Number of SWC-led interventions Table note 2 that provide advice and information to address issues relating to equality between women and men. 6 March 2017 6 6 5

Federal government officials and key stakeholders Table note 3 have increased knowledge of
Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+).

Percentage of respondents that indicate their knowledge of GBA+ has increased following GBA+ training/ events.

80% March 2017 96% 86% 93%

Celebration and
commemoration events/activities aimed at advancing equality for women and girls are held in Canada.

Number of SWC-led celebration and commemoration events/activities held in Canada.

10 March 2017 10 n/a Table note * n/a Table note *
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17
Main Estimates
2016-17
Planned spending
2016-17
Total authorities available for use
2016-17
Actual spending (authorities used)
2016-17
Difference (actual minus planned)
2,144,659 2,144,659 3,526,759 2,890,415 745,756
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016-17
Planned
2016-17
Actual
2016-17
Difference (actual minus planned)
18 19 1

Program name: Advancing Equality for Women

Description

Through this Program, SWC supports action and innovation by investing in initiatives that work to bring about equality between women and men. The Program provides grant and contribution funding to Canadian organizations to support action by carrying out projects that will lead to equality in communities across Canada. Funded projects occur at the national, regional, and local levels and work to help create conditions for success for women in Canada. Projects address the economic and social situation of women and their participation in democratic life. They are diverse in nature and scope and apply a variety of approaches and strategies to address the complexity of the issues affecting women. Specifically, the Program invests in projects that incorporate gender considerations, and increase and strengthen access to a range of opportunities, supports, information, resources and services, tools, etc. Projects involve diverse stakeholders, including: women’s and community organizations, public institutions and the private sector. The Program also facilitates collaboration, networking and partnerships to promote equality and the advancement of women in Canada. SWC facilitates networking; develops partnerships where needed to address horizontal issues impacting women and girls; shares knowledge; and assists organizations working to advance  equality for women to gain access to expertise, resources, and tools.

Results

In 2016-17, SWC’s Women’s Program contributed to the advancement of equality for women by investing $20.5 million in some 300 new and ongoing projects at the local, regional and national levels. In July 2016, the eligibility of advocacy activities for funding within projects was restored; this change supports the advancement of equality issues and will help funded organizations to implement initiatives with greater potential for deeper and lasting impact for women in Canada. Funded projects work to find and implement concrete solutions to the systemic social and economic barriers women face, focusing on creating levers, leveraging partnerships as well as acting to transform institutions and systems impeding women’s progress and advancement. 

For the first time, SWC launched a call exclusively for projects to strengthen the voices of Indigenous women on issues affecting them or hindering their advancement in all aspects of life. Approximately $5 million will be invested over three years in projects that address four themes: violence against indigenous women and girls; human rights and governance; economic prosperity; and health and wellness.

In October 2016, to mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation, a call for projects was issued to engage some 150 women leaders in various sectors, organizations, and communities to advance gender equality. In addition to working on local projects, these leaders will take part in a pan-Canadian network to support feminist action for gender equality at the national level. This is a unique opportunity for women leaders and organizations to join forces and work for gender equality at the local and the national levels simultaneously.

In 2016, in support of the Minister’s mandate, the Women’s Program also provided funding to Women’s Shelters Canada for a three-year project to improve support for women who experience violence. Through this project, a national profile of shelters will be developed which will include information on shelter capacity, scope of services, funding, infrastructure and human resources. Project activities will inform policy changes in the shelter sector.

A number of projects were completed in 2016 that aimed to build collaboration between sexual assault centres and their community partners to identify promising practices and coordinate implementation efforts to improve service responses. Over a three-year period, collaboration strategies were implemented among diverse stakeholders including women’s and community organizations, service providers, provincial governments, law enforcement, educational institutions, hospitals and health services. Funded projects contributed to increasing awareness of existing community / regional services, service improvements, and new funding investments by other stakeholders. In addition, some inter-provincial partnerships emerged among a network of sexual assault centres, to share promising practices and further develop collaborative solutions.

In 2016-17, SWC undertook an evaluation of the Women’s Program. The evaluation concluded that the Women’s Program remains relevant and that SWC’s investments are responding to the needs of women in Canada. The Program’s focus on violence, economic security and prosperity, and leadership reflects areas where significant gender disparities continue to exist in Canada. The evaluation made three recommendations in the following areas:

  • Continuing to fund projects that foster systemic change;
  • Increasing efforts in knowledge translation/dissemination at the program level;
  • Enhancing capacity across the program to support funding recipients through the project lifecycle.

SWC has begun to implement these recommendations.

Results achieved
Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 Actual results 2014–15 Actual results
Women and communities have access to supports to address issues relating to equality between women and men. Percentage of projects that generate supports (e.g. resources, tools). 80% March 2017 90% 90% 70%
Communities and stakeholders have access to opportunities to advance equality between women and men. Percentage of projects that facilitate opportunities (e.g. partnerships, networks, strategies) 80% March 2017 85% 85% 80%
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17
Main Estimates
2016-17
Planned spending
2016-17
Total authorities available for use
2016-17
Actual spending (authorities used)
2016-17
Difference (actual minus planned)
25,341,251 25,341,251 25,840,651 25,199,902 (141,349)
Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016-17
Planned
2016-17
Actual
2016-17
Difference (actual minus planned)
38 43 5

Internal Services

Description

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization, and not those provided to a specific program. These groups of activities are: Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Material Services; and Acquisition Services.

Results

To provide the public with more timely and accurate information on activities, programs and initiatives, and to increase SWC’s communications reach and engagement, SWC added an Instagram account to its social media networks on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017.

In 2016-17, SWC undertook specific measures to support a healthy workplace in line with the National Standard for Psychological Health in the workplace. To support a healthy workplace, SWC:

  • appointed a champion to demonstrate sustained and visible leadership on the issue of mental health;
  • raised awareness of the mental health continuum in the workplace and of available workplace health support services; and
  • engaged employees and occupational health and safety committees, and promoted employee participation in psychological health and safety actions and measures in each workplace and work location.
Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
2016-17
Main Estimates
2016-17
Planned spending
2016-17 Total authorities available for use 2016-17
Actual spending (authorities used)
2016-17
Difference (actual minus planned)
4,250,414 4,250,414 6,970,323 7,179,299 2,928,885
Human Resources (full-time equivalents)
2016-17
Planned
2016-17
Actual
2016-17
Difference (actual minus planned)
42 51 9
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