Government of Canada announces historic investment in Saskatchewan Women’s Organizations

,p>Regina, Saskatchewan –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 Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Regina-Wascana, 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 $3.7 million in 10 women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women in Saskatchewan.

Minister Goodale highlighted the organizations that will receive funding (please see the Backgrounder for more information and testimonials):

  • • The Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan;
  • • Family Service Saskatoon;
  • • Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations;
  • • Prince Albert Metis Women's Association;
  • • Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre;
  • • Saskatoon Sexual Assault & Information Centre;
  • • Sexual Assault Services of Saskatchewan;
  • • STOPS to Violence;
  • • Young Women's Christian Association of Regina;
  • • YWCA Prince Albert.

Funding for these projects stems from historic Budget 2018 investments in the Capacity-building Fund to support a sustainable women’s movement and the Gender-based Violence Program to address gaps in support for underserved groups in Canada who experience gender-based violence.

Quotes
“With our historic investments, 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 stable and flexible funding, we are helping organizations in Saskatchewan 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

“Women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women make a real difference in the lives of countless people in our province every day. Today’s announcement will ensure these organizations can keep supporting women and their families, and meet the increasing demand for their services. These organizations have the ability to transform our society and our economy for the better by advancing gender equality across Saskatchewan.”

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.

To date, the Government of Canada has invested over $200 million to prevent gender-based violence, support survivors and their families, and create more responsive legal and justice systems.

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).

Gender-based violence can have lifelong impacts on an individual’s physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health. Additionally, the effects can be serious and costly. Annually, the economic impact of intimate partner violence and sexual assault is estimated to be over $12 billion.

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.

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.