Department for Women and Gender Equality - Investing in innovative cross-sector partnerships to advance gender equality


The Government of Canada is committed to advancing equality for women, men and people of all gender identities and expressions in all areas of Canadian society. At the Women Deliver 2019 Conference, the Government of Canada is calling on all Canadians to mobilize new and innovative ways to advance gender equality.

Today’s announcement in Vancouver, British Columbia, profiled three new matched-funding initiatives between the Department for Women and Gender Equality and national equality-seeking organizations to stimulate broader, longer-term funding options for women’s organizations and to sustainably advance gender equality in Canada.

By securing one-to-one fundraising commitments from these three organizations, the investment of up to $30 million from the Government of Canada will translate into up to $60 million of available funds to women’s organizations, creating a long-term, sustainable funding legacy to accelerate gender equality in Canada beyond federal funding cycles.

Community Foundations of Canada

Project title: Investing Together to Foster Gender Equality in Communities from Coast to Coast to Coast
Funding amount: Up to $10 million

Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) will receive funding to support gender equality across cultures and generations, rooted in the organization’s capabilities of partnership building, grant making, convening, financial leveraging, social finance and community knowledge. CFC, and its movement of community foundations, will focus on offering strategic grants and support to organizations that are working toward gender equality across the country, ensuring that all cultures and generations are taken into account.

CFC is the national network for Canada’s 191 community foundations and is part of a global network of more than 1,800 place-based foundations in 75 countries around the world. In Canada, CFC is a movement working to pursue a future in which everyone belongs. The organization mobilizes local knowledge, leadership and financial capital to support initiatives that benefit communities most.

“We believe in a future that is bright, just and sustainable; a future that is not the status quo; a future that is safe and prosperous for every woman, girl, and person of any gender identity or expression. We are proud and excited to partner with the Government of Canada, and to work alongside our movement of community foundations, partners and Canadians across cultures and generations, to make this future a reality.”

- Ian Bird, President, CFC

Canadian Women’s Foundation

Project title: Time for 5: Advancing Sustainable Development Goal 5 in Canada
Funding amount: Up to $10 million

The partnership project with the Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF) will help Canada’s progress on UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 to advance gender equality. The project will target rural, remote and Northern organizations serving women and girls where there are currently funding gaps, compared to urban or suburban areas. CWF will help address those gaps with a combination of capacity-building support, community-building activities, and networking by making grants available to long-term and emerging needs in rural, remote and northern communities.

CWF is Canada’s public foundation for women and girls that funds programs across Canada, prioritizing the communities where the need is greatest. These programs address four urgent issues: prevention of gender-based violence, women’s economic development, girls’ empowerment, and inclusive leadership. CWF works toward systemic change by bringing together community organizations across Canada to share knowledge and solutions. It is a national collaboration between grassroots leaders, issue experts, advocates and donors to raise awareness and keep up the momentum toward gender equality.

“The Canadian Women’s Foundation focuses on the most critical challenges facing women and girls, and invests in the most effective solutions for long-term change. By partnering with the Government of Canada, we’ll be able to help more women living in rural, remote and northern communities in Canada escape violence, move themselves out of poverty, be empowered to succeed, and realize their potential for leadership.”

- Paulette Senior, President and CEO, CWF

The Indigenous Innovation Initiative, hosted by Grand Challenges Canada

Project title: The Indigenous Innovation Initiative
Funding amount: Up to $10 million

Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) is hosting and incubating an Indigenous-led, -designed and -delivered research and technology platform that will help empower Indigenous innovators and communities to identify and solve their own challenges, transforming lives and driving inclusive growth through social innovation.

GCC is dedicated to supporting bold ideas with big impact. Funded by the Government of Canada and other funders, including the McConnell Foundation, GCC funds innovation projects in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. The bold ideas supported by GCC—known as integrated innovation—integrate science and technology, social and business innovation. GCC has supported over 1,000 innovations in 95 countries. GCC estimates that these innovations have the potential to save up to 1.6 million lives and improve up to 35 million lives by 2030.

 “Indigenous women are transformative leaders in their communities—combining their deep knowledge of local challenges with innovative solutions and a profound desire to transform their communities. We are looking forward to working with Indigenous women to address some of the most pressing and complex challenges they face. We thank the Government of Canada for partnering with us on this groundbreaking initiative.”

-  Jeffrey Cyr, Chair, Indigenous Innovation Council, Indigenous Innovation Initiative

“As an anchor funder of the Indigenous Innovation Initiative, the McConnell Foundation is proud to celebrate the partnership announced today with the Government of Canada to build an Indigenous innovation platform by and for Indigenous women. We look forward to working with this partnership to mobilize resources from across sectors and across Canada to ensure that Indigenous women leaders have the support they need to realize their transformative vision for their communities.”

-  Stephen Huddart, President and CEO, the McConnell Foundation

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