New Canadian investments in global gender equality


To address a root cause of global inequality—unpaid and paid care work in low- and middle-income countries—and to foster gender equality, women’s economic empowerment and gender-responsive economic response and recovery, Canada announced at the Generation Equality Forum (GEF) that it will commit $100 million in new funding for stand-alone programming to address issues in unpaid and paid care work in low- and middle-income countries in which Canada provides international assistance. The programming will recognize, address and reduce the unequal distribution of unpaid and paid care work and ensure that unpaid and paid care workers are represented and have their voices heard and their rights supported and protected. Canada will deliver this commitment through women’s rights and civil society organizations, country partners and multilateral institutions.

Canada also announced that it is committing nearly $80 million in new funding for women and girls through action coalitions. In addition, Canada is launching the Global Alliance for Sustainable Feminist Movements and will join the Global Alliance for Care.

Support for the education of girls

Global Partnership for Education: $50 million in funding

Canada will allocate up to $50 million in funding from Canada’s $300 million pledge to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) toward girls’ education. This funding will support activities targeted directly at addressing social and institutional barriers to girls’ education and promoting gender equality and the empowerment of girls and adolescent girls in GPE partner countries.

United Nations Population Fund-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage: A response to the COVID-19 pandemic

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)-UNICEF: $10 million in funding from 2019 to 2024

Canada’s funding of emergency support for the UNFPA-UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage will ensure sustained progress toward ending child marriage despite school closures, disruptions to programs and the increase in sexual and gender-based violence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding will go toward supporting young feminist innovators to address child marriage in Africa and Asia by launching a global campaign to engage men and boys in ending child marriage and by developing digital tools for delivering programs to girls in the context of the pandemic.

Advancing gender equality in parliaments

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU): $2 million in funding from fiscal year 2021 to 2022 to fiscal year 2025 to 2026

The 3-year project, Gender Equality in Politics, aims to increase women’s political empowerment and strengthen the capacity of parliaments to act in support of gender equality. The project focuses its work in Djibouti, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Sierra Leone and Tanzania, as well as in up to 5 additional developing countries, as resources allow. This project amplifies the voices of women; it focuses its support on poor and marginalized groups and helps build more equal and representative parliaments for all population segments. The IPU is also working to ensure that men take part in gender equality-related activities, which will build a broader base of support for equality among parliamentarians and create lasting improvements for women and girls. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, particular focus is being placed on supporting parliamentary leadership to integrate the specific needs of women and girls from health, social, economic and law-making perspectives.

Supporting legislatures in Ethiopia, Ghana and Togo so that they are more inclusive, gender-responsive and transparent

The Parliamentary Centre: $9.2 million in funding from fiscal year 2021 to 2022 to fiscal year 2025 to 2026

This project, supporting legislatures in Ethiopia, Ghana and Togo so that they are more inclusive, gender-responsive and transparent, will address barriers to women’s participation in democratic processes and amplify women’s voices, including with regard to COVID-19 pandemic response and recovery efforts. The project will also strive to improve legislative engagement with civil society organizations, particularly women’s rights organizations.

Countering disinformation within civic education in Colombia - CoDECo

CIVIX, $1.8 million in funding from February 2021 to August 2024

This project aims to implement an education program that counters disinformation through formal civic education curriculums focusing on school-aged youth in Colombia. The project is also designed to assess its impact, beyond schools, on students’ families and social circles and will foster relationships between students, elected representatives and public servants. The project will also focus on strengthening the integration of quality, gender-responsive civic education and information-literacy programming for educators.

Supporting the field of gender lens investing

Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs, Criterion Institute and GenderSmart: $5 million in funding

This initiative will support research and best practices within the field of gender lens investing to ensure that development financing takes a feminist approach and improves development outcomes for women and girls.

Supporting the work of The Commonwealth Equality Network in addressing inequality and discrimination faced by LGBTQ2I persons, communities and organizations in Commonwealth countries

The Commonwealth Equality Network (TCEN): $450,000 in funding from March 2021 to March 2024

This project is part of the $30 million LGBTQ2I Program and seeks to strengthen TCEN’s advocacy-related capacities both as a collective group in Commonwealth forums and for its individual members at the country level to ensure the human rights of LGBTQ2I persons are respected, realized and fulfilled at all levels. By building on TCEN’s work with local activists in the women’s movement and other civil society groups, the project seeks to advance the mainstreaming of LGBTQ2I-related issues into laws and policies at the national level and enhance their implementation (for example, the LBT+ women’s sexual and reproductive health access to education and/or employment). The project will also support the work of local LGBTQ2I civil society organizations through the provision of small grants for awareness and research initiatives.

Global Alliance for Sustainable Feminist Movements

The Global Alliance for Sustainable Feminist Movements is an emerging multi-stakeholder initiative focused on exponentially increasing, sustaining and improving financial and political support for women’s rights and feminist organizations and movements. Announced at the GEF in Mexico, the initiative is being co-developed by Canada, the Netherlands, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, Philanthropy Advancing Women’s Human Rights, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development and the Count Me In! Consortium, the Global Fund for Women, the Equality Fund and Prospera.

Global Alliance for Care

Announced and created by the National Institute for Women (in Mexico) (INMUJERES) and UN Women, the Global Alliance for Care invites governments, the private sector, academics, civil society organizations, international organizations and UN agencies to be part of a global movement that addresses the burden of care through commitments, concrete actions, funding and knowledge-sharing and collaboration around care, from the local level to the global level.   

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