Gender-based analysis plus


The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the full implementation of gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) across federal departments. GBA+ ensures that differential impacts on diverse groups of people are considered when policies, programs and legislation are developed. In 2015, the government renewed its commitment to GBA+ and mandated the Minister of Status of Women to ensure that government policy, legislation and regulations are sensitive to the different impacts that decisions can have on diverse groups of people.

The Government of Canada defines the term “gender-based analysis plus” as an analytical process used to assess how diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people may experience policies, programs and initiatives. The “plus” in GBA+ acknowledges that GBA goes beyond biological (sex) and sociocultural (gender) differences. We all have multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are; GBA+ considers many other identity factors, like race, ethnicity, religion, age and mental or physical disability.

More information on GBA+ is available on the Status of Women Canada website.

General information

Governance structures

The GBA+ Unit at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the focal point for the Department in facilitating, convening and supporting the application and implementation of GBA+.

The Director General of the Strategic Policy and Planning Branch, in which the GBA+ Unit resides, is responsible for developing and providing GBA+ functional guidance to the Department. The Department is also supported by two senior executive GBA+ co-champions.

Human resources

IRCC has 2.50 full-time equivalents (FTEs)Footnote 1 dedicated to the implementation of GBA+: 1.50 FTEs in the GBA+ Unit and 1 FTE in the Settlement and Integration Policy Branch. In addition, GBA+ work is regularly undertaken by various policy and operational branches and groups within IRCC.

Major initiatives: results achieved

In 2018–19, IRCC applied and monitored GBA+ in several major initiatives:

Federal Economic Immigration

Caregivers: Home Child Care Provider Pilot and Home Support Worker Pilot (Gender Results Framework pillar 2: Economic participation and prosperity). These pilots address specific imbalances and vulnerabilities experienced by in-home foreign caregivers, the majority of whom are women. The pilots provide a clear transition and more assured pathway to permanent residence for in-home caregivers, while addressing their vulnerability and family separation. Through the pilots, caregivers will receive occupation-specific work permits, rather than employer-specific permits, to allow for a fast change of employers when necessary. Moreover, the pilots address concerns around family separation by providing open work permits and/or study permits for the caregiver’s immediate family, to help families come to Canada together. Lastly, the pilots provide a clear transition from temporary to permanent status, to ensure that once caregivers have met the work experience requirement, they will be able to become permanent residents quickly.

Refugee Resettlement

Rainbow Refugee Assistance Pilot (Gender Results Framework pillar 4: Gender-based violence and access to justice). The objective of this pilot was to increase awareness of the unique needs of LGBTQ2 refugees among Canadian sponsors, and to strengthen overall sponsorship of this vulnerable group, who may experience persecution due to sexual orientation, gender expression and identity. As part of the pilot, the Government of Canada collaborated with Rainbow Refugee Society and LGBTQ2 stakeholders to increase the number of LGBTQ2 refugees resettled in Canada. As of April 1, 2018, an additional $100,000 was made available to support refugees sponsored under the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Pilot.

Protecting Vulnerable Women and Girls in Resettlement (Gender Results Framework pillar 4: Gender-based violence and access to justice). IRCC recognizes the disproportionate and unique impact that forced displacement has on women and girls. Refugee women and girls face increased risks due to their gender, and as such, are at a higher risk of, or have suffered from, sexual violence and exploitation, physical abuse and marginalization. In response to a UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) communication regarding opportunities for Canada to expand resettlement of “women and girls at risk,” IRCC committed to resettling an additional 1,000 vulnerable refugee women and girls from various conflict zones around the world by December 31, 2019. This commitment advances gender equality by prioritizing the protection of vulnerable women and children in conflict zones worldwide.

Updated Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) Service Provider Organization Handbook (Gender Results Framework pillar 4: Gender-based violence and access to justice). The Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) Service Provider Handbook, a reference document for service provider organizations (SPOs) that outlines what services should be delivered to newcomers, was revised in 2018–19. The updated handbook includes a new section on a “trauma-informed approach” for government-assisted refugees, which outlines the particular needs and vulnerabilities of individuals who may have been abused, marginalized or persecuted based on their gender identity, gender expression or biological sex. The handbook also includes references to cultural and diversity training, such as information on the particular needs and vulnerabilities of LGBTQ2 clients.


Visible Minority Newcomer Women Pilot (Gender Results Framework pillar 2: Economic participation and prosperity). Visible minority newcomer women integrating into Canadian society can face multiple barriers when entering the Canadian labour market, including gender- and race-based discrimination, lack of community and social supports, lengthy absence in the labour market and the resulting lack of self-confidence. To address these challenges, Budget 2018 announced a three-year, $31.9-million pilot to support the employment and career advancement of visible minority newcomer women. Through this pilot, IRCC will provide funding for new, innovative programs and services to support visible minority women. It will also provide additional support for currently funded service providers to increase their capacity and expand their existing employment services to address the needs of visible minority newcomer women.

Covering Multiple Programs

Interim Measures for Gender X Designation (Gender Results Framework pillar 3: Leadership and democratic participation). Between May 31, 2017 and June 2019, IRCC provided interim measures for individuals who did not identify exclusively as female or male to request an “X” in the sex field in their Canadian citizenship or immigration document, passport or other travel document. As of June 2019, these interim measures were made permanent.

Changes to the Medical Inadmissibility Policy (Gender Results Framework pillar 5: Poverty reduction, health and well-being). In April 2018, IRCC announced an increase in the annual cost threshold and the removal of certain social services from its Medical Inadmissibility Policy, which is expected to result in fewer refusals (previously 1,000 per year) on the grounds of medical inadmissibility, and promote the participation and inclusion of immigrants with medical needs. This initiative not only contributes to a reduction in poverty and improvement in health outcomes, but it also advances gender equality by providing better access to health for everyone, including those with disabilities.

Canada’s Contribution to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (Gender Results Framework pillar 6: Gender equality around the world) In response to the Syrian refugee crisis and increasing movements of refugees and migrants, the UN General Assembly adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants in 2016, which led to the creation of two non-binding international agreements, including the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Canada played an active role in the development of the Global Compact, and considered gender equality to be a priority. As such, Canada pushed for language that would enshrine greater protection of human rights for all migrants, particularly women and girls, and greater empowerment of migrant women in national, regional and global responses to migration. Canada was successful in promoting the inclusion of gender-responsive considerations throughout the Global Compact, including as one of 10 overarching guiding principles. IRCC continues to consult civil society, in addition to other key stakeholders and partners, on the implementation of the Global Compact. This includes consultations with experts in gender and international migration on how to effectively promote meaningful approaches to gender in implementing the Global Compact domestically, with international partners and in the UN system.

Reporting capacity and data

All programs collect and keep individual recipient micro data so as to undertake GBA+:

The following lists the depth of analysis that can be undertaken:

Publicly released reports include:

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