Government of Canada supports projects to advance gender equality

News Release

November 13, 2017 – Ottawa, ON – Status of Women Canada

Having the opportunity to participate in democratic and public life is an essential component of women’s empowerment and key to achieving gender equality. That’s why today, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, Adam Vaughan, M.P. for Spadina - Fort York, announced Government of Canada support for a project to advance gender equality in Ontario.

This 36-month project is focussed on strengthening the justice system’s response to women survivors of sexual violence in Ontario by supporting development of an improved justice framework. The framework will allow for a coordinated response to achieving justice for victims. The anticipated results include augmenting the number of women accessing the justice system, increasing offender accountability, and improving conditions for women who choose to report assault.

To support their participation in this project, METRAC Action on Violence is receiving $322,000, the Women's Centre for Social Justice is receiving $243,000, and the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) is receiving $171,000. As part of the project, the organizations will engage women and their partners to enhance collaboration among multiple sectors and stakeholders. They will also use a court watch program to inform a pilot model of a framework to be tested in two communities. The results of the pilots will be shared with decision-makers in order to encourage systemic changes to the criminal justice system for sexual assault survivors.

This project was selected through Status of Women Canada’s Call for Proposals entitled Support for Women’s Empowerment.


“Gender-based violence remains a significant yet preventable barrier to gender equality in our country. That’s why the federal government is committed to supporting projects like this that help improve support for women who are survivors of sexual violence, and seek to make the justice system more responsive to their needs.”

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women

“I am proud of the federal government’s support for this project. It is going to make a real difference in the lives of women in Ontario who are survivors of sexual violence. By working with women in the community and partner organizations, they will help make the justice system much more able to respond to survivors in their moment of need.”

Adam Vaughan
M.P. for Spadina - Fort York

“METRAC Action on Violence welcomes this opportunity to collaborate with the Government of Canada on finding ways we can improve how the justice system interacts with and supports sexual violence survivors. Every improvement that results from this project will help to make a difference in the lives of survivors and their families.”

Wendy Komiotis, Executive Director
METRAC Action on Violence 

“The Women's Centre for Social Justice (WomenatthecentrE) knows it is essential that we work to improve the conditions for women who choose to report cases of sexual violence, including in how they interact with the justice system. That’s why the federal government’s support for this collaborative project with other stakeholders is so important.”

Nneka MacGregor, Executive Director
Women's Centre for Social Justice 

“We are pleased to partner with the federal government on this project. Through its research, LEAF will develop a history of sexual assault reforms, and conduct comparative research on models for addressing sexual assault. This work will provide the foundation to move forward on changes to the justice system that will make a real difference in the lives of survivors of sexual violence.”

Hailee Morrison, Executive Director

Quick Facts

  • Status of Women Canada works to address systemic barriers to the full participation of women in all aspects of Canadian life with a focus on three priorities: increasing women's economic security and prosperity; encouraging women in leadership and decision-making roles; and, ending violence against women and girls.


Célia Canon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Status of Women

Léonie Roux
Public Affairs Officer
Status of Women Canada

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