Backgrounder : New federal funding will help improve women’s economic security in Québec


Status of Women Canada – Women’s Program

 One of the ways Status of Women Canada advances gender equality is by providing funding to eligible organizations through the Women’s Program. Projects are selected via calls for proposals on specific themes, as well as through a continuous intake process that allows the Women’s Program to accept applications on an ongoing basis.

The Women’s Program funds projects of up to three years that address barriers to women’s participation and equality in Canadian society in three priority areas: ending violence against women and girls; improving the economic security of women and girls; and encouraging women and girls in leadership roles.

Calls for Proposals – Support for Women’s Economic Security and Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women

On October 2, 2017, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, launched two calls for proposals. The first call, entitled Support for Women’s Economic Security, invited organizations to apply for funding for projects to address the economic security of women and help advance gender equality in Canada. More than 30 projects will receive a total of $10 million in funding through this call for proposals.

This call for proposals is divided into two themes; the first is Building Partnerships to Address Systemic Barriers, which provides funding to address major barriers that limit women’s economic security, including, but not limited to, the accessibility of childcare, the gender wage gap and pay inequity.

The second theme, Increasing Private Sector Leadership and Investments in Women, encourages organizations to partner with the private sector to find innovative solutions that will help advance women’s economic security.

 The second call for proposals, entitled Addressing the Economic Security and Prosperity of Indigenous Women, invited organizations to foster collaboration between Indigenous women, Indigenous organizations, their communities, and the private sector to support the economic security and prosperity of Indigenous women across Canada. Fifteen projects across the country will receive nearly $5 million in funding through this call for proposals.

Funded Project

The Société d’aide au développement des collectivités (SADC) Centre-de-la-Mauricie is a non-profit organization with 25 years of experience working with the federal government under the Community Future Program. 

The SADC Centre-de-la-Mauricie focuses on four priority issues: entrepreneurship, labour and demographics, innovation by small and medium businesses, as well as mobilization and belonging.

Project Description

The SADC Centre-de-la-Mauricie will receive $306,947 in funding for their project, Entreprendre au féminin autrement. It is a 36-month project that will collaborate with civil society and government support programs to address institutional barriers facing part-time women entrepreneurs.

This project will take stock of the situation of women who are part-time entrepreneurs in Shawinigan, Thetford Mines and Montréal, and allow for a comparison between the challenges faced in semi-rural, rural and urban settings.

The project will bring together key partners at the municipal, provincial and federal levels to adapt existing support programs and tools to respond more effectively to the needs of these women.

The project will include a pilot in Shawinigan to test a full range of support services for part-time women entrepreneurs. Lessons learned from this pilot will then enable the improvement and upgrading of partners’ programs and services.

Provincial Statistics – Women’s Economic Security 

  • In 2017, women in Québec earned $0.90 for every dollar earned by men on an average hourly basis. Said differently, in 2017 there was a gender wage gap in Quebec of $0.10. 
  • In 2017, the employment rate was 57.4% among women and 64.5% among men in Québec. 
  • In 2017, 25.3% of employed women and 13.8% of employed men in Québec worked part-time. 

National Statistics – Women’s Economic Security

  • In 2015, 82.0% of women in the core working ages of 25 to 54 years (6 million) participated in the labour market. 
  • In 2015, women represented 47.2% of the labour force, up from 45.7% in 1999 and 37.1% in 1976. 
  • In 2015, the national employment rate for women was 77.5% compared to 85.3% for men. 
  • On average women work 5.6 hours per week less than men (35.5 hours/week compared to 41.1 hours/week). 
  • The average net worth of lone mothers was less than half of that of lone fathers: $240,000 versus $540,000. Unattached women and men had similar average net worth at $250,000 and $230,000, respectively. 
  • Lone mothers had the lowest average adjusted income ($25,300), followed by those who were unattached ($33,700). The average adjusted incomes of lone fathers and unattached men were similar (around $40,300). Notably, the average adjusted income of lone mothers was $15,000 less than that of lone fathers.

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