Backgrounder - Government of Canada announces investment in women’s organizations in Nova Scotia

Backgrounder

Department for Women and Gender Equality – Women’s Program 

One of the ways the Department for Women and Gender Equality advances gender equality in Canada 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 address emerging issues as they arise.

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

Capacity-building Call for Proposals 

In October 2018, Minister Monsef announced a Call for Proposals under the Capacity-building Fund of the Women’s Program. Projects at the local, provincial, and national level were eligible for different amounts of funding, based on their specific need and reach. 

On March 8, 2019, International Women’s Day, Minister Monsef announced that over 250 women’s organizations across the country would receive funding from the Capacity-building Fund. 

The objective is to fund proposals that will increase the capacity of eligible women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women, whose initiatives contribute to a viable women’s movement in Canada that advances gender equality. Funding will increase the ability of organizations to grow, meet the increasing demands for their services, and continue to work collectively to address gender equality issues. The fund stems from the Budget 2018 announcement of $100 million over five years to help support a viable and sustainable women’s movement across Canada. 

Nova Scotia Projects 

Today’s announcement profiled seven projects selected for federal funding: 

Alice House (Second Stage Housing Association of Dartmouth) 

Project title: Alice Strong
Funding amount: $75,728 

Alice House is seeking to increase and strengthen the opportunities it is able to provide for women and their children by creating a life free from intimate partner violence by offering longer term housing than emergency shelters. The new funding will help capture the organization’s data, outcomes and service delivery and enhance capacity to evaluate programming and financial stability. The new tools will be used to train and better equip the board members to use collected data to make informed strategic decisions about Alice House and produce a long-term strategic plan.   

Alice Housing is a registered non-profit program operated by the Second Stage Housing Association of Dartmouth. Alice Housing offers a safe environment for women, with or without children, leaving abusive relationships. In addition to housing, Alice House provides services and support to overcome the devastating effects of abuse. 

“Intimate partner violence is an issue that requires resources, services and support that can be offered with continuity and confidence. Funding our services has always presented us with a challenge but with this new funding model provided by the federal government, we now have the financial resources to re-evaluate our programs and our data so we can plan for the future and produce a strategy that reflects the challenges and the changes we see in our society.”  

Heather Byrne, Executive Director
Second Stage Housing Association of Dartmouth 

Be the Peace Institute 

Project title: Charting Our Path
Funding amount: $250,000 

Be the Peace Institute (BTPI) is seeking to improve its advocacy and will take steps to ensure financial viability, helping to bring an articulate voice to decision-making and policy tables that makes a difference for women and survivors of gender-based violence. 

BTPI is a community-based, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting gender equity, healthy relationships and safe, peaceful communities in Nova Scotia.  

It is an honour to serve our communities and promote the social and systemic change which supports women and values their stories and contributions to all spheres of society. Having this sort of reliable funding over a longer period of time gives us the ability to grow and sustain our work while enhancing our knowledge and influence with evidence-based learning and strategic activities. This important funding from the federal government will help us discern more effective ways to address the roots and consequences of gender-based violence and advance gender equity over the long-term.” 

Sue Bookchin, Executive Director
Be the Peace Institute

Fédération des femmes acadiennes de la Nouvelle-Écosse 

Project title: Renforcer ses capacités: filles et femmes en action !
Funding amount: $546,920 

Fédération des femmes acadiennes de la Nouvelle-Écosse (FFANE) will implement a series of initiatives province-wide that will include a campaign to recruit young women to access positions on the organization’s Board of Directors. In addition, a provincial youth committee will be created to develop and manage a social enterprise to raise awareness about women’s economic security and prosperity. The establishment of a Gender-based Analysis Plus study on Francophone women in Nova Scotia will allow FFANE to improve its organizational structure and increase its ability to serve women in communities across the province. 

Founded in 1983 as a non-profit, FFANE, is dedicated to the future success, prosperity, safety and security of Acadian and Francophone women in Nova Scotia. 

“We sincerely thank the federal government for this major funding that will contribute to the future and success of our association. This project, which aims to increase the economic prosperity of young women and Acadian and Francophone women, will also promote gender equality in Nova Scotia’s Acadian and Francophone minority communities.” 

Jean d'Entremont, President
Fédération des femmes acadiennes de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Immigrant Migrant Women’s Association of Halifax 

Project title: Igniting, Expanding and Sustaining IMWAH- its Board performance and gender+ community impact
Funding amount: $231,000 

The Immigrant Migrant Women’s Association of Halifax (IMWAH) is seeking to strengthen the women’s movement in Nova Scotia. This investment will support, ignite and expand IMWAH’s long-term viability to advance gender equality for the growing population of immigrant women and girls in Nova Scotia. Through five interconnected capacity activities, IMWAH will strengthen its effectiveness and ongoing commitment to strategic planning. This will in turn enhance its capacity to affect change through an intersectional-based advocacy strategy and collaborative advocacy initiatives. 

IMWAH of Halifax is a culturally diverse and non-profit organization with a mission to celebrate the contributions and respond to the unique concerns of immigrant and migrant women and girls. 

“With this new way of funding women’s advocacy, our mandate to provide gender-related support tailored to immigrant and migrant women will be greatly expanded. Bringing the voices of these women into larger, existing movements will improve their well-being and add to the general progress of women in Nova Scotia. We are excited to start our plan for growth and the expansion of our services, and are thankful to the Government of Canada for supporting our important work.” 

María José Yax-Fraser, Chair
Immigrant Migrant Women's Association of Halifax 

Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association 

Project title: NSNWA Capacity Building
Funding amount: $629,000 

The Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association (NSNWA) seeks to restore its health and vibrancy through a guaranteed financial foundation. This investment will assist leadership and senior staff in their work to restore the organization’s core mandate and focus on sustainability, capacity and offering and improving services that reflect and support the community. 

The NSNWA was started in 1972. They seek to assist and encourage First Nations women to assume a more active role and contribute ideas and skills to the social, cultural and economic development of the Mi’Kmaq society.

“Our association works with youth, adults and Elders of diverse genders to build a support service that reflects the needs of our First Nations community across the province. This important investment from the Government of Canada will provide us with greater capacity, which in turn, will help us to make a difference in our women’s quality of life while giving them tools to make their dreams a reality.” 

Lorraine Whitman, President
Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association 

Transition House Association of Nova Scotia 

Project title: Using Numbers to Tell Our Stories: Data Management in Women's Shelters Across Nova Scotia
Funding amount: $489,200 

The Transition House Association of Nova Scotia (THANS) is seeking to build capacity for effective province-wide data management for THANS organizations. With this funding, key activities include the development of the role of data custodianship, which will assist and direct coordinated reporting from all THANS members. Having better data will, in turn, help improve the level of support and the depth of services they can provide. 

THANS grew out of an identified need for women in spousal abuse situations. The first transition house in Nova Scotia opened in Halifax in 1978 and the provincial association was incorporated in 1989. The THANS member organizations provide transitional services to women and their children who are experiencing violence and abuse, including culturally relevant services to Indigenous women. THANS’ 11 member organizations work with women and their children in 13 locations across Nova Scotia. 

“Our aim is to provide a full range of services and support to women and their children who are experiencing intimate partner violence. As our mandate grows, we need to increase our ability to organize and apply the data we have and the new data we collect. This type of long-term funding from the federal government makes that possible and will improve the level of support and the depth of services we provide.” 

Donna Smith, Co-Chair
Transition House Association of Nova Scotia 

United African Canadian Women’s Association 

Project title: UACWA Long-Term Enhancement Project
Funding amount: $239,950 

The United African Canadian Women’s Association (UACWA) seeks to build its internal governance and management capacity to ensure long-term sustainability and relevance. Members will chart a new strategic direction that increases internal gender-based expertise and helps implement programs that enhance women’s equality, contribute to strengthening the women’s movement in Canada, and prepare young African-Canadian women leaders for the future. UACWA estimates this investment will enable it to double its capacity to deliver support and services. 

The UACWA was formed in 1996 by a group of African-Canadian women committed to improving the welfare of families and celebrating African culture and heritage within the Canadian context.

“We are grateful that the funding provided by the federal government gives us the time and resources we need to achieve our goals. Expanding our outreach and increasing our relevance will allow us to take a new direction and improve our ability to deliver programs and services to African-Canadian women in Nova Scotia. We will also be able to continue our focus on gender equality and prepare and encourage young African Canadian women to pursue more leadership roles.” 

Daphne Daisy During, President
United African Canadian Women’s Association of Nova Scotia


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