Backgrounder - Government of Canada announces investment in women’s organizations across Yukon

Backgrounder

Department for Women and Gender Equality’s 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.

Yukon Projects

Today’s announcement profiled three projects in Yukon selected for federal funding through the Capacity-building Fund:

Les EssentiElles

Project title: Strong Governance for a Stronger Organization!

Funding amount: $133,680

Les EssentiElles will deliver staff training in interpersonal communication and develop a strategic plan to strengthen governance, grow its members’ capacity, and improve operations.

Les EssentiElles is a non-profit organization founded in 1995 that represents the interests of francophone women in Yukon.

“We are committed to providing the important services needed by francophone women in Yukon. Our ability to deliver services will be enhanced thanks to the financial support from the Government of Canada. We can now expand our management structure over the next few years, which will ensure stronger governance and a stronger organization for Franco-Yukonnaises.”

Jocelyne Isabelle, Executive Director
Les EssentiElles

Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre (VFWC) 

Project title: VFWCHuman Resources Policies Redevelopment

Funding amount: $244,625

The VFWC will hire a human resources research assistant to revise their human resources policies and strategic vision in collaboration with Yukon College. By using a decolonial, women-focused, Northern lens, the VFWC will redevelop their human resources policies and strategies and share this with other organizations that work with women. This will ensure that, for organizations looking to revise their policies, well-researched best practices are easily accessible.

The Yukon Status of Women Council opened their first women’s centre in Whitehorse in 1974. In 1975, it moved to the former YWCA building and opened as the Victoria Faulkner Women`s Centre. VFWC was incorporated in 1976, with an independent board of directors and has proudly served the community ever since.

“We are thankful the Government of Canada understands our funding needs. With this new approach to funding women’s organizations, we can take our services into the next phase of our development. Our five-year project will improve the outcomes of our responses to women in Yukon who need our services and rely on our ability to provide culturally appropriate programs and an inclusive environment that promotes gender equality.”

Kara Garcia-Rideout, Housing Navigator
Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre

Yukon Status of Women Council (YSWC)

Project title: Increasing the Strength and Capacity of YSWC

Funding amount: $550,620

The YSWC will write a strategic plan dealing with how to restore community and regional partnerships to sustain their work in the future. By strengthening its financial health and governance, human resources management, and capacity for partnerships and collaboration, the YSWC will create a more financially sustainable organization.

The YSWC has acted for more than 40 years as a catalyst for women to work together and to effect change through action. The organization envisions a world of equal opportunity where access to the justice system is not a barrier to eliminating gender-based violence.

“Our ability to expand depends on funding and we often need to make changes that can take years to complete. The financial support from the federal government will allow us to reorganize our approach with a new strategic plan that will help us become more sustainable over several years and strengthen our partnerships in the community.”

Aja Mason, Co-Director
Yukon Status of Women Council

Department for Women and Gender Equality’s Gender-Based Violence Program

Following the June 2017 announcement of It’ s Time: Canada’ s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence, the Department for Women and Gender Equality (formerly Status of Women Canada) launched the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Program in January 2018.

The GBV Program complements the department’s Women’ s Program, and helps organizations working in the GBV sector to develop and implement promising practices to address gaps in supports for survivors and their families.

While violence affects people of all genders, ages, cultures, ethnicities, geographic locations, and socio-economic backgrounds, some populations are more at-risk and face additional barriers to accessing services. The GBV Program responds to this need by providing funding to eligible organizations at the local, regional and national levels for projects that address gaps in supports for specific groups of survivors, including Indigenous women, and other underserved populations, such as children and youth, LGBTQ2 communities, non-status/refugee/immigrant women, seniors, women living in official language minority communities, women living in northern, rural and remote communities, and women living with disabilities.

Yukon Projects

Today’s announcement also profiled two projects in Yukon selected for federal funding through the GBV Program:

Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society (LAWS)

Project title: Following Our Peoples Way: Building a Circle of Dignity and Justice / Gūdené’ K’éh Gūs’ānī:

Funding amount: Up to $1 million

LAWS is recognized for its ability to sustain ‘trail breaking’ programming in a complex social environment that includes intercultural and political resistance, gender and racial discrimination, cultural displacement, and significant psycho-social impediments including addictions and lateral violence. It will test a community-based, culturally-relevant advocacy model for supporting Indigenous women and girl survivors of gender-based violence.

LAWS is a non-profit, community-based Indigenous organization established in Yukon in 1998. It provides services to the Kaska Nation in Yukon and northern British Columbia.

“Our new project is an opportunity to increase the capacity of our Kaska communities to support, respond, and restore the dignity and safety of survivors of gender-based violence. We are thankful for the Government of Canada’s funding for our project, which will improve access to culturally safe supports for Kaska women and youth survivors.”

Ann Maje Raider, Executive Director
Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society

Yukon Status of Women Council (YSWC)

Project title: A Blueprint for Change

Funding amount: Up to $625,000

Currently, there are no existing services for women wishing to exit the sex industry and no programs targeting prevention or addressing their specific needs in Yukon. The Yukon Status of Women Council will develop and implement safe, accessible, and culturally appropriate supports for Yukon-based women who are survivors of sexual exploitation and looking to leave the sex trade.

The YSWC has acted for more than 40 years as a catalyst for women to work together and to effect change through action. The organization envisions a world of equal opportunity where access to the justice system is not a barrier to eliminating gender-based violence.

“The Yukon has very high rates of violence against women – four times the national average. The lack of specific policies or program responses to the sex industry and sexual exploitation is something that needs to change. Our project will work to fill these gaps with culturally-appropriate supports for survivors of sexual exploitation, to promote the rights and safety of women within the sex trade, and to help women transition out when they want to stop trading sex. With the support we’re receiving from the Government of Canada, we have the reliable funding we need to help make this change possible.”

Charlotte Hrenchuk, consultant and former coordinator, and Heidi Marion, co-director
Yukon Status of Women Council


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