Backgrounder -  Government of Canada announces investment in women’s organizations throughout Québec 


Women and Gender Equality Canada’s Women’s Program 

One of the ways Women and Gender Equality Canada 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.

Québec Projects

Today’s announcement profiled nine projects throughout Québec selected for federal funding through the Capacity-building Fund:


Project title: Strengthening Partnership and Cohesion of Sexual Violence Practices in Northern Québec
Funding amount: $255,295

CALACS-ABITIBI will connect groups in the James Bay region to share data, information, and best practices on issues related to sexual violence and create more effective services for women and girls.

CALACS-ABITIBI began its work in 2001. It seeks to provide local expertise to Indigenous and non-Indigenous women who are in need of social services and assistance with issues or incidents of sexual violence.

“Thanks to this new investment from the federal government, we now have a clearer path for the future. We look forward to creating lasting and positive change for survivors of gender-based violence in remote regions. We can now begin to improve our connections with the Abitibi-Téniscamingue and Nord-du-Québec regions by collaborating with our shared network of stakeholders who provide services to survivors of sexual violence.”

Lynda Flynn, Présidente


Project title: Organizational Empowerment of La Maison ISA: Strengthening the Ability to Act on Sexual Violence in the Saguenay Region and in the Fjord-de-Saguenay RCM
Funding amount: $274,016

CALACS Maison ISA will overhaul its governance structure, including a review of human resource policies to help retain staff and support training. It will work with other women’s groups to develop strategies and practices for the needs and culture of the community with a focus on intersectionality.

Since 1983, CALACS Maison ISA has been working to counter sexual violence in northern Quebec. It provides free and confidential services and assistance without discrimination to women and girls aged 14 and over who have experienced sexual violence. It is a member of Regroupement Québécois des CALACS, a collection of sexual assault centres throughout northern Québec.

“Providing services to victims of sexual violence in our region presents special challenges and funding problems. This new investment from the federal government will allow us to renew our approach to achieving our mission. Connecting women in the Saguenay region is a vital part of our work and we’re glad to have this funding and the chance to move forward with more modern, more effective methods of realizing our goals.”

Geneviève Larouche, Facilitator

Centre des femmes du Témiscouata

Project title: Development and Implementation of a Strategic Plan and Strengthening the Governance of a Board of Directors
Funding amount: $171,030

The Centre des femmes du Témiscouata will work on a strategic plan that will address the needs of its board of directors as it begins to renew its mission in preparation of its 40th anniversary in 2021. It will collect data collect to improve their public education programs, inform a training program on women’s leadership, and update training, engagement and fieldwork.

Founded by and for women in 1981, the Centre des femmes du Témiscouata works to improve the living conditions of women through actions that promote change and by working with other community groups in a network of support and collaboration. It uses a global feminist approach to promote women’s physical and mental health, their rights, their economic security, and to encourage women to consider leadership and political engagement.

Groupe Femmes, Politique et Démocratie (GFPD)

Project title: Comprendre, s'outiller et agir pour la parité
Funding amount: $652,993

GFPD will implement an action plan to grow with the help of training and workshops with experts. It will develop new partnerships, a renewed approach to networking and collaboration, and a new advocacy strategy. It will promote gender equality and mobilize policy makers and agents for social change at the municipal level and also at the National Assembly.

Created in 1999, GFPD is an autonomous non-profit public education organization that is independent of any political party or single advocacy group. Its work currently focuses on increasing the participation of women in politics and the exercising of their full rights of citizenship.

“Women and girls in Québec are becoming more interested in politics, and we expect this trend to continue. They are increasingly participating in our democratic institutions and elected governments and becoming more involved in the decision-making process thereby promoting gender equality. We appreciated the Government of Canada’s investment in our work and are pleased to have the funding to build our capacities so that we can continue to make an impact and improve politics and democracy throughout Québec.”

Esther Lapointe, Executive Director
Groupe Femmes, Politique et Démocratie

Maison pour femmes immigrantes

Project title: Take Action to Drive Innovation and Preserve the Organizational Development of La Maison pour femmes immigrantes in the Short, Medium and Long term 
Funding amount: $249,750

Maison pour femmes immigrantes will implement a new human resource management model to ensure a fair, equitable and healthy workplace. It will also do strategic planning and use those activities to create a new best practice guide and toolkit.

Maison pour femmes immigrantes began in 1986 as a feminist non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the needs of immigrant women and their children in Québec who are victims of domestic violence. They use an intercultural approach to service delivery adapted to the population they serve.  

“Our new project will improve the lives of immigrant women to Québec and help our organization to achieve its goal of gender equality and a society free of domestic violence. We are very pleased that the federal government has created a program for women’s groups such as ours, which will make a real difference in countless lives, and communities.”

Claire Marien, President
Maison pour femmes immigrantes

Regroupement des femmes de la Côte-Nord (RFCN)

Project title: United 
Funding amount: $166,722

RFCN will look at its overall strengths and weaknesses to help inform, develop, and implement a strategic plan for future growth and more positive change in the community. It will grow and diversify membership to better represent the territory and to achieve equality for all Côte-Nord women.

RFCN began in 1984 as a local network to support and assert the rights of francophone women living on Quebec’s Côte-Nord. It has grown and expanded over the years to include anglophone women and groups who network together to share knowledge and improve the living conditions of women living in the North Shore.

“We have always believed in diversity as a core strength and have proven time and again through our network of members that we are stronger when we work together. Our recent funding needs have been met with his investment from the federal government and we will pursue our plans to expand our services and our membership to achieve positive change and better living conditions for all women living on la Côte-Nord.”

Martine Michel, President
Regroupement des femmes de la Côte-Nord

Regroupement des groupes de femmes de la Capitale-Nationale (RGF-CN)

Project title: Strengthening and strategically positioning the RGF-CN towards greater equality in the Capitale Nationale 
Funding amount: $233,094

The RGF-CN will review and renew current practices to be more visible and better address issues around gender equality. It will begin steps to create a new communication plan, a platform for advocacy, and to strengthen its expertise in analysis, intervention and intersectional feminist management.

Created in 1990 under the name Regroupement des groupes de femmes de la rive-nord de Québec, the organization was incorporated in 1995 and renamed in 2008. It is responsible for addressing diverse women’s issues in the Capitale-Nationale region and shares its expertise locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.

“Our need to reinforce our organizational capacity and increase our visibility is a vital part of our mission to improve the living conditions of women in our community. We recognize the Government of Canada’s capacity-building support for women’s organizations. Our project will allow us to improve the structure of our work, to bring about positive changes in the region and to continue our work to defend the rights of women in the Capitale-National region.”

Nancy Beauseigle, Executive Director
Regroupement des groupes de femmes de la Capitale-Nationale

Réseau des groupes de femmes Chaudière-Appalaches (RGFCA)

Project title: Towards a Stronger Network to Achieve Gender Equality
Funding amount: $223,936

The RGFCA will use Gender-based Analysis Plus to conduct a complete needs assessment on its governance, financial health, collaborations and partnerships, human resource management, and advocacy. It will strengthen the organization and enable it to continue to create positive social change in the Chaudière-Appalaches region.

In 1991, a meeting of 49 separate women's groups in Chaudière-Appalaches took the decisition to created a representative body at the regional level. With the support of the Conseil du statut de la femme then Council for the Status of Women, RGFCA was founded. The organization became a regional development partner in 1992 and joined the board of directors of the Regional Council for Consultation and Development.

Table de concertation du mouvement des femmes Centre-du-Québec (TCMFCQ)

Project title: Projet agir en prévision de l’avenir
Funding amount: $147, 136

TCMFCQ is expanding, and to meet the needs of the new, larger organization, it is renewing its governance structure and internal management strategies. It will focus on human resource management, including staff and volunteers, and develop a new advocacy strategy to raise awareness and create partnerships with the community.

TCMFCQ was formed in Victoriaville in 1998, growing out of the common desire of women’s groups in Centre-du-Québec to have a greater voice in decision-making and public discourse. Its primary objective is to promote gender equality and improve the living conditions of women in its community.

“We’re pleased to receive this funding from the Government of Canada. It is the kind of financing we need to grow and manage our resources as we become more involved with promoting gender equality and the wellbeing of women in Centre-du-Québec.”

Lise Setlakwe, President
Table de concertation du mouvement des femmes Centre-du-Québec

Women and Gender Equality Canada’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.

Today’s announcement also highlighted one project in Québec receiving funding from the GBV Program:

La maison de Marthe

Project title: Promising practices for women leaving the sex industry
Funding amount: $950,000

Since 2000, La Maison de Marthe has been working with women survivors and women who want to leave prostitution. It supports these women at every stage of the process and works to meet their complex needs. La Maison de Marthe believes that every human being is invaluable and has the right to a full and complete life.

La Maison de Marthe has collected a great deal of knowledge about problems and factors involved in designing and delivering services and programs for women who need their help. This funding will expand the type of services it can provide to meet the complex needs of the women it serves. La Maison de Marthe will develop and test practices by consolidating its intervention model and by providing a temporary shelter to support women seeking to leave prostitution. If the models are successful, best practices can be expanded and implemented into existing processes and policies. 

“Women seeking to leave prostitution have urgent, complex needs. Thanks to this funding from the Government of Canada, we can continue to support and adequately care for women and their children who are survivors of gender-based violence. We will do this by improving our intervention approach and testing new, safe, and long-term housing options that are adapted to the needs of women escaping prostitution in Quebec City.”

Ginette Massé, Director
La maison de Marthe

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