Minister Monsef announces over $2.5 million to help support a vibrant gender equality movement across Canada

News Release

Projects will advance gender equality in Québec and engage local women leaders in pan-Canadian network

August 9, 2017 – MONTRÉAL, QC – Status of Women Canada

As Canada marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, it is important to reflect on our legacy for the future. Despite the important milestones witnessed in these 150 years, women, girls, and gender-non-conforming people still face hardships. A lot more work remains to be done for gender equality to become a reality in Canada. By investing in a strong and thriving women’s movement today, we are laying the foundation for gender equality tomorrow.

Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, announced over $2.5 million in Government of Canada funding for seven projects that will help advance gender equality in Montréal and the province of Quebec. 

Seven organizations in Montréal are receiving funding of over $2.5 million for a range of projects that will challenge barriers to gender equality:

  • Action Travail des Femmes - $398,045
    • to address barriers to the retention of women in Quebec’s construction sector
  • Atwater Library and Computer Centre - $284,670
    • to enhance collaboration among stakeholders to examine the issue of gender-based violence on college campuses in Montréal
  • Fédération des Femmes du Québec - $385,067
    • to increase access to advancement for women working in an activist organization and a labour union in Montréal
  • Relais-femmes - $399,977
    • to support the collaboration of women's groups and universities in achieving gender equality in two regions of the province
  • Table de concertation en violence conjugale de Montréal - $379,114
    • to improve support for women in situations of domestic violence where mental health, substance and child abuse are also factors
  • Table de concertation pour les organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes - $352,993
    • to increase support for victims of female genital mutilation (FGM)
  • Youth Employment Services (YES) - $340,024
    • to improve the retention and advancement of women in STEM industries in Montréal

These initiatives are part of a federal investment of over $18 million. In addition to working on these local projects, women leaders will participate in a pan-Canadian network to support feminist action for gender equality at the national level. The network is being convened by the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

As a digital partner with Status of Women Canada, Instagram will offer participants at the event a learning session on social media best practices to create communities and maximize audiences.


“Strong, dynamic women are the heart of the women’s movement and their leadership is key to achieving gender equality. Today’s panel will offer us the opportunity to learn from these influential women leaders and feel their determination, commitment and passion for gender equality. Our government believes strongly in investing in the causes these great women have dedicated themselves to, and our initiative will soon bring together all 150 women with the goal of facilitating the exchange of knowledge. Through recognizing and celebrating these women and investing in these projects, the government of Canada is helping to support a strong women’s movement, for the next 150 years and beyond.”

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

“Our organization is pleased to collaborate with the federal government on this project that will address systemic barriers to the retention of women in Quebec’s construction sector. We plan to build collaborative support mechanisms with four construction labour unions, and a provincial coalition of sexual assault crisis centres, to ensure that women construction workers who are victims of sexual harassment and violence have access to the appropriate services.”

Ana María Otero, President
Action Travail des Femmes du Québec Inc.

“This project represents an important collaboration between our organization and the federal government to enhance joint effort by a range of community groups, public agencies, and educational institutions to help address the rape culture on college campuses in Montréal. Action needs to be taken in order to create the proper practices, protocols, and policies to ensure this happens, and we look forward to working with other local stakeholders in this effort.”

John Aylen, President
Atwater Library and Computer Centre

“Thanks to this partnership with the Government of Canada, we will work to include women from diverse backgrounds working within activist organizations in Montréal, in particular by strengthening their participation in decision-making authority and processes. The tools and practices developed will then be communicated to other stakeholders in the province to expand the impact of this project.”

Émilia Castro, Leader
Fédération des femmes du Québec

“This initiative provides an excellent opportunity to support collaboration between women’s groups and universities within the framework of joint projects promoting gender equality in Québec City and in another region of the province. By partnering with the federal government, we hope to create collaboration structures and mechanisms that will also facilitate dialogue and sharing of best practices in the future.”

Lise Gervais, Development and Liaison Coordinator

“We are delighted to partner with the federal government to improve support for women in situations of domestic violence where mental health, substance and child abuse are also factors. By working together, stakeholders who play a role in addressing violence, mental health, drug addiction and child protection will be able to combine their expertise to develop an effective cross-sectoral collaboration model enabling a better understanding of the experiences of survivors.”

Jenny Charest, President
Table de concertation en violence conjugale de Montréal

“The federal government is an important partner for us on this project to increase supports for women and girls who are victims of female genital mutilation. Through these efforts, stakeholders in the immigration, health and social services, and youth protection sectors will be engaged to improve prevention, intervention, and on-going support for victims.”

Yasmina Chouakri, Coordonnatrice du Volet femmes
Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes

“Through this partnership with the Government of Canada, we will be working to improve the retention and advancement of women in STEM industries in Montréal by bringing about systemic changes in a number of workplaces. We will also enhance the value of this project by sharing best practices, success stories, and model corporations to foster systemic changes in more STEM workplaces in the future.”

Iris Unger
Executive Director Youth Employment Services 

Quick Facts

  •  In October 2016, Status of Women Canada invited organizations to propose projects that advance gender equality across Canada. As of June 2017, some 50 projects have been approved for over $18 million in Funding to Advance Gender Equality with the goal of empowering great Canadian women and enabling their good work to set the stage for the next 150 years. This is the most funding ever to be approved through a Status of Women Canada call for proposals. Approved projects will take place over three years. 

  • The Women’s Program at Status of Women Canada supports eligible organizations to carry out projects to advance equality by addressing systemic barriers to gender equality in Canada.

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Philippe Charlebois
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Status of Women

Léonie Roux
Public Affairs Officer
Status of Women Canada

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