Minister Monsef announces more than $2.2 million for gender equality projects in British Columbia

News Release

Projects will engage local women leaders in pan-Canadian network to support a thriving gender equality movement

SEPTEMBER 8, 2017 – VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – 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. There is more work remaining 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, along with the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada,  announced Government of Canada funding for seven projects that will help advance gender equality in British Columbia. 

The following organizations are receiving funding of more than $2.2 million for projects that will challenge barriers to gender equality:

  • Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) ($290,000): to improve the way workplaces in BC respond to gender-based violence and support survivors.
  • Inform’elles Society ($270,000): to improve support for francophone women who experience violence in British Columbia and Yukon.
  • Minerva Foundation for BC Women ($337,076): to increase women leaders in B.C.’s technology sector.
  • Multilingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities (MOSAIC) ($275,132): to increase gender diversity in Vancouver’s news media.
  • Rise Women’s Legal Centre ($375,000): to improve women’s access to legal services.
  • Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST) ($345,190): to increase and promote gender diversity in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields in Vancouver. 
  • WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre ($320,000): to improve the response of the B.C. justice system to survivors of sexual violence.

These initiatives are part of an investment of over $18 million by the federal government to support grassroots organizations and engage 150 women leaders across the country. These leaders will work together as part of 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 offered participants at the event a learning session on social media best practices to create communities and maximize audiences.


“Strong, dynamic leaders are the heart of the women’s movement and their passion and engagement are the key to achieving gender equality. Today’s panel discussion shows the power of these leaders and their organizations to catalyze change and inspire action that benefits all of us, here and in the entire country. I am proud to support their efforts and of our government’s ongoing commitment to gender equality.”

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

“Gender-based violence can affect every aspect of a woman’s life, including her work life and career. We are excited to work on this project with our partners, including professional associations, to improve the way that gender-based violence is addressed in the workplace and to provide employers with support to effectively prevent and respond to this violence.”

Tracy Porteous
Executive Director
Ending Violence Association of BC

“We are pleased to work with the Government of Canada on this project to ensure that francophone women in British Columbia and Yukon have access to the support they need. This project will allow us to better coordinate the French-language services offered to survivors of gender-based violence in the region.”

Marie Dussault
Inform’Elles Society

“Women continue to be under-represented in leadership positions in many workplaces and the technology sector is no exception. Through this project we will work with the technology industry to support the advancement of women into executive positions and ensure that the sector is equipped to retain and develop their talented women leaders.”

Jennifer Murtagh, Chief Executive Officer
Minerva BC

“The news media plays a powerful role in our culture and the way that women are portrayed in the news influences the way they are seen in society. Through this project, we will address issues like discrimination, stereotyping, representation and coverage of gender-based violence in the news media. This work will help news media organizations ensure gender diverse, culturally sensitive broadcasts. ”

Chany Chea, Coordinator of Innovative Projects

“We are excited to work with the Government of Canada on this project to improve women’s access to legal services in British Columbia. Women who have experienced violence need support when navigating the family law system. This project will allow us to work with our partners in the community to streamline and enhance the way we work together to serve our clients.”

Kim Hawkins, Executive Director 
Rise Women’s Legal Centre

“Women have the education, skills and drive to succeed in every field, yet they remain under-represented in STEM. Through this project, we will take a hard look at the barriers in STEM workplaces that prevent women from advancing and work with the sector to find solutions that allow women to thrive.”

Dr. Christin Wiedemann, President
Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology

“There continues to be a lack of confidence in the criminal justice system among women survivors of sexual assault, including a pervasive concern that participants are not treated fairly by the justice system and are re-victimized by the process and by criminal justice professionals.”

WAVAW Rape Crisis Centre

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 yearsThis is the most funding to ever be approved through a Status of Women Canada call for proposals. Approved projects will take place over a period of 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 that contribute to gender inequality in Canada.

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Célia Canon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Status of Women

Léonie Roux
Public Affairs Officer
Status of Women Canada

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