Government of Canada funding of $282,000 will increase women’s participation in politics and public life

News Release

Project aims to remove barriers to women’s political and civic engagement in Vancouver and Surrey

January 16, 2018 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Status of Women Canada

Gender equality is a core Canadian value and an important priority of the Government of Canada, and increasing women’s political and civic participation is fundamental to upholding these commitments.

Today, Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Status of Women and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, announced $282,000 in Government of Canada funding for a project that will help remove barriers to women’s political and civic engagement in Vancouver and Surrey. This project is being led by Women Transforming Cities International Society, in partnership with the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women and working closely with Health Nexus and Equal Voice.

Working with municipal institutions, Women Transforming Cities will assess the status of women’s participation in politics and public life and make recommendations for changes to policies, protocols and programs to address existing barriers. The project will also establish working groups in both cities to inform the development and implementation of strategies to increase women’s civic and political participation, with progress measured through an annual Gender Equality Report Card for each municipality.

By helping empower women in Vancouver and Surrey to fully participate in political and public life, the Government is taking important steps towards achieving gender equality in Canada.


“We will not achieve gender equality in Canada without women having access to full political and civic participation. Funding for organizations like Women Transforming Cities will remove persistent barriers that prevent women from fully engaging, and will help to nurture women in Vancouver and Surrey to lead in this important aspect of Canadian life.”

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

“Participating in democratic and public life is an important part of Canadian identity – it is also a right we all share, regardless of gender. When we increase women’s participation in these areas, entire communities benefit. That’s why this project is so important for the people of Vancouver and Surrey. By investing in gender equality in our communities, we are helping transform our cities into places where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”

Terry Duguid
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Status of Women

“We welcome this government investment in taking action on systemic barriers to women’s participation in local government in Vancouver and Surrey. With this new funding, we will help more women have meaningful civic and political participation in their communities and their local government, paving the way for success in many other areas of their lives.”

Ellen Woodsworth
Women Transforming Cities International 

Quick Facts

  • Status of Women Canada is funding over $4 million in projects that will empower women for political and community action in Canada.

  • 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.

  • The current Executive Council of the Government of British Columbia is the first to achieve gender parity in the province, with 10 women named to cabinet and one named minister of state.

  • Women are equally represented on the Vancouver City Council, where five of the 10 City Councillors are women. They are also equally represented on the Surrey City Council, where four of the eight City Councillors are women.

  • The City of Vancouver has never had a woman Mayor. Dianne Watts was the first woman to be elected Mayor of Surrey in 2005, serving until 2014. She was followed by Linda Hepner, the second woman to be elected Mayor of Surrey.

Associated Links


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

Nanci-Jean Waugh
Director General, Communications and Public Affairs
Status of Women Canada

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