Backgrounder - New federal funding will empower young women to take their place in Canadian politics


Status of Women Canada – Women’s Program

One of the ways Status of Women Canada advances gender equality 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 provides funding for up to three years to projects that address barriers to women’s participation and equality in Canadian society in three priority areas: ending violence against women and girls; improving the economic security of women and girls; and encouraging women and girls in leadership roles.

Funded Project

Founded in 2001, Equal Voice is a national, bilingual, multi-partisan organization dedicated to electing more women to all levels of political office in Canada.

Equal Voice believes the equal representation of women in all levels of government is a fundamental question of fairness for women in terms of their access to Canada’s democratic institutions. 

The Equal Voice National Advisory Board includes some of Canada’s most prominent women politicians representing three political parties.

Project Description

Equal Voice will receive $3.8 million from Status of Women Canada for Daughters of the Vote, a 36-month project that will provide guided, meaningful leadership opportunities for young women to increase their participation in formal political arenas through engagement with a diverse array of elected officials and the political institutions in which they serve.

Through the project, young women will be engaged in two national events – the first cohort in 2019 and the second cohort in 202 – in the House of Commons, for each of the 338 federal ridings across Canada.

For each event, Equal Voice will be inviting young women, ages 18 to 23, to be one of 338 representatives, who will take their seats in Parliament. A young woman will be chosen from every federal riding in Canada to represent her community and to communicate her vision for Canada.

Equal Voice’s objective for the Daughters of the Vote initiative is to ensure that the two cohorts of 338 emerging young women leaders become familiar with Canada’s political institutions so they are equipped and inspired to participate in the formal political sphere in the years and decades to come.

Following the 2019 cohort, each participant will develop a community pilot initiative in her riding on a topic important to them and will be provided with a support system which will include mentorship by former Members of Parliament and Senators. Women in elected positions across the provinces and territories will support the young women in carrying out their local community initiatives.

Project results will be shared with all relevant stakeholders and orders of government. Equal Voice will develop and disseminate a best practices and lessons learned guide to support systemic implementation of the project's activities.

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