Government of Canada announces investment in Greater Vancouver Area women’s organizations

News release

Fourteen projects from across the Lower Mainland are receiving funding to ensure women’s and Indigenous organizations can continue providing essential supports to women and their families

March 28, 2019 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Department for Women and Gender Equality

Women’s organizations provide vital support to our communities, supporting women and girls to be financially secure, free from violence, and able to fully participate in all aspects of our economy and society. Yet for far too long they have been chronically underfunded, underestimated and undermined. The Government of Canada recognizes that women’s organizations are the lifeblood of the women’s movement and that maintaining and growing their ability to do this important work is the most effective way to advance gender equality. 

That’s why today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced that the government will invest $5.3M in 14 women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women from across the Lower Mainland under the Capacity-building Fund. The fund stems from the Budget 2018 announcement of $100 million over five years to support a viable and sustainable women’s movement across Canada. 

The announcement was made at the YWCA Metro Vancouver, where Minister Monsef highlighted the organizations that will receive funding (please see the Backgrounder for more information and testimonials): 

  • Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C.;
  • Ending Violence Association of B.C.;
  • Ending Violence Association of Canada;
  • Justice for Girls Outreach Society;
  • Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia;
  • Minerva Foundation for B.C. Women;
  • North Shore Women’s Centre Society;
  • Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology;
  • ShEvalesco Female Empowerment Association;
  • Supporting Women’s Alternative Network Society;
  • West Coast LEAF Association;
  • WISH Drop-in Centre Society;
  • Women Transforming Cities International Society; and
  • Young Women’s Christian Association of Vancouver.


“With this historic investment, we recognize the women and women’s organizations breaking through barriers, and express our gratitude to those who have been doing this work for decades on little more than a shoestring budget. The women’s movement across Canada has been asking for a reliable, predictable and accessible source of funds to ensure the sustainability of their work. Our government listened. With stable and flexible funding across the Greater Vancouver Area, we are helping organizations scale up so they can grow and endure, because we know that investing in their work is the most effective way to advance gender equality. By supporting a movement that has achieved amazing results, we are growing the middle class, strengthening families and communities, and creating lasting change that benefits everyone.” 

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality

“For more than 120 years, YWCA Metro Vancouver has worked to achieve women’s equality. With this federal support, we can continue to touch lives and build better futures for women and their families through advocacy and services that foster economic independence, wellness and equal opportunities.” 

Deb Bryant
YWCA Metro Vancouver

Quick facts

  • Budget 2018 announced $100 million over five years to support a viable and sustainable women’s movement across Canada. Adding to this historic investment, Budget 2019 proposes to invest a further $160 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, in the Department for Women and Gender Equality’s Women’s Program. This means that by 2023–24, the Women’s Program, which supports eligible organizations to carry out projects to advance equality by addressing systemic barriers, will total $100 million annually. 

  • This funding will enable women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women to tackle systemic barriers impeding women’s progress, while recognizing and addressing the diverse experiences of gender and inequality across the country.

  • Women continue to be disproportionately affected by economic insecurity. In 2015, women in Canada earned just 88 cents for every dollar earned by men. They are also much more likely to work on a part-time basis, making up 76% of all part-time workers, with 25% of women reporting childcare responsibilities as their reason for working part-time.

  • Some populations are more likely to experience violence and may face unique barriers and challenges that put them at particular risk (Statistics Canada, 2015).

  • Gender-based violence can have lifelong impacts on an individual's physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health. Additionally, the effects can be serious and costly. Annually, the economic impact of intimate partner violence and sexual assault is estimated to be more than $12 billion.

  • Canada will host the Women Deliver 2019 Conference from June 3 to 6, 2019, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Held every three years, it is the world’s largest gathering on gender equality and the health, rights and well-being of women and girls. 

  • The conference is part of a global movement to promote gender equality worldwide that gives voice to a broad spectrum of people, including Indigenous peoples, youth and those living in conflict and crisis settings. It will bring together more than 6,000 individuals—world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists, youth and journalists—from more than 160 countries, with an additional 100,000 people joining virtually.

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Braeson Holland
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality

Valérie Haché
Senior Communications Advisor
Department for Women and Gender Equality

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