Government of Canada announces investment in women’s organizations in Ottawa 

News release

June 12, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department for Women and Gender Equality

Women’s organizations provide vital services in 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 the ability of these organizations to do this important work is the most effective way to advance gender equality.

That’s why today, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced that the Government of Canada will invest up to $7.4 million in 14 women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women in Ottawa.

Minister McKenna highlighted the following organizations that will receive funding (please see the Backgrounder for more information):

  • Action ontarienne contre la violence faite aux femmes;
  • Alliance des femmes de la francophonie canadienne;
  • CALACS Francophone d’Ottawa;
  • Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies;
  • City for All Women Initiative;
  • Feminist Alliance for International Action;
  • Immigrant Women Services Ottawa;
  • Inuuqatigiit Centre for Inuit Children, Youth and Families;
  • Native Women's Association of Canada;
  • Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women;
  • Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada;
  • Matthew’s Harmony House;
  • The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa; and
  • Women of the Métis Nation (Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak).

Funding for these projects stems from historic Budget 2018 investments in both the Capacity-building Fund to support a sustainable women’s movement, and the Gender-Based Violence Program to address gaps in support for underserved groups in Canada that experience gender-based violence.


“In making this historic investments, we recognize the women and women’s organizations that have long been breaking through barriers, and we express our gratitude to them for what has often been decades of important work, on little more than a shoestring budget. The women’s movement across Canada has been asking for too long for a reliable, predictable and accessible source of funds to ensure the sustainability of their work: our government listened. I am proud now, that with stable and flexible funding, we are helping organizations in Ottawa grow and endure, because we know that investing in women’s organizations 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

“Through the assistance provided to these organizations by the Government of Canada, it allows us to continue the conversation about women’s rights and the importance of having a safe space available to those who need it most. Many of these centres provide 24-hour support lines, advocacy, support groups and rehabilitation programs. I am determined to continue working with all levels of government to ensure that these services and resources remain vital to the women in Ottawa Centre and surrounding communities.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre

“Our Government is committed to advancing gender equality, women's economic empowerment and supporting women entrepreneurs with investments such as the funding announced here today through the Capacity-building Fund. We understand that by supporting women’s organizations and Indigenous organizations serving women we are helping break down the systemic barriers to gender equality in this country.”

Mona Fortier
Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Vanier

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 gender 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.

  • To date, the Government of Canada has invested over $200 million to prevent gender-based violence, support survivors and their families, and create more responsive legal and justice systems.

  • 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 over $12 billion.

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Associated links


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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